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IDP: Building Productive Relationships through Collaborative Behaviours

Ben Ward, director of Kura Consulting and one of the IDP’s delivery partners, explains how conversations between subcontractors can unlock innovation.


One of the most exciting elements of the Innovation Driven Procurement (IDP) Project is that is gives a voice to expert tradesmen and craftsmen. Individuals and teams who are specialists in their own fields, these are the people often the best placed to drive innovation. They not only understand what works and what doesn’t, but also what improvements could be made. I remember running a session asking, ‘What changes would you make right now if you could?’ and there was certainly no shortage of great ideas.


So, imagine the power of all this expertise, wisdom and experience being shared collaboratively to drive innovation. Imagine how this could impact and change construction projects or even the industry as a whole?


The key to all of this is that individuals need to be able to work together collaboratively, not just within their own team, but beyond. A great idea that is never shared or listened to, is an idea that will never create change.


Module 1 of the IDP: Collaborative Behaviours is designed to help people identify the type of behaviour that encourages and creates collaboration. This in turn drives greater efficiency and effectiveness, as well as initiating and driving change. The overall aim of the module is for individuals to develop the attitudes and behaviours required to build strong, productive and collaborative relationships.


Central to the module is the idea that we can all change or adapt our individual behaviours to create a different impact or outcome. It also clarifies that our behaviour is completely within our own control. The module also helps people to understand the kinds of things that can impact our behaviours. For example, how we feel in any given moment, or attitudes towards other people. Raising our own self awareness gives a choice about how we choose to behave.


In particular, the module raises awareness of how our behaviour can impact others, and of course, impact our relationships and ability to collaborate.


Participants that have already been through the module have all taken away many changes that they can make to their behaviour to create greater collaboration and build stronger relationships. Here are examples of their feedback:

“I will be more open with how I interact”

“Understand others’ opinions and their feelings”

“It has made me more aware of my ability to influence”

“I will think and ask more questions”


Participants in the module were highly engaged throughout. They were often honest enough to say they did not know what to expect at the start, but soon got into the swing of things, making great contributions and diving headfirst into the exercises.


For many, this was the first time they had engaged in a programme of this type. They enjoyed the opportunity, making many insightful comments and displaying a high level of personal reflection - the key to any learning.

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