The Company You Keep
Updated: Jun 4
What separates great communities from good? I believe it’s the same thing that separates great businesses from good. Culture.
Think about it. There are plenty of very good companies providing outstanding products and services at a competitive price. Yet, some of these companies will succumb to market pressures and go out of business, or lose their level of excellence that kept them at the top. You begin seeing employee turnover, poor maintenance, wage freezes, and other telltale signs. Worse yet, people start to talk.
Great companies, on the other hand, feature long-tenured employees that leverage a shared pride. They truly enjoy what they do, and with whom they do it. They can speak for each other with near clairvoyance. The fact they provide an outstanding product or service at a great price is secondary. Their competitive advantage is culture. They pull the same direction at all times.
Communities are the same. An aligned commitment to ongoing excellence keeps strong communities growing positively. Visual clues include a dedication to education, to safety, to business, to family, and to friends. When community culture starts to crack, negative influences start creeping in (deferred road maintenance, car break-ins, decreasing home values, etc.). Successful communities see their neighbors as more than a tax base. They represent a culture of sustained excellence and shared values.
So why has BDR been growing at such an accelerated rate? During RFP’s, I’m positive our competitors make very strong cases for their people and expertise, and priced comparably to us (making cost a long-term non-separator). If all things are generally equal (perceived expertise, similar experience, price), I believe our culture creates a distinct advantage. It’s palpable. We care about each other, about the work we do, and about the clients we serve.
That, and our long-term perspective of projects. Most of our projects have lifespans that will exceed 50 years. Taking ownership quickly certainly helps monetize that investment, but there are decades more to come. Throughout the lifespan, facility value must be maximized. Here, you need extraordinary master planning capabilities, collaboration, stakeholder commitment, accountability, and agility. Considering how important this facility is to the community, a long-term value-add perspective cannot be overlooked of minimized.
The company you keep says a lot about you. And it says a lot about me.