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This year, at CLR’s 54th Annual General Meeting & Conference at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort, there was a great lineup of events, outings, and speakers. Among the range of topics discussed, there were standout moments that shed light on the future of the construction industry and how it can harness technology, navigate disruption, and cultivate a positive organizational culture. Here are the key takeaways from the conference:

Embracing AI Without Fear of Job Loss

One of the myths in the age of artificial intelligence (AI) is the fear of job loss. However, it was pointed out that AI is not here to steal jobs; instead, it is a powerful tool to augment and enhance human capabilities. Shawn Kanungo, a globally recognized innovation strategist, emphasized that AI should complement human skills, not replace them. He stressed the importance of maintaining the human element in the workforce. Kanungo posed three critical questions for attendees to consider:

  1. “Are you willing to have the longest view in the room?”
    Message: Encourage long-term thinking in decision-making.
  2. “Are you willing to disrupt yourself?”
    Message: Embrace change and innovation within one’s career.
  3. “How do I get myself fired?”
    Message: Challenge oneself to continuously improve and adapt.

These questions underline the idea that AI and technology should be seen as enablers to advance our thinking and skills rather than threats to our employment.

Finding Purpose in Construction and Leveraging Data for Value

Tannis Liviniuk, CEO of Trillium Advisory Group, brought a thought-provoking question to the forefront: “Why do you work in construction?” This question prompts reflection on motivating factors and what drives you. Understanding the deeper purpose behind one’s work can lead to increased job satisfaction and a sense of unity among colleagues. It reminds us that the construction industry serves a vital role in society, and finding meaning in our work is essential.

The core of Liviniuk’s presentation was uncovering that the construction industry spends a sizable portion of its day searching for data, and only a small fraction of the data generated in construction projects is put to meaningful use. To address this issue, she highlighted the importance of a real digital twin.

A real digital twin acts as a single pane of glass, providing a comprehensive view of project data in real time. It was emphasized that a 3D model alone does not constitute a digital twin; it requires automation and integration to be truly effective. By harnessing the power of data and technology, construction professionals can increase efficiency and productivity.

Leadership and Organizational Culture

Craig Fischer, Industry Culture Strategist at Procore, stressed the significance of leadership and organizational culture in the construction industry. He pointed out that leaders must embody the values of the organization and actively cascade them through the management hierarchy. The question posed was: “How can the construction industry use culture as a strategy?” Fischer urged attendees to consider whether their organizational culture supports or hinders innovation.

Innovation for Safety and Performance

Jonathan Elliot and Trevor Edwards from Hilti asked: “When you think of Hilti, what comes to mind? Drills, high-priced products, anchors, and what else?” Another descriptor was added to that list: innovation. They displayed this innovation by demonstrating the difficulty in holding a rotary hammer above shoulder level versus the support an exoskeleton can offer enhancing performance and preventing injury.


The conference dispelled the myth of AI job displacement, encouraged professionals to find purpose in their work, emphasized the importance of data utilization, and highlighted the role of leadership and culture in fostering innovation. By embracing these takeaways, we can evolve and thrive in an ever-changing landscape that is asking us to be more efficient, purpose-driven, and innovative.