Executive Leadership Vital to Tech Implementation


Implementing changes to how a business is run is no small task, especially when it comes to construction technology. With many moving parts, ensuring everybody within an organization is on the same page is essential. Despite the disruption that introducing new tech can cause, successful adaptation helps keep up in the competitive construction industry and allows progessive, innovative firms like McKeon to lead.  


With the Irish construction industry requiring all the innovation and tech solutions it can get to solve the housing crisis, the pace of change is set to be rapid. Utility Magazine explains in the following article how executive leadership can help ease such tech transitions, making sure technology, people, and business processes work together for success: https://utilitymagazine.com.au/the-role-of-executive-leadership-in-successful-tech-implementation/ 



As reiterated in the Utility article, technology should work for your business, not against it – this might sound obvious, but it is not always so clear. With so many tech solutions out there, the process of selecting the right one can often be a team effort. For this reason, it is advised to form an innovation team to evaluate construction technology and decide which should be implemented. As well as those from IT departments, those in the business who would actually use the tech on a day-to-day basis should be on the innovation team.


The team should establish whether the tech helps the business meet its goals and, if so, does it benefit the company more than other available solutions? It is critical to establish a clear set of business requirements, distinguishing between necessities and niceties, thus aiding discussion.


In this process, executive leadership’s role is to empower the innovation team to articulate the business’ vision for the future, keeping the focus on client-centred efficiencies and needs. An effective leader will keep the team’s focus tight, observing when nice-to-haves are being misconstrued as must-haves.


A well-informed team will look for the following:


– Standardisation across projects and divisions

– Look for ways to eliminate duplication of data

– Centralised reporting

– Implement technology to create a more data-driven organisation


With no tech ticking every box, executive leadership needs to be creative in marrying solutions, ensuring business goals are met.



Effective change management also comes under the purview of executive leadership. Tech or otherwise, making a transition period as easy and smooth as possible for people within an organization is the responsibility of leaders.


According to Prosci, the industry-standard framework for implementing change, modifications to the way business is done begins with awareness and desire. People need to be aware of why change needs to occur; otherwise, they may prove resistant. This should lead to a willingness to enact and accept the change, even supporting its implementation.


Executive leadership plays a key role here in effectively communicating the need for changes. Conveying support for change early and clearly helps managers implement solutions. Leaders can do this by focussing on the company’s long-term vision, explaining how these changes help move towards that.


Getting this message across to everyone within an organization is also the responsibility of executive leadership. It is widely understood that individuals understand the need for change better when the reasons are communicated directly from credible ‘leaders’ – this does not necessarily equate to management level..


Messaging should come in the form of an inclusive meeting, if possible, or a well-written email.


Whether a meeting in person or an email, the following should be addressed:


– How the changes align with the company’s vision

– Addressing problems and opportunities

– Why change now

– The risks


While the communication should be direct from executive leaders, managers can help assuage concerns and reinforce the positive message regarding the changes. Formation of a steering group is recommended for larger organisations, regularly meeting to discuss progress and solutions to areas of concern.


Resistance management techniques are therefore vital for executive leadership should there be push back from managers. While concerns should be listened to and addressed through one-on-ones,  it should be clear that the change itself is not optional. Everyone needs to pull together to implement key changes. Celebrating successes will help maintain momentum, encouraging the continued implementation of solutions.


Measuring the implementation of solutions will ensure change is happening at the desired pace. Using metrics such as adoption rates and other performance indicators will allow executive leaders to review progress.



Construction technology will only solve problems if employed with sound business processes. While construction tech allows a wealth of data in the form of reports and analytics, these insights are only possible if good practices are in place.


Executive leadership can help here by clearly defining processes linked to new tech solutions. These should be clearly defined through the formalised documentation of standard processes.

 Again, a steering group should assess milestones and implementation schedules, ensuring change is happening according to plan. Therefore, it is advised to introduce end-user training as this results in better productivity and a higher adoption rate of new tech.


Finally, the above article urges that executive leadership to be at the forefront of change, supporting and implementing change through example. Remaining resolute that the changes are worthwhile and will result in the achievement of long-term goals helps keep an organization positive and ensures the successful implementation of construction tech solutions.



About McKeon Group

Established in 1950 and ISO certified for more than two decades, McKeon Group offers expert construction, fitout and building services. The family-run Group delivers projects, services and maintenance across a range of sectors for State, local authority, FDI and private clients. For more information, contact: www.mckeon.ie


Indoor Air Quality a Growing Concern

Ireland’s Proposed Workplace Ventilation Bill


Over the past 18 months, with much of the world ravaged by COVID-19, governments globally have resorted to implementing prolonged lockdowns to contain the spread of the virus. With only key workers out on our roads, many cities across the globe found a significant reduction in air pollution, with formerly smog-ridden landscapes in places like China experiencing clearer air.

