In a conversation recently about one of the leading management consultancies in the UK, an employee discussed their career plans. Now in their 40s and doing well for the company in question, he openly and acceptingly discussed the fact that the business he had devoted so many years to didn’t like to keep employees over the age of 50. He was planning his inevitable next steps. How they managed to make this happen without some healthy lawsuits coming their way is left to the imagination, but it seems to us that this company is missing a trick.

One of the things that we know to be true is that while we may not live in a culture that values age, there is very little substitute for experience. Especially when it comes to successfully handling construction claims. The most intelligent amongst us may bring fantastic ideas to the table, but that’s only part of what goes into achieving positive outcomes for clients.

It’s a potent combination of:

  • Professional knowledge
  • Skill
  • And empathy

From qualifications to emotional intelligence

In the first instance, of course you need professional knowledge and qualifications to deal in construction claims effectively. For example, our Executive Director and Former Chairman Bob Jervis, is head of Tungsten Capital’s Expert Witness division. He is a quantity surveyor. He is author of a number of notable publications, specialist studies and reports for industrial and public sector clients. And he sits as the Chairman of the RICS Professional Assessment Committee.

For all the knowledge in the world however, you have to know how to use it. To a greater or lesser extent, that means having experience. We all know that just because something makes sense on paper doesn’t mean it’s going to work out in real life. Experience is how you develop skill.

Then there’s the human component. In construction claims, much is about fact. Keeping good records. Project management. Documentation. All these things are vital. However, there are also a lot of intangibles, especially as a lot of those practical things we just mentioned are invariably not done very well to begin with.

Perhaps the least tangible, and most overlooked, element is the emotion that goes with a construction claim. For those at the coalface of a claim, it can be extremely worrying and anxiety making. That’s usually where relationships break down, building works stop and costs spiral from the fallout of further delays.

Work with the best

The combination of professional skillset and human empathy is something of a unicorn in any professional field. On balance, it’s best honed over time. This is where Tungsten Capital has always prioritised having the best on its team. For us, the best means people who combine all these things, and who are motivated because they enjoy what they do and how they work.

So, many members of our team are the consultants who are in their ‘third careers’. They’ve seen it, done it, got the t-shirt. Nothing surprises them, and nothing daunts them. They are skilled, empathetic and highly experienced. They work on claims as they choose to, and are an invaluable support for clients. Then they enjoy more time for themselves when they want to as well.

Of course, this is all combined with the latest in technology and project management, but in construction claims, that’s not enough. The bottom line is about experience, skill and empathy, and dare we say it, we’re experts at finding unicorns.