The construction world is full of dangers this week – paparazzi poised to pounce, company names to trip over, bungling waiters, errors of protocol – even the angel at the top of the tree is fearful...
Who says construction isn’t glamorous? Mace has just won the chance, courtesy of a charity auction, to appear in OK! – the weekly glossy magazine for celebrity watchers everywhere. OK! is sending its scandal-sensitive reporters and snappers to cover Mace’s Christmas party in all its glory. Staff might want to think twice before getting into any compromising situations on the dancefloor – our industry and one-and-a-half million OK! magazine readers will be watching.
Enforcing the follow-on
Perhaps inspired by how the Australians are overhauling the the England cricket team at the moment, I hear that their compatriots at Bovis Lend Lease are planning a further shake-up of its UK management structure. Apparently, Murray Coleman, the chief executive, is looking for a new head honcho to manage the northern division and possibly act as his deputy chief executive. Watch this space.
Fools and horses
The problems with Ascot’s grandstand have been reported but John Doyle chairman Stef Stefanou had a different problem at the racecourse recently. Wanting to entertain some business associates, Stefanou hired a box, complete with champagne buffet and waiters. Alas, the apparent cluelessness of the service staff meant Stefanou was obliged to hand out the champagne and canapes himself. He’ll be hoping for more success the next time he goes to the races – he’s just bought himself a racehorse.
Naming and shaming
The first thing to do when working on a new project, all management consultants will tell you, is learn the names of the people you are working with. Unfortunately, culture secretary Tessa Jowell hasn’t heeded this advice and insisted on calling the delivery partner consortium CML – as opposed to CLM – all the way through last week’s highly-charged select committee meeting on the Olympics budget. Many sniggers later, an embarrassed colleague had to not-so subtly lean over and correct his boss.
Sir Will Alsop has won this year’s Barbara Miller Award from the Forum for the Built Environment, according to top law firm Pinsent Masons. Unfortunately for Pinsent Masons, Alsop has not actually received a knighthood, but whether the famously rebellious architect will sue for libel is not yet known.
With Christmas just around the corner, most of us are gearing ourselves up for some onerous present buying, but consultant EC Harris has a much bigger task on its Christmas to-do list. The company is charged with making sure that the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree reaches its destination from Norway, then it has to erect and dress it. The lights on the tree are set to be turned on next Thursday – let’s hope none are on the blink after a year in storage. That kind of thing can seriously dent a reputation.
Roger Madelin, joint chief executive of developer Argent Group, played his part in reducing carbon emissions last week by arriving on his bicycle at CoreNet Global UK’s summit, “Climate Change for CRE”. Jonathon Porritt, chairman of the UK Sustainable Development Commission, told an audience of corporate real estate professionals that “it's time to wake up and smell the carbon”. Let’s hope Roger was holding his breath while riding through the West End.
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