Article tools: Share:

The Right Way

Español | Translation Sponsored by TCA

I had the honor of filling in for Shawn Hickey during World of Concrete as I presented the 4-hour tilt-up certification preparatory seminar to a packed room of certification candidates. After giving them the disappointing news that I was their substitute teacher for the day due to Shawn being trapped in Canada, I asked how many in the room were taking this course to get into the tilt-up industry for the first time. Nearly 70 percent of the people raised their hand. Seventy percent of the folks in that room were new to tilt-up construction. In times of growth like this, education is essential. Kudos to them for being in the room. Let’s hope they continue to show up.

The next thing I did was acknowledge that there are many right ways to do things. People often get hung up on this idea and think that their way is the only right way, which causes defensiveness and unwillingness to consider alternative strategies. Instead, I wanted them to get comfortable with the idea that we all do some things differently and that there is opportunity in that.

In 2013, the New York Times published data gathered from 350,000 survey responses to a quiz titled “How Y’all, Youse and You Guys Talk.” The questions were based on the Harvard Dialect Survey, a linguistics project begun in 2002 by Bert Vaux and Scott Golder. The playful quiz offers insight into how the way we talk says a lot about where we’re from.

Construction is very much like a language. Just as each region has its own dialect, various parts of the country/world approach tilt-up construction differently. Sometimes this is due to environmental conditions or code regulations, and sometimes it is simply the result of how the trade, or craft, was passed down through the generations.

One must be careful, though, when adopting practices simply to satisfy those who insist “that’s the way we’ve always done it.” Most of us know the anecdotal story of the mother who, before placing the ham in the oven for baking, cut off both ends (google it if you don’t). While some intricacies of execution are endearing and add to the culture of a given construction community, it is crucial to be open-minded to new ways of thinking.

One of the roles the Tilt-Up Concrete Association plays in the industry is to ensure that efficiencies developed or discovered on the West Coast, for example, are communicated with those working in the South and vice versa. At the same time, one can learn of a mistake made in the Midwest and avoid repeating the error in the Northeast. 

With a growth mindset, there is a tremendous opportunity to learn from one another. The TCA is proud to be the vehicle for progress in this regard. Whether you are new to the industry or a seasoned veteran, don’t get hung up on your way, and take seriously the opportunity to learn from others.

Leave A Comment

Get Connected

Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Connect with us on LinkedIn
Subscribe to us on YouTube


About us

TILT-UP TODAY, a publication of the Tilt-Up Concrete Association, is THE source for Tilt-Up industry news, market intelligence, business strategies, technical solutions, product information, and other resources for professionals in the Tilt-Up industry. A subscription to TILT-UP TODAY is included in a TCA membership. Subscriptions for potential TCA members are also available. If you would like to receive a complimentary subscription to the publication, please contact the TCA.