 In an article for The Conversation, University of York Researchers David Carslaw and Nicola Carlslaw describe how, with outdoor pollution likely to reduce over the coming decades, there now needs to be an increased focus on indoor air quality. You can read this article in full here: https://theconversation.com/amp/air-pollution-exposure-is-shifting-from-outdoor-to-indoor-heres-why-163410

Earlier this week People Before Profit launched a campaign for the Workplace Ventilation Bill, which, if passed, could force bars and schools in Irelands with poor ventilation to close. The party’s Employment Rights spokesperson, Paul Murphy, says proper ventilation standards are needed to cap the amount of CO2 allowed indoors and enable workers to request an inspection if they’re concerned about compliance. Workplaces that fail to comply with an inspector’s ‘improvement notice’ could be forced to shut. Current laws require workplaces to ensure ‘sufficient fresh air’, however, there is no clarity about what this entails. McKeon Group company https://hereworks.ie specialises in Smart Buildings (and Happy Buildings!), with an expert focus on indoor air quality. With Irish construction standards resulting in increasingly insulated and airtight homes, concerns about indoor air quality are growing. 


Side-Effects of Electric Vehicle Use

The two researchers are at pains to point out that while a reduction in road traffic is good for photo opportunities comparing smog levels, other factors need to be considered regarding air pollution with far-reaching ramifications for indoor planning and facilities management.

With more and more people opting for electric vehicles and nation’s around the world setting cut-off dates for non-green vehicle production, it does appear the reign of fossil fuel is over. One of the most striking problems put forward as we move towards a greener future is that we may find an increase in respiratory problems.

 While vehicles have been one of the primary sources of air pollution over past decades, this move to electric vehicles means less nitrogen oxide is being released into the atmosphere. One of the few benefits of this pollutant is that it neutralises the toxic gas, ozone, released by industrial activity. High up in our atmosphere, this gas forms a protective seal around our planet, however, unneutralised and down in our communities and urban areas, it acts as a pollutant, causing respiratory problems like asthma.


Ozone Gas Moves Indoors

The concern is that this pernicious gas moves freely from outside to inside our buildings, through our windows, open doors, and even cracks in exterior walls, bringing the problem of outdoor pollutants well and truly indoors. Corroborating this claim is a 2020 UK government report that used computer modeling to establish a 50 percent increase in indoor ozone gas during COVID-19 related lockdowns.

 Worryingly, the University of York researchers explain that after finding its way indoors, ozone gas begins to react with chemicals related to indoor activity, such as household cleaning solutions. These newly emitted pollutants often pose significant risks to our health.


Indoor Air Pollution and Ventilation

Citing a report by the Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), the article explains that ozone is but one of the issues affecting indoor air quality. Common-place activities such as cooking a steak on a gas hob, for example, will release nitrogen oxide and particulates into our immediate environment, as well as the volatile organic compounds emitted from scented cleaning products and candles.

 The issue is also seen as compounding, with some of these harmful compounds forming new pollutants as they react with the higher levels of indoor ozone. Also compounding the issue is the increased use of airtight seals in modern construction. While these seals afford better energy efficiency, they don’t allow harmful gases and pollutants produced by indoor activity to escape. The emphasis on adequate ventilation systems is therefore expected to increase, aside from the pandemic-induced measures.

 And with many now continuing to work from home, our indoor air quality is more important than ever. Due to an increasing trend of spending time indoors, the majority of pollution we are likely to encounter in the future will come from within our own homes and workplaces.


A Complex Problem

While ventilation allows the dilution of pollutants, it offers the chance for more ozone gas to enter our buildings, meaning any proposed solutions are unlikely to be straightforward.

With long-term exposure to air pollution leading to serious health issues such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases, the need to understand the issue becomes pressing. The drive to produce clean air outside is making the issue of clean air inside a complex problem. The researchers point out that the effects of outdoor pollutants such as nitrogen oxide are relatively well understood compared to the indoor pollutants that have, so far, gone unstudied.

For expert advice in this area, contact the team at McKeon Group


About McKeon Group

Established in 1950 and ISO certified for more than two decades, McKeon Group offers expert construction, fitout and building services. The family-run Group delivers projects, services and maintenance across a range of sectors for State, local authority, FDI and private clients. For more information, contact: www.mckeon.ie