Engineering Business Excellence

Engineers as managers - Fresh out of engineering school I went to work as an "environmental consultant."  I was hired because I understood the science of fluid flow through porous media, basic chemistry, the principles of electric motors, and the mechanics of pumps, turbines and blowers.  My diploma certified that.  I was shocked to learn how little any of that applied when I was tossed in the deep end.

The real job was project management.  On a typical contract, I would deal with the client, the client's lawyer, state regulators, sometimes city and federal regulators, vendors, geologists, drill crews, construction managers and their employees, all being coordinated simultaneously to install a soil or groundwater cleanup.  Back in those early days I wore a hard-hat, might use a shovel, often fit pipe, and was always on hand to solve problems.

Good engineers are creative.  I knew this intuitively, but it took a touchy-feely human resources administrator to explain this to me.  I intellectualized creativity as art or music.  Talents I lack.  But problem solving is creativity too.  The media for my art are tools, calculators, blue-prints, charts and flow-diagrams.  The systematic approach to identifying and overcoming difficulty.

Add an Engineer to your toolbox - Operations are matters of processes, and processes consist of sequentially linked components the effect of which is a logically predictable outcome.  The first step is what in law school was called "issue spotting."  On law school exams, a set of facts were stated--usually something has happened and someone suffers a loss.  Students identify the issues and apply the law--who gets sued for what.  That's easy because hindsight is 20/20.

The "Trick" is Foresight - The challenge is avoiding trouble in the first place.  Identifying potential issues, assessing the risk and consequence, then making a conscious decision to eliminate the risk, mitigate the risk or do nothing based upon a cost benefit analysis.  The second task is planning for success.  Anticipating what happens when things go right.  Being in a position to capitalize on opportunity, reap the rewards of success through a business sale or retirement, continuing your creation by implementing a sound succession plan.

It's what Engineers do - We plan.  We analyze risk.  My legal education, engineering skills and business experience can all be applied to your business, family and life.  The combination of my talents provide you a unique perspective.  My mission is restoring the concept of Legal Counsel and applying it to client's needs.  It is my goal to become and indispensable part of your team.  The place you turn first for sounding your ideas, solving problems and making plans.

© William Hudnall 2011

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