(n) – the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.
Why is hindsight so much clearer? And why is that we tend to only really cherish the moment after the fact? It is because we really can only see its value from a distance. Life really is just a series of random actions – but yet how brilliantly the puzzles pieces can come together in such a serendipitous way.
In the last year, I have found a deeper level of what I believe is serendipity. Last week I attended a conference in Florida and across the room sat a person that has probably changed the course of my career. It was just over two years ago we sat in a similar room surrounded by people with just the future ahead – a strong connection albeit unconventional relationship has grown and I realized in that moment looking across the room that you just can deny the serendipity of it all! Things do happen for a reason I think- and its not until hindsight we understand why.
Over the past three years, I have found myself doing certain things, exploring different situations, and making various connections – most of which I thought were random. Never did I imagine that it could ever, especially this quickly, accumulate and swirl together into a mixture of recognition and fortune – but yet it has. Fleeting as it might be – I wonder though why? Did I really do something right, or was it just serendipity working out in my favor and placing the right people in my path. I suppose that I still had to engage them? In many ways I do feel I worked hard – but I also got lucky. Destiny or chance? Both? A series of small actions collide to form a result. The reaction is then based on what? Time, the ingredients, or both?
Maybe subconsciously I thought that it would all come together – but I don’t think so. Doing each piece as an independent activity was the right play at the time – but how to do you work towards a master plan, if you don’t know what plan even looks like. I still don’t know what that looks like!
There is a fine line between confident and conceded – between conviction and arrogance – between strong and brazen. As a woman it is important to walk the fine line and air on the side of caution. I must remember to constantly clip my wings yet maintain stability and confidence. A trick blend. If all else fails – channel Beyonce.
There are rare instances in life in which the stars align – and sometimes you don’t even realize that they have aligned until you look back in hindsight. I think that “Turner Linked” epitomizes that statement.
I started with Turner as an intern in 2008, actually with Turner Logistics, and in 2010 was transferred to my first “big T” project – the San Diego Airport Expansion, a 470M fast track design build. I was brought onto the project as the C-Docs Engineer – which I later learned meant SharePoint, and part of my role involved getting the project team set up, trained, and proficient in using this new electronic document management system.
When Apple launched the iPad in 2010, I think we can all agree that this was a game changer for not only the construction industry, but the world in terms of mobile computing. We assembled a small team at the airport to assess the feasibility of tablet implementation on the project. Part of this exercise was to analyze our current document management system and to determine if it could be easily used on a mobile device. This exercise ultimately was the catalyst to the transformation & makeover of our SharePoint site.
Of these stars that aligned – one of them was Daniel Kettler, a German master’s student and employee of Hochtief who came to the airport in the summer of 2011 for an internship. Daniel joined our tablet committee and he and I began working together on making our SharePoint system both tablet friendly & user friendly. We realized very quickly that we shared the same vision and realized the potential for what could be done in terms of documents on a construction project. Our goal was to make the system intuitive and easy to use. To do this we created an “Intuitive Visual User Interface” which graphically led the user to the different areas of SharePoint in an easy way to reach their desired document or destination. Our target user was “the boots on the ground” – the inspector, the foreman, the superintendent. Construction people are visual, they like pictures and they like graphics and by creating this graphical dashboard – we targeted their cognitive style. The response to the transformation was quite astonishing and across the project team there was very positive feedback on how now easy and simple the system was to use. We did a survey 8 months after going live with the new system and users reported saving 6-7 hours just in navigating through documents – which you can do the math, on a project of this size and length, translates to a significant amount of time and money saved.
And then, the sparkling and shimmering star fell when Turner announced the innovation award competition in early 2012, which created a forum for us to not only share our idea – but to piece it all together, to brand it, and to explain what we had done in the hopes that this could be implemented on other project and in other business units. To me, the innovation award is more than just about surfacing ideas. It is also a testament to you – the top in this company…and your willingness to listen, to trust, and to change. It is my hope that we merely serve as an example of how creativity can ignite. And together we can create a road map on how we can implement these ideas and other ideas across the company. And then as a leader – move the construction industry forward, and truly build different.
Thank you so much for having me here tonight. Thank you to Shawn, Rick, and Scott – my bosses. And thank you for giving me this incredible opportunity. It is absolutely something that I am going to remember for the rest of my career.
The Twinkling Tale of Turner Linked | Turner Senior Management Meeting | January 22nd, 2013 – Fort Lauderdale, Fl