Three Things GCs Will Need To Be Successful in 2021

Three Things GCs Will Need To Be Successful in 2021


We are living in unprecedented times. At least that is what we often hear in the news media and from many of the social media channels through which we engage. Much of what we incorporate into our minds and our thought processes would lead us to believe that the challenges that we are facing are insurmountable. That is false.

A longer view of history will show that we have faced monumental challenges before. At least three things will get us through the current crisis, and they are somewhat sequential. Here they are for your consideration.


In business, we are often focused on getting an agreement. Agreements come from compromise. And compromise is not a bad thing. There is a maxim that I have come to embrace, and it says the following. “I prefer clarity over agreement.” It is attributed to a radio talk-show host that I find fascinating. I don’t profess to fully understand the meaning of that maxim. But I understand the value of clarity when looking at a challenge or crisis. It is not vital that we agree on how or why we find ourselves in a crisis. But we must see it clearly and be able to define or describe it in a way that both of us can accept the definition. This is first and foremost. Only then can we address the crisis.


Perhaps it is the writer in me that is drawn to the creative aspects of life.  Creativity is vital in a crisis. Once we have faced a crisis, we know how to face it if it comes again. But, how do we deal with it initially? We must be creative if we are going to succeed in overcoming the crises and challenges that we face. We must find new and unique solutions when the old approaches no longer work.


Is there anything more in short supply than courage today? Everyone is seeking a safe, secure, and simple approach to a crisis or challenge. Those approaches do not often take you to a place of success. And they will rarely take you to a place that few will ever reach. It is the courage to see clearly and to be creative that will bring you the greatest outcome from a crisis.

At Butler-Cohen, we never closed our doors,
even during the worst of the COVID and the ensuing lockdowns.

But what does that have to do with design+build construction?

We are still in the midst of an economic crisis that many have not seen since the oil embargo of 1973 and 1974 or the Financial Crisis of 2008 and 2011. These events crippled our economy and wiped out billions of dollars of assets and saw the collapse of one of the biggest investment banks in the world. You could argue that our current economy is on the brink of a similar collapse. And if it is, what will it take to avoid a collapse or recover from a collapse if that is unavoidable?

I submit that it will take clarity, creativity, and courage.

At Butler-Cohen, we are clear in our purpose and our approach to each unique construction environment. We can see clearly how to build within inhabited facilities that operate 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. We can see how to build educational facilities for future generations. And we can see how to build in remote or desolate areas where there is no infrastructure to support our work.

We are creative in our approach. These are challenging times and project owners are seeking creative solutions that will meet their vision and will allow them to be good stewards of the dollars that are at their disposal. Budgets are tight and contingencies are slim. So, we must bring creative solutions that are value-driven and functionally superior.

And we must continue to be courageous. At Butler-Cohen, we never closed our doors during the worst of the COVID and the ensuing lockdowns. We viewed our role as vital to the economy and vital to our clients who are counting on us to deliver solutions that meet their design objectives.

What about you? Do you value clarity, creativity, and courage as much as we do? We believe that it is characteristics like these that will guide us through this economic crisis and will continue to make Butler-Cohen successful for our clients.

Will you join us and pledge to face 2021 with clarity, creativity, and courage?


Kevin Bowser joined Butler-Cohen just as Covid-19 and the Lockdowns were ramping up. However, he has great confidence in Butler-Cohen and in the human spirit to rise above the challenges that we face right now.


Photo credit: Featured Photo by Kimon Maritz