Get Your Team On The Same Page With These Tactics | Bridging the Gap x Work Done Right™

Join hosts Wes Edmiston of Work Done Right and Todd Weyandt of Bridging the Gap as they tackle the pressing issues faced by the construction industry. In this crossover episode, they discuss the recent digital transformation progress in construction and maintenance. Despite increasingly impactful technology deployments, data standardization is still needed in order for separate technologies to work together seamlessly. 
The hosts also delve into the importance of communication skills in addressing project challenges, including one surprising mistake that is leading to a lot of confusion on projects. They also share a simple yet effective tactic to ensure that everybody is on the same page: having the humility to ask “stupid questions.” 

About Todd Weyandt

Todd Weyandt is the Director of Marketing at Applied Software, Graitec Group and host of the award-winning Bridging the Gap Podcast. Todd has a deep knowledge of how to increase awareness of a brand, communications strategy and plays a major role in elevating corporate culture. He has a passion for creative problem solving and championing the success of the construction industry as a whole. By having conversations with experts changing the technological and leadership landscape throughout the built environment, Todd is on a mission to share insights with the rest of the industry. 

Top 3 Episode Takeaways

  1. One area that is ripe for innovation within construction technology is addressing interoperability challenges. Multiple technologies are being used on each project, and they are often not playing nicely together. Simplified data sharing between different stakeholders and software platforms can enhance project productivity and reduce headaches.  
  2. Better communication skills are needed to address project challenges. For example, people often use the same terminology to describe different meanings, and this can cause confusion and mistakes.  
  3. Having the humility to ask “stupid questions” can be an effective tactic to ensure that everybody is on the same page. It can also earn you new friends.  

Episode Highlight

As Todd grapples with the imposter syndrome that has come with not having a background in construction, he explains his positive experience coming into the industry. 


“That’s what I really like and appreciate about the construction industry is if you come in with the humility of like, hey, I don’t know this, but I’m willing to learn and hear what you have to say and kind of your perspective.     

People are really willing to take the time and explain it and show you and walk you through it. It’s when you come in and say, no, I know that, I got that. When you don’t, you’re found out real quick instruction, so why even try to pretend it?   

I always tease you would not want to walk into a building that I put together. It would collapse down on you, but you just want to. So I am super grateful and appreciative of people in the industry that can do all this amazing stuff, because without the construction industry, society falls apart.     

And I feel like construction doesn’t get its due in the public sphere as what it really deserves.” 

Episode Transcript

Todd Weyandt:  

All right, so super excited to do a podcast mashup with Wes. Thanks for taking the time and joining doing this cross pod.  


Wes Edmiston:  

Yeah, thanks for agreeing to do this, Todd. I think this is going to be a blast, really, for me, getting to talk with you.  

Learn everything about podcasting from really the number one construction podcast out there. So looking forward to this conversation.  


Todd Weyandt:  

Yeah, likewise. There’s so many podcasts coming up in the construction scene now, so it’s really fun to get to mix it up with new people coming in and hearing their perspective.  

I think that’s what’s so cool about construction is there’s so many different perspectives and people entry points into the industry that it’s fun to get to sit and just learn and pick people’s brains.  


Wes Edmiston: 

Yeah, I couldn’t agree. I couldn’t agree more. Like you were saying, this podcasting group, there are a lot more shows coming up just like mine. Mine’s really new as well, but it’s an interesting community of people also, so yeah.  

Again, just looking forward to doing this. Thanks for making the time.  


Todd Weyandt:  

Yeah. So how did you kind of get into the industry to begin with?  


Wes Edmiston:  

I’ve been in construction since I was a teenager, really. I was actually on a show here recently, told a story.  

It dates way back to whenever was in junior high and the town that I was living in, half of it got wiped out by a tornado. So I started helping my stepdad to rebuild houses in town. But later, late teens, early 20s ended up.  

