How to Innovate | Ep 22



“Business has only two functions — marketing and innovation.” Peter Drucker

Marketing is about creating and keeping customers

Innovation concentrates on creating new levels of performance in one of three areas: people, product, and processes.

Innovation is hard because it requires change and doesn’t always work; therefore it gets resisted.

Angie Simon, President of Western Allied Mechanical, Inc. and incoming President of Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA), joins me again.

Today’s topic, how to implement process innovation, successfully.

Western Allied Mechanical, Inc. is an $85 million-dollar mechanical contractor in the Silicon Valley of California who employs over 220 people. SMACNA, is an industry association representing over 1,800 mechanical contractors in the United States and Canada.

Three Steps of Successful Process Innovation:

  1. Have one person be the “champion” of the innovation
  2. Explain the “why” to all parties to get buy in and a sense of ownership
  3. Show them the results and celebrate successes

Show Highlights

  • The resistance to innovation in the construction industry
  • How poor implementation led to the initial failure of Productivity Tracking
  • Hiring an Operations Manager, and tasking him to spearhead Productivity Tracking
  • The importance of proper roll out when introducing any innovation
  • Pick a “champion” to drive the process innovation
  • Clearly explain the “why” of the new process
  • How Productivity Tracking led to increasing the amount of prefabrication
  • Using Productivity Tracking to surface problems earlier, and celebrate successes more often
  • How Productivity Tracking impacted estimating
  • Why being willing to change is the best way to grow
  • Show the results and celebrate successes


Angie Simon LinkedIn
Western Allied Mechanical Inc. Website
Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association Website


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