BIM Brunch: Elizabeth Kavanagh

BIM Brunch is the perfect accompaniment to your dinner break. Featuring some major players from the #GlobalBIMCrew, BIM Brunch is an interview feature where industry specialists talk about their passion for Building Information Modelling amongst other topics of conversation.

Stopping by for BIM Brunch today is Elizabeth Kavanagh, Head of HR and Innovation and Research at Stride Treglown. Elizabeth has played a crucial part in the cultural regeneration of Stride’s business following BIM adoption, helping create major results. Elizabeth is also BIM Champion for the South West BIM Region and also the Founder of Behaviours4Collaboration, an industry group you can learn more about in the interview.

What is your favourite career related website/blog?

At present it is probably LinkedIn as I can share information with contacts, and I manage two groups. I use it both for the South West BIM Region and Behaviours4Collaboration although I am sure something will supersede this in time.

Do you have a favourite industry book, magazine or publication?

I look forward to the research reports done by NBS as they give a good annual overview of where the industry is at right now. I dare say that annual will prove too slow in future but for now it is really useful.

The top industry event you have recently been to is?

My favourite recently was the Irish Embassy Reception as part of Digital Construction Week. Plenty of old friends and a few new ones too – what more could you ask?

Favourite Twitter handles to follow?

I read @EEPaul as he gets all over town and is as networked as a spider in a rather large web. I grab insights from whichever conferences he is at and we have similar interests – except ale as I prefer gin!

What is your all-time favourite building?

The first building that really struck me was Bowood House when I visited as a child. I really wanted to live there and experience the connection between the landscape and spectacular gardens, which are key to that. With my own house renovation I will obviously seek to recreate it!

What is your favourite project/initiative you have worked on?

The Behaviours4Collaboration project which is to specify the behaviours of collaboration, such as a great effort from a team completely committed to shaping the culture of the industry from adversarial into a collaborative culture.

What is the best thing about the team at Stride Treglown?

The team at Stride Treglown are open-minded and flexible and really driven, plus they laugh at themselves which is pretty necessary.

What was the first BIM related project or initiative you have been a part of and what did you learn from the experience?

I was involved early on in the software training of our team and my interest was sparked once I realised that it is not just about software or process but people. This has shaped our BIM and HR strategy markedly and I am part of our core BIM team working with them on this culture change.

The most exciting possibilities Building Information Modelling can offer are?

A shift in our culture, relationships and mindset from adversarial to collaborative which will lead us to an industry which is more attractive to new entrants and with time, more diverse.

Who or what made you want to work within the Architecture, Engineering and Construction sector?

The challenge of setting up an HR team within an architectural practice with no existing HR practices was what drew me to it. What is keeping me engaged in this industry is the challenge of shifting our culture.

What is your proudest career highlight?

Stride Treglown this year achieved an overall employee engagement of 83% which compared with the average for the UK workforce at 38% is really good. In real terms, this means our team really wants to be here and enjoy their roles with us and that has translated into really strong performance for the practice – which is reason to be pretty proud I think!

What is the best part about your job?

It is definitely the people I work with and the opportunity to see them thrive, particularly through my coaching role which I absolutely love as it means I am part of their journey.

Connect with Elizabeth on social media to extend the conversation: LinkedIn | Twitter

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Image Credit: Stride Treglown