I was I’d started off I was a pipe fitter at a fabrication facility while I was going to college, working two jobs. That was one of them. And whenever I was about 20 years old, I ended up moving to Texas and started building offshore oil platforms again as a pipe fitter.  

After a little bit of time there, I became a foreman and general foreman. Started traveling around in different capacities for different companies on different projects, built LNG facilities, carbon capture facilities for a bunch of different clients, and along the way ended up getting picked up by Shell, started doing inspections for Shell on some LNG facilities, liquefied, natural gas.  

And then from there, after a little while, I became a lead inspector and a completions manager. And then I got pulled up to Pennsylvania on a large polyethylene facility where I was the senior inspector over piping, mechanical, all things, welding, coatings, insulation, structural, civil, really just about everything other than electrical.  

And I also dual headed there doing project management over all of their commercial buildings as well. So that’s kind of how my story through construction. And then after I left Shell to beginning of 2022, I started working here with Cumulus.  

I’d been actually a customer of theirs for about five years through Shell and through the work that I’m doing with Cumulus, ended up having the joy of starting the podcast. So that kind of brings me to here.  


Todd Weyandt:  

Yeah. So how did you get from the field side of things? What took you over to the dark side of construction? Tech. Maybe it’s coming over to the light side.  


Wes Edmiston: 

Yeah, it’s definitely a different sort of side. Yeah. I guess kind of through the years of using the product, I guess to start it is. The first Shell project, wherever I was actually a Shell representative, whenever I was an inspector, I had just been made lead inspector and we were rolling out the the flagship Cumulus product, which is called the Smart Torque System.  

And just as any beta project, it had its kinks and a project manager on that job since, since I was the young guy. Clearly I know technology has it. He came up with bluetooth wrench and a tablet, set it on my desk and said make this work, and just walked away.  

So I started working around the Cumulus team. They were actually part of Shell’s TechWorks division then and got really, actually really interested and involved in it. Helped them to get the product to a really good spot and along the way actually started working with a couple of other technology companies as well around some of the products that we were deploying on projects.  

Ended up taking this product with me up to Pennsylvania whenever I went up there as well and just continued building my relationship with the Cumulus team whenever they spun out on their own away from Shell and just continued to refine their product as well as a couple of other technologies.  

And I got really interested in the space again, coming from working on my tools to start and then really working at just about every level and seeing the seeing construction from just about every angle, I see the value that technologies bring.  

And as I left working on the road, working construction the conventional means, I still wanted to continue on that work and happily landed here at Cumulus.  


Todd Weyandt:  

Yeah, nice. So I come at the industry from 180 degree difference and entry point.  

I like to say it’s a happy accident that I stumbled my way into into construction. My whole background is in marketing and on the technology space and. Then nine years ago, I found a company called Applied Software, where I still am today, and lead their marketing team.  

But coming in and Applied is all about construction technology and really throughout the whole AEC and manufacturing industries. And then we launched the podcast about five years ago in a rough form and Facebook Live series, then that is what it is.  

Yeah. Not one of those things that you promote and tell people that they need to go dig that up. You probably shouldn’t, really. It was our sandbox that we were testing things out. But originally when we launched it, honestly, we thought we were going to be the full AEC and coming in biasly.  

I thought it would be more architects than on the construction side. I thought architects would be more willing to talk. And what I found was the direct opposite is that construction people were super willing to talk, especially when you get into the MEP trades.  

They were like, yeah, let’s share everything that we know. And so just through the course of the conversations, fell in love with the industry even more. And I get the pleasure of being the dummy in the room and be like, all right, I’m going to ask all the stupid questions that are out there and you tell me what you know.  

And so that has been a really cool experience to get to see the industry from all these different vantage points and hearing different perspectives of it, so I can come in kind of as an objective third party almost, and see the bigger pictures and where the pitfalls are without having a motion attached to it.  

Because I haven’t experienced on the ground in the field in the way that everybody. Has communicated to me. So I just get to kind of synthesize all these pieces of information coming at me.  


Wes Edmiston:  

Right, so you don’t have your own biases around, oh no, that’s not how I would have done that.  

