2013 Fall Conference Proceedings

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These videos were produced when the Geoprofessional Business Association was known as ASFE.

13-FA-Think Globally, Act Locally: Enterprise Risk Mgmt; Communicating Project Risk-Proving Your Value by Consulting in Practice
This video is only available to members; join GBA today to watch it.

After years of considering risk from a traditional perspective, looking only at own claims, the leadership of Vanasse Hagen Brustlin, Inc. (VHB), a Watertown, MA-based civil-engineering firm, set on a journey to learn what larger risks could interfere with VHB’s business. Putting it all down on paper helped provide a degree of clarity not previously experienced and helped the firm develop the risk-mitigation program the firm currently relies on. Bob and Maureen will describe the program as well as the gaps that remain and the firm’s plan for addressing them. Bob Dubinsky is a VHB senior principal, leading the firm’s resource practices. He is responsible for prioritizing and aligning firmwide initiatives with corporate strategy and business practices. Maureen is VHB’s deputy general counsel, responsible for negotiating contracts and overseeing claims and litigation. Both speakers are members of VHB’s Global Risk Committee.

Educating client representatives about project risk can quickly underscore a geoprofessional firm’s value while simultaneously reducing the risk for the benefit of the entire project team, including the client. The session will rely on entertaining skits acted by GBA-Member-Firm representatives who will simulate common project risk issues and demonstrate how, through consulting, we can demonstrate our substantial value and significantly increase the project’s chance of success. The skits will also show what could happen when we fail to consult adequately with our client representatives. (66 minutes)

13-FA-The Continuously Improving Safety Program
This video is only available to members; join GBA today to watch it.

Federal, state, and local regulations as well as client requirements make a continuously improving safety program more important than ever before. Ms. Sundquist will address some of the fundamental, programs GBA-Member Firms should implement along with:

  • the pros and cons of behavior-based safety;
  • incident investigations, how and when to conduct one, and who should investigate;
  • determining root causes and applying the lessons learned from incident investigations;
  • training; and
  • the good, the bad, and sometimes the ugly aspects of safety-recognition programs and what OSHA has to say about them.

(52 minutes)

13-FA-Risk in the Project Context
This video is only available to members; join GBA today to watch it.

Have you or your staff ever missed something in the field, broken a promise to a client representative, missed a report deadline, or lacked the gumption to tell a client “No”? Every panelist has and, if you haven’t, it’s just a matter of time: You will! Through case histories that expose “dirty laundry,” Rob, Keith, and Vic will tell us how they’ve learned to identify project risks and confront their challenges, and so illustrate how you, your company, and your client may benefit from doing likewise. Learning from others’ mistakes, thinking about risks before they materialize, knowing when there’s a problem, and taking a proactive approach can be extremely profitable…in more ways than one. (43 minutes)

13-FA-Getting to the C Level; Only Losers Sue White Knights
This video is only available to members; join GBA today to watch it.

When your major-client representative works at the client organization’s C level – CEO, COO, CFO, et al. – your scope is more robust, as is your project involvement; the financial and intellectual rewards can be gratifying. But how do you get to the C level? It’s not nearly as difficult as you might believe, providing you implement a well-thought-out strategy. John will relate a strategic approach almost any firm can follow in almost any market.

Lawyers and environmentalists benefit from doing pro-bono work, so why not geoprofessionals? Learn how to use your skills to solve problems in your community, so others see you as the proverbial “White Knight.” Put yourself in a position where anyone contemplating suing you will fear being labeled a money-grubbing, corporate fat-cat. How do you start? Judge your public image using a proven exercise that will be demonstrated during the presentation. If your firm is like Barry’s, the results will be revealing. Then develop an action plan for improving that image using the methods Barry will describe. (83 minutes)

13-FA-Covering Your Assets: The ROI of Internal Engagement
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People are the most precious asset of just about any professional-services firm. Is your firm doing enough to protect and develop those precious assets? Through this presentation, two emerging, industry leaders will share tips and tools to create successful internal engagement programs based on firsthand experiences and success. Learn how you can achieve staff loyalty and a high return on investment by offering an internal-engagement program that lowers turnover and increases efficiencies in recruiting, integrating, continually developing, and retaining staff. Greg is a co-founder of Golder’s professional-development group that earned a 2012 Environmental Business Journal Industry Leadership Award. Melissa completed 2012-13’s Fundamentals of Professional Practice (FOPP) Class 22, for which she conducted research to develop an outline for a future-leaders program for S&ME. She is currently working with S&ME’s leadership to develop and implement an internal future-leaders program. (45 minutes)

13-FA-Climate Change: Assess, Design, Act
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Climate change is redefining risk within our industry, if only because historic events are no longer reliable predictors of future conditions. As such, converting climate-change theory into implementable practices is the most-pressing challenge design professionals and planners now face. How do engineers and architects determine appropriate design criteria for structures with a 100-year life? How do planners develop land-use policies in areas that may no longer be able to support traditional uses? Lisa Dickson will provide guidance on how to assess and prioritize the risk in order to make informed decisions about resiliency and investment. (50 minutes)

13-FA-Business Basics, Reinvented for the Fast Future
This video is only available to members; join GBA today to watch it.

The “Fast Future” isn’t coming; it’s here. Over the next 20 years, large-scale transformation of our world will profoundly change almost everything, including many aspects of geoprofessional practice. This change will bring amazing opportunities for those who act, but also considerable threats for those who don’t. Organizations that adopt a business-as-usual approach will face a rocky ride, and even untimely death. Firm leaders should understand the scale and significance of Fast Future “uber-trends,” and the actions they as leaders should take now to ensure continued success tomorrow. (63 minutes)