Back in 2017 I read Speed of Trust by Stephen MR Covey and came across this story:

In the construction industry, which is typically very ‘win/lose’ and adversarial between contractors and subcontractors, Shea Homes decided to create a different model. Among the many steps they took, they renamed their subs as ‘trade partners’ and opened their financials to them on shared projects. They were transparent. Their operating premise was, ‘We want to win, but we want you to win, too. And together, we can better help our customers win. So how can we make this work?’…

The difference between this and the traditional adversarial approach was like night and day. And the results they achieved reflected an enormous trust dividend on nearly every measure: the number of days it took them to build homes went down, costs went down, quality errors decreased, customer satisfaction increased, and referrals from customers increased. They made more money. Their partners made more money. Their customers were happier. Everybody won.

The Shea Homes example clearly shows the impact of a mutual benefit agenda on trust.

A few months later, I ended up in conversation with the author and he introduced me to the Dalton Company who have a similarly interesting story. This fascinated me, as the chair of JCT was said we cannot have trust (or simple contracts) in construction…

Do you agree?

What should you do?

You too could swim against the adversarial tide and introduce more trust in your contract contents or more collaboration in your contracting process.

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