You just get to sit there and be like, wow, that’s really interesting. And you say that you get to be kind of the dumb guy in the room. One of the things that I found, because I got to be honest, really getting into construction, at least making a full career out of it, we’ll say was, was a happy accident for me as well.  

This is not what I intended on doing with my life. I wanted to be an orthopedic surgeon, but kind of life happened. It’s very different than what I’m doing now, I can tell you.  

I’m certainly not a surgeon, but even all things considered, after just being in the trades for quite a while and doing everything that I’ve done, even still that’s the thing for me that was always really striking is that there are so many people that they’d start and doing this whenever they were teenagers and now they’re in their fifty s and sixty s that the amount of knowledge that they have is striking.  

It is unbelievable. And constantly I would find that even in my most senior positions that I’ve held and where I am in many ways the subject matter expert, I’m still not the smart guy in the room. I have so much left to learn and for me, that’s why I enjoyed starting the podcast.  

This is something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I’ve always learned from talking to others. Even whenever I was starting off as a pipe fitter, I’d finish up what I was doing and then go find somebody else and figure out what they were doing so that they would teach me something more and something new.  

And I like to just ask questions. So getting to do that in a forum like this and share it with other people I think is just amazing.  


Todd Weyandt:  

Yeah, that’s what I really like and appreciate about the construction industry is if you come in with the humility of like, hey, I don’t know this, but I’m willing to learn and hear what you have to say and kind of your perspective.  

People are really willing to take the time and explain it and show you and walk you through it. It’s when you come in and say, no, I know that, I got that. When you don’t, you’re found out real quick instruction, so why even try to pretend it?  

I always tease you would not want to walk into a building that I put together. It would collapse down on you, but you just want to. So I am super grateful and appreciative of people in the industry that can do all this amazing stuff, because without the construction industry, society falls apart.  

And I feel like construction doesn’t get its due in the public sphere as what it really deserves.  


Wes Edmiston:  

Yeah, a lot of people, they’ll say the words skilled trades, but not really understand that there is a lot of skill to it.  

They don’t really appreciate the aspect of the technique and the knowledge that it takes in order to do a lot of this work. And again, I’m probably somewhat biased because I did it, but really and truly, there’s a lot that goes into it.  

And people take this kind of low browed approach whenever it comes to construction. But whenever we’re talking about these are organizations that many of them are doing. Many construction companies these days are multibillion dollar companies.  

If we approach that situation, if we approach that just that snapshot of information from any other angle, people would be like, oh wow, that’s impressive. Oh, wow, you’re working with an organization like that.  

But if you say construction people kind of, well, that’s no big deal. You’re just building buildings. Anybody can do that. It’s Legos. But it’s not, there’s a lot that goes into it.  


Todd Weyandt:  

Yeah. Why do you think that stereotype is so prevalent?  


Wes Edmiston: 

I think that it’s largely to do with the fact that you end up getting to this position where people. It’s almost, it’s almost binary. People go to college or people get into the trades, and if you don’t go to college, you’re kind of seen as you you don’t have the same level of intellect, and for for better or worse, however people formulate their own opinions, that’s their business.  

But, you know, I I have a degree. I got a degree along the way. I continue to go into college online just because you as I, as I start something, I want to finish it. And I can tell you that I learned an awful lot more in the construction trades about how to interact with people, about how to manage people, about really, honestly, anything and everything, about how force works on a building and all sorts of things.  

And I learned far more than I did just getting my degree. But I don’t know. What’s your perspective on it? That’s something that I’m really intrigued about with someone you’ve been hosting a show for, like you said, coming up on five years now, and you’ve talked to a lot of people in the industry.  

You’re coming in with this third person perspective. What’s your take on it? Have you had, I guess, a shift in your perspective on the industry since starting your show?  


Todd Weyandt:   

Yeah, for sure. There’s been a big shift.  

