I think we have both talent and innovation on sites. The Innovate Construction Awards initiative celebrates the innovation spirit in our company and is a recognition of talent throughout the world. We see many people trying to do things better in different ways and from different approaches and perspectives. They are trying to be efficient and reduce costs through innovation. I think we have solid innovation roots to make us grow as a company, both in the present and future.
We could certainly be promoting innovation by bringing it closer to the sites. For example, by sharing the possibilities and the opportunity of becoming pilot projects for R&D projects or showing them the options of new technologies and the advantages they bring. We could also open the conversation on innovation by allowing them to show their work- sometimes innovative actions remain unvoiced- and recognizing the great job.
We have a wide innovation network. Many of them are already familiar with innovation and have adopted it as part of their daily routine. I think we still need to work on Young talent oriented to innovation, walking them through the positive impact of it in their work, and in this scope of action, online training is a window of opportunity for the personal and professional growth of all our people.
Innovation means different things in the different geographies. In the UK, for instance, projects like Heathrow Q6, Thames Tideay or NLE have a process to define, compile and disseminate innovation. In LATAM we see innovation coming from adapting to new circumstances, with cunning. In the US innovation in greater projects is bringing positive outcomes.
INNOVATION is crucial in all our geographies, and we need to keep learning from our colleagues throughout the world and combine this knowledge with experts from Central Offices. Experience, knowledge and talent will, altogether, be the key to success.
We already have a number of technologies such as robotics, Big Data or Artificial Intelligence, that can be applied to automate and optimize construction processes. Examples of this can be autonomous tunnel boring machines (taking autonomous cars to the next level) or heavy-duty drones to transport heavy weights. In the coming years, I think we are going to see more machines working on sites, carrying out both simple and complex tasks, and the role of the construction worker is going to shift, spending more time from the offices (generating or managing information) and less on site.
This means that we have the chance of protecting our workers from risks on our sites, which is, no doubt, a big step forward.
Digitalization in construction is real and it’s moving fast. The use of technologies in construction is a global issue, and we must all prepare and adapt for change and learn how to make the most out of these powerful tools effectively.
In Ferrovial Construction, our people are our greatest strength, we are the value of our people. We have global and diverse talent and we need to connect innovation to them or with them. By, for example, listening to the innovative proposals of experts in-house, but also contrasting what we do with our industry and other industries in an Open Innovation model. By promoting a closer collaboration between Central Offices and sites. By having a space to have innovative conversations. With intrapreneurship programs and programs to attract worldwide talent. Or initiatives like Construtech.
My biggest challenge is to create an innovation mindset in Ferrovial Construction. In order to do this we must start with intra-innovation, in other words, Self-disrupt before being disrupted.
We must also create an atmosphere of motivation and passion where innovation happens. Approaching our daily work with an open mind to change and finding new ways of doing what we do better are key innovation. We should be moving towards identifying opportunities (spotting solutions and the right moment and the right time) and taking the time to think and implement.
From my new role and taking an innovation perspective, I would also like to empower our professional’s growth, for example, focusing on In-company Entrepreneurs and Accompanying people in their professional trajectory, providing quality trainings on innovation and new technologies, adapted to all our people.
Ferrovial Construction is very rich in that it is present in different worldwide geographies, but it also needs new tools and ways to create an environment to share knowledge and promote talent, and also to help people to effectively work with one another. A powerful way is to identify talent and create a worldwide network of innovation to create a vibrant community.
This sense of belonging where everyone feels that they are part of something extraordinary, and their passion and accomplishments also make this community a magnet for talented people coming out of University or even from other companies. Innovation is a team sport. For projects to succeed, they must be staffed with the right combination of talent.
Another fundamental line of action is to identify potential roles and to empower them to grow in Ferrovial. Finding the right talent can be a big challenge to make innovation happen. With mentoring programs, adapting trainings… Training in innovation… We would see this happen. We will also be seeing the rise of new roles and positions in a near future, and having the right people and helping them find their way alongside Ferrovial Constructions.