Project People – Ask Yourself This. Why This Company?

What Am I Working Here?

When I worked for a global engineering company I had to gather my project team and give a presentation on ‘Why This Company?’ Basically why did people want to work there and would people want to go and work there?

I thought about it for a while. We were working in Iraq out of the UAE and it’s not the environment for some of the more ‘Western reasons’. Which tend to be rather intangible.



  • It’s an inspirational company
  • I will further my career
  • Looks great on the cv

and so on..

Good reasons but my guys were the more ‘down to earth’ types.

So I made some slides and gave the following reasons.

  1. You get paid
  2. You get paid on time as per your contract
  3. You get all the benefits stated in your contract
  4. The company does not discriminate in any way on race, religion, nationality, gender, age
  5. It has rules
  6. All management follow the rules
  7. You cannot be fired on a whim
  8. There are consequences for behaviour contrary to the company’s ethos
  9. There is grievance procedure for all
  10. The company is well funded

….I could go on but these were the main points, although it must be said that companies with the above attributes have a great commitment to HSSE.

Many of you may wonder why these were listed, but if you do? You haven’t worked for some of the companies my guys had been in. Many companies in the Philippines, India, Pakistan and the Middle East have none of the above reasons to work for them. Not one.

So if you’re sitting in a company go through those 10 points. If you can ring all those bells? Be happy. You know ‘why this company’.



NATO – I hope these guys don’t intend to fight a war any time soon

images-2The NATO Headquarters will be in the news this week. For all the wrong reasons.



Most of the project tools we use originate from the military. Critical Path Networking (Nuclear Submarines), Supply Chain Management, Cost Controls, etc.

But it seems that when it comes to using these tools to build a new headquarters the tools weren’t applied.

BUT – any project launched by an organisation of 29 countries to be run by the Belgian Authorities has one foot in the grave and the other on a skateboard.

The project was sanctioned in 1999. The project got underway in 2010.

The original budget was Euro 457.6 Million. A UK company called BAM UK won the contract at Euro 650 million but the Belgian Authority squeezed that down to Euro 240 million.

BAM UK ‘s motto is ‘we deliver what we promised on time and on budget. The final price will be in excess of Euro 1.4 Billion and it’s 4 years late.

The original project duration was 4 years. BAM UK managed to have that increased to 6 years. So, completion in 2016. It’s being opened this week mid-2018.

The NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said last week ‘that the building met it’s original budget and is only a year late’.

I suspect that the building is far from complete and that all cranes have been taken off site until President Trump goes to hit the white ball. But before he leaves that Euro 1.4 billion is going on Twitter.

A thought. Would your company have taken that project on?

My view?  I’d have grabbed that baby with both hands and dived in head first from a very great height.

Because. 1) NATO pay their bills 2) growth couldn’t be anything else but exceptionally high 3) the project would never be cancelled (too political) 4) it’s managed by the Belgian Authorities (Yahooooooo!!!!)

As I said in a previous blog What if a Risk Was An Opportunity in Disguise? This is a good example.

All it would remain to do is to mobilise a Claims Director as the first person on the project.