I came in with some of the, frankly, the biases against construction because I didn’t know any better because of my marketing background and just the way I view the world through marketing and imaging and branding and all that stuff.  

There’s obviously a huge marketing and branding problem in construction, and that’s what’s leading into the skill labor shortage and not being able to attract new people into the industry. And I’ve been really fascinated by that.  

I’ve pulled that cord. My listeners are probably rolling their eyes if they hear me say that the marketing problem in construction because I talk about it all the time but it’s prevalent and what I really mean by that is construction does frankly a bad job of promoting and showcasing what is actually happening in the industry.  

They leave it to other people to tell their story for them and if they don’t give an accurate representation of it then those people have no idea what’s happening. So construction and the onus is on people in the industry to share the technology that’s in the space, the innovation that’s in the space, the creative problem solvers that are here in the space.  

That’s actually aspect that has been a very eye-opening experience of like oh there’s tons of creative problem solvers in the industry and when that light bulb went off it was like that is the dumbest thing that that is taking me by surprise because obviously you have to be a creative problem solver to build a building.  

That’s the very nature of everything that gets done on a day-to-day basis. But for some reason, I don’t think I’m alone. The lack of seeing that on the surface anyway, that was a long ramble, but I think construction has to own their story more.  


Wes Edmiston: 

No, that’s a really interesting point, too, because whenever I was leaving Shell, right, I’d been in the construction industry about 15 years at this point, and I had made up my mind at the end of this project, I’m resigning.  

I’m going to out of the ten years that I’ve been with my wife, we’ve lived in the same state at that point, about four and a half of them, because I was travel, traveling all the time. So I was like, It’s time that I probably have a semi normal life.  

I had this personal dilemma because I never thought I would be able to find another job that was as dynamic and would have the sort of requirements. That working on a multibillion dollar project has just because there’s every single day, there is some pretty high amount of brain power that goes into solving the complex problems that are there.  

And I never really thought about the fact of we don’t present that well, you’re right. You’re absolutely right. But what could we do to, I guess, better brand ourselves? What can companies do to better entice people in high school and in college to go to the construction trades, to get into the industry in some fashion by promoting these aspects?  


Todd Weyandt:  

Yeah, I think there’s a twofold thing. A is exposure and going into even earlier, going into elementary schools and middle school. I think by the time they get to high school, it’s too late. Everybody’s really already made up their mind on that binary choice.  

If they haven’t been exposed to construction by the time they get to junior year, then they probably have already baked whatever their biases is. Either way, they’ve baked that into the equation. So you got to get to them earlier.  

And there’s something just inherently cool about construction. My seven year old is just mesmerized every time he sees a construction site, and we’ll sit there and watch it for hours if we let him in.  

He has, in fact, watched it for hours in the past. There’s something really cool about that. And so I think we have to go into elementary schools and middle schools and show the cool side of construction and not just what you see on TV and the, you know, bad stereotypes and and raps that construction gets on on TV.  

So that’s the first part. Exposure and go young, don’t be afraid to to go into middle school and elementary school. The the second is the the storytelling aspect of it and being able to that’s what really grips people and convinces people and pulls people over to your side if they can relate to a story. And everybody on the job site has that ability to tell a story. We all have phones close by us. Social media is prevalent nowadays.  

We’re all basically brand ambassadors of whatever company and job site that we’re on. Even if you don’t think that you are, you are. Especially if you’re on like something like LinkedIn and you’re associated with the company, you’re 100% a brand ambassador of that company, so don’t be afraid of that and kind of own it.  

It’s a really cool superpower almost that people in a decade ago they didn’t have that ability to be able to own some of the brand of a huge multibillion dollar construction company. Now we have that ability and now the responsibility and the onus is more on everybody as well too to take up that calling.  


Wes Edmiston: 

Yeah, those are really good points. I hadn’t really thought about it in that way especially. And then there’s also the aspect of what it is that you’re doing here, right. Giving people a platform in order to share the stories on something like a podcast.  

