With my last post I spoke of the necessity of members of the AEC industry to sweat the small stuff; to consider all of the issues related to putting a project together. This week, I will explore the best way to accomplish this.
We often hear about how graduates from architecture and engineering programs have very little practical/technical knowledge in their field. The complaints seem to be loudest from seasoned professionals such as myself. In response to this, I concentrate on mentoring young professionals in an effort to pay forward the mentoring I received in the late seventies and early eighties as a young professional just getting into the field.
That said, new graduates and young professionals come armed with the most recent thinking on theoretical issues and solutions to some of the issues we all face. They have so much to offer, that we need to listen to what they have to say. We need for mentoring to be a two way street, as we can all learn from one another. Example: the seamless transition of our practice from hand drafting to CAD back in the nineties was made possible by a young professional with knowledge that I didn’t have. She made it possible in a two week time span to have our electronic drawings look like our hand drafted work.
The best way I know of to make the two-way intentional transfer of knowledge happen is through CSI. In order for the two way exchange of knowledge to take place, we have to make certain that we get the young professionals to our meetings. The invitation needs to be made on a personal basis, regardless of how the invitation is delivered (face to face, e-mail, social media, or even (gasp) a phone call. The future of the industry depends on it.