Turner Construction Company Senior Vice President Offers Keynote on Lean Leadership at American Institute of Constructors Annual Forum

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Matt Papenfus, Turner senior vice president, discusses Turner’s lean culture and the value of leadership by example

It is the lean leader who must set a vision for a better future and empowering employees to continuously improve towards it.

Turner Construction Company Senior Vice President Matt Papenfus offered a keynote address on lean leadership by example at the American Institute of Constructors’ Annual Forum in Fort Worth, Texas.

Mr. Papenfus’ remarks focused on leadership strategies for moving beyond the use of lean methods and tools, or “doing lean,” to “being lean.” He described Turner’s own journey, and looked at how the company is internalizing a larger lean framework and building a learning organization that embraces challenges as opportunities for improvement and that trusts the employees closest to those challenges to overcome them. Using the scientific method embodied in the Plan-Do-Check-Adjust cycle, employees solve problems, reduce waste, improve efficiencies, and deliver greater value to clients.

“Though companies often reap some of the early benefits of lean, the vast majority eventually stumble or stall in their lean journey,” said Mr. Papenfus. He continued, “As a result, they fail to realize the full potential of lean to dramatically improve client satisfaction, employee happiness, profitability, competitiveness, and organizational agility. This is why leading by example is so important. It is the lean leader who must set a vision for a better future and empowering employees to continuously improve towards it.”

Mr. Papenfus began his career with Turner 25 years ago in the company’s Chicago office. He currently serves as senior vice president with responsibility for the operations of Turner’s Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Denver and Kansas City offices. He is also the senior leader driving the company-wide adoption and implementation of lean practices.

Turner Construction Company
Turner is a North America-based, international construction services company. Founded in 1902, Turner first made its mark on the industry pioneering the use of steel-reinforced concrete for general building, which enabled the company to deliver safer, stronger, and more efficient buildings to clients. The company continues to embrace emerging technologies and offers an increasingly diverse set of services. With an annual construction volume of $10 billion, Turner is the largest builder in the United States, ranking first in the major market segments of the building construction field, including healthcare, education, sports, commercial, and green building. The firm is a subsidiary of HOCHTIEF, one of the world’s leading international construction service providers. For more information please visit http://www.turnerconstruction.com.

HOCHTIEF is one of the most international construction groups worldwide. The company delivers complex infrastructure projects, in some cases on the basis of concession models. The Group operates in the transportation infrastructure, energy infrastructure and social/urban infrastructure segments as well as in the contract mining business.

With about 53,000 employees and a sales volume of more than EUR 22 billion in FY 2014, HOCHTIEF is represented in all the world’s major markets. With its subsidiary Leighton, the Group is market leader in Australia. In the USA, the biggest construction market in the world, HOCHTIEF is the No. 1 general builder via its subsidiary Turner and, with Group company Flatiron, ranks among the most important players in the field of transportation infrastructure construction. Because of its engagement for sustainability, HOCHTIEF has been listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes since 2006. Further information is available at http://www.hochtief.de/press.

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Christopher McFadden
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Turner Construction Company
since: 03/2012
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