The audience is slightly different at that point. But yeah, I think that you’re right with also going in early, going into elementary schools, middle schools, junior highs and kind of sharing some of that appeal and really promoting the trades.  

It definitely needs to start young.  


Todd Weyandt:  

Yeah, for sure. You mentioned the podcast aspect of it. Obviously most of the people that listen to my show, your show as well too, are already in the industry. So those two areas don’t apply.  

But what I have found interesting is people will say, oh, thanks for sharing the innovation that’s happening even within side the industry because it’s so easy to feel like you’re kind of alone on an island.  

And podcasts even that are meant for the industry, it is encouraging to them of, hey, there are other people that are out there doing really cool, amazing things and helping to push the industry forward.  

So keep charging. You’re not charging that hill on your own. There’s a whole army alongside of you. And a lot of times it can feel like it’s just me doing the grind and this is useless, but it’s not.  

So I think podcasts have an awesome obviously, I’m incredibly biased, but I think podcasts have an awesome ability and platform to really kind of bolster the troops, if you will.  


Wes Edmiston:  

Yeah, I agree. And it’s interesting too, because at the same time, when everybody’s always saying construction is a really small world, everybody knows everybody, it’s amazing how small of a community it is.  

You can always find somebody that you’re connected to if you meet somebody else. But at the same time, projects are so siloed and we have no idea what everybody else is doing. And some of that’s by design, right?  

There’s intellectual property, there’s various reasons why it is that people don’t share this information. But, yeah, you’re right. And now I’ll share the sentiment. I’m biased as well. Now hosting a show.  

Podcasts play a pivotal role. Everybody needs to listen to podcasts, especially the Bridging the Gap podcast. But, yeah, I agree. It’s great getting to share these stories and just continue to spread the message.  

Yeah, absolutely. On the technology side, I’m curious, as you have kind of shifted over into software and tech space, what have you seen as far as the industry maybe getting wrong when they seek to implement new software and tech?  


Todd Weyandt:  

Getting wrong? You know, one of the things that and this is a recurrent message, I imagine you’ve had people on your show already that have said the same thing, that, you know, some of these companies that are popping up, they’re really a solution that’s looking for a problem.  

People really need to start off with a problem, identify what the available options are for the technology, and then go outward from there. One of the things that I do see a lot, though, that I think is interesting, I see why it happens.  

But also working for a company that specializes in construction technology, I see it the opposite side as well. There are a lot of homegrown solutions that are being developed right now within companies that it seems really inefficient to do it.  

And what I mean by that is there are companies that will replicate effectively the same system as what another private company is doing right now. And they’ll pay to maintain that system, to construct it, to maintain it, to carry it over and manipulate it from site to site to site to make it applicable for all these different use cases.  

So they’re having to build up a significant amount of resources to do this, when they could literally just go slightly further outward and say, why don’t we procure this system that already exists? And part of the reason why they don’t is because they don’t know what all is out there.  

And available awareness of the construction technologies that are present, I think is very low. And honestly, in my opinion, that’s one of the areas where we tech companies are doing a bad job and where different sites could be doing a better job as well of sharing their success stories.  

Because I think that brand recognition of some of these different companies is extremely low and it’s really impeding people from finding the solutions to the problems that they might actually have. Yeah, well, it’s also really overwhelming too, because there’s so many construction technology companies that are out there and more pop up every day, it seems like, right? How do you keep up with the new technologies coming online?  


Wes Edmiston:  

In some ways, I don’t. At this point in my career, I will say that one of the things that I’m more interested in doing is refining our process as best we can.  

I guess is a kind of in some ways, that’s short sighted. But in other ways,  I do everything I can to focus on the problems that I have directly in front of me.  

And whenever I get to a position where I am, where I feel then that everything is bulletproof, resilient, and perfect, then I will begin to extend outward and look for more fires to put out. But I feel like the reason why I do that right now is because, honestly, like you’re alluding to, there are so many different technologies that pop up every single day, and then you have everything else that’s in the common sphere of the ChatGPTs and AIs, it can become a distraction.  

