Canadian Construction Association (CCA) chair Chris McNally says the association’s recently unveiled strategic plan will be more provocative and work harder to unite the industry.
“Fracturing into different segments does not help our collective cause,” he told CCA members who attended the board meeting over the weekend at the 100th annual conference in Banff, Alta. “We are much stronger together.”
The 2018-2023 strategic plan sets out a new mission, vision and values as well as areas of focus that ultimately aim to “build a better Canada.”
“This started long before I arrived at CCA,” said CCA president Mary Van Buren of the planning process.
“Throughout the year the leadership, as they met with partner associations and members, they were listening for some of the key issues.”
After Van Buren came on board several planning sessions were held with stakeholders, staff, members and the executive in order to hash out what the plan should focus on.
“We need to work more closely with our partner associations,” she stated. “We have to be a lot more sensitive to what CCA does and how it affects the associations and also to build on each other’s strengths.”
The new plan’s mission, it reads, is to “inspire a progressive, innovative and sustainable construction industry that consistently acts with integrity.”
The values outlined in the plan centre around industry first, Van Buren stated, adding “every decision we make has to be the lens of, is this the best for the (construction) community, is this the best for the industry?”
Other values included being innovative, inclusive, smart and débrouillard – a French word that McNally said was used purposely “to communicate that we are an English and French speaking community. It’s also a very good value. It’s more of a concept…it’s innovative and risk taking.”
“As we look to the next five years, we considered various factors that could result in different scenarios for the industry,” McNally stated. “Strategic planning is all about making choices and then ensuring that there is an understanding of what needs to be done.”
There are three specific priorities the CCA outlines in its plan.
The first is uniting the industry while championing national issues. This means re-positioning the image of the industry and addressing the workforce shortage by attracting underrepresented groups such as women, Indigenous Canadians, new Canadians and others not only to the industry but to the leadership and membership.
“We’d like to attract more women, younger, Indigenous folks, so how do we do that?” Van Buren said. “Same with our board.”
When it comes to championing national issues, Van Buren said this may mean scaling back on being vocal on numerous topics and deepening the influence on government.
“Maybe we need to cut back a little bit and look at more impactful activities,” she explained. “That is something that came up.”
The second priority looks at leading the construction industry in adopting best practices. The plan indicates becoming an “information hub to quickly and effectively connect members to valued
resources, emphasizing technology and innovation adoption.”
“The industry suffers from an image of being a traditional industry,” McNally stated. “The government, the public and the workforce do not see us as progressive at leveraging technology from site management software to 3-D printing. We must and will change that.”
Part of this includes sharing CCA’s “thought leadership” in an accessible format and being digital first in communications, content and services, the plan reads.
The last priority aims to broaden the membership and drive member value.
The plan states working with partner associations goes hand in hand with this goal, as well as ensuring all voices are represented, from colleges and universities to owners.
It also includes seeking non-dues revenue services to fund activities; considering a tiered services delivery model versus one-tiered; and reviewing the CCA governance model, which is currently underway.
McNally said overall the new plan is clearly defined and easy to understand, while laying the groundwork for the future.
“We exist to advance the collective interests of the construction industry,” he said. “This strategy goes farther.”