Reflections on Service

Written by Daniel Perednia, Property Services, Carpenter & MacNeille

As we approach the holiday season and the end of another year, our lives become full of opportunities to reflect and set new goals and resolutions for the year to come.  This can be an impactful time in our personal and professional lives and is often a moment when we can refer to our respective core values and calibrate how to best carry out our missions. 

My area of focus in the building industry is Property Services.  It is a dynamic facet of our industry that enables us to maintain and fortify the efforts of those who design, build, engineer, and craft spaces for people to live in and enjoy.  The term “Property Services” is a rose by many names in our industry, but the key word I feel encompasses the shared mission across our industry is “service.”  This could carry different meanings for our respective roles and in our professional relationships with clients and colleagues alike, thus raising the question: how can we help?

In our industry, there can be a variety of challenges, changes, demands, and circumstances that must be navigated thoughtfully to best serve those in our care.  A man whose approach to handling such matters comes to mind – Colonel John Boyd. He served in the US Air Force from 1945-1975, beginning his military career in the Air Force reserves while studying economics at the University of Iowa. He eventually became a Colonel and renowned military strategist.  Colonel Boyd developed a concept called the “OODA Loop.” Originally designed to train pilots in conducting successful air-to-air combat missions, the concept has since been applied to a variety of disciplines as a tool to help people problem-solve and make sound decisions no matter the situation.

Observe: Collection of data and information (unfolding circumstances, outside information, environment, guidance, and control)

Orient: Analysis and synthesis of data (Accounting of the relationship between the circumstances, information at hand, overall goals and mission, and the relationship between new information and previous experiences.)

Decide: Hypothesis based on the observations and orientation of the situation or environment, guided by the end goal or mission.

Act: Taking or proposing action on the decision.

In the variety of challenges, changes, demands, and circumstances we encounter in our industry, the path to a resolution are not always clear. Surely, we can all envision a scenario we have encountered where it may have felt like there is no one obvious or best solution.  We all face unique challenges, whether it is making the right hire, being short-staffed, materials shortages, or maybe it is discovering a severely rotted building envelope when you simply set out to replace a window! Nonetheless, the “OODA Loop” is a cyclical and versatile model that presents an opportunity to think critically about decision-making and provide feedback that enables us to improve upon previous experiences.  

In summary, as we set out on new challenges and reflect on our past experiences, we can better answer the question of how to help by applying some tactical approaches to accomplishing our goals in order to better serve those around us. 



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