And if something is needed, if something is worthwhile to integrate into our system, or if this is something that I would want to share with somebody that I worked with on projects before, because I still talk with people that are on projects all over the world, and we talk about potential solutions, then somebody else will bring this to my attention.  

I’m rather confident of that at this point. Somebody else on my team, anyway. But what about you? You work for a construction technologies company as well. How do you just absorb the sheer magnitude of products that are out there on the market these days?  


Todd Weyandt:  

Yeah. Well, I mean, I agree. I don’t think anybody can keep up with them individually by themselves. There’s just too much and then you add. All the updates to the existing software, you’re never going to be totally it’s impossible on everything out there.  

Yeah. So I think you got to kind of specialize some in what you’re looking at and the range that you’re looking at. I also really encourage people to figure out what their North Star is and what they’re trying to get out of the technology or what they’re trying to get.  

Not out of the technology, but just workflow wise and then start working backwards from there. I think one of the biggest problems that we experience a lot with our clients is they’re just trying to throw software at a problem, but they haven’t really thought out where are you trying to get to and what are you trying to accomplish?  

And as a big fan of technology and software, if you’re just putting software in for the sake of it because the other guy’s doing it and you were told that you need to, good luck. It’s not going to go well for you.  

You got to have a plan. You got to have it mapped out. You got to have a long roadmap and vision for where you’re going to go with that and how it’s going to solve a business case. Not just, let’s implement this shiny software and pray and hope it’s going to solve all of our problems, because it’s not.  

It’s more than likely probably going to create more problems and headaches for you when you don’t have that plan. When you do have that plan, it goes a lot smoother. It’s not perfect. There’s always going to be bumps and bruises along the way, but it’s a lot smoother, for sure.  


Wes Edmiston: 

Yeah. No, digitalization for the sake of digitalization is a disastrous plan because it’s not a plan, right? Like, oh, we want to convert something into a digital record instead. Just something that rudimentary.  

That’s great and all, but what are. Are you thinking about the full of the system and the implications for, for everybody involved? You know, what is this going to do to scope, to schedule, to everything?  

I agree completely.  


Todd Weyandt:  

And how does it play with other software that you already have in your tech stack? Because so you can have two awesome pieces of tech stack, but maybe they’re in conflict with each other and then they both fall down.  

So you don’t want to do that. You know, you gotta, you got to really think it out because it could be a major headache for you. Right?  


Wes Edmiston:  

So I’m curious Todd, what are some of the lessons, I guess the biggest lessons that you’ve learned as far as software implementation, technology implementation on sites just from hosting this show?  

And are there any recurrent themes overall that you end up seeing from the conversations that you have?  


Todd Weyandt:  

Yeah, for sure. That’s one of the big ones is plan. Plan before you do things. Take time to really create that white space.  

And it’s hard, I get it. Everybody’s moving so fast it feels like it’s wasteful almost to take time and sit down and think through and plan it out. But I challenge that on. You don’t have the time not to sit and really map it out and plan it out because it’s just going to bite you later and you’re going to spend more time trying to fix the messes and problems that were created that you could have flushed out a lot of that on the front side.  

So take time on the front side. As far as a lot of themes that have popped up over the years, your basics kind of interoperability and how to connect all those platforms together, how do you really leverage the data and then create sustainable workflows or modular construction and prefab and everything that’s happening there as well too.  

But what I’m always kind of amazed at is inevitably, even if we’re on. Pretty technical conversation. All roads seem to lead back to people, even in construction, which on the surface is like, no, it does, and it’s the soft skills that are needed.  

How do you communicate really well with somebody else? I’m going back again. To me kind of coming in as the objective outsider. It’s fascinating to me because I can hear where, like, architects are coming from, and I can hear where GCs are coming from, and then when the subs are coming from, and I’m like, yeah, that’s really annoying, and these pains that you have dealing with these other people.  

But do you realize you’re kind of saying the same things, you’re just using different words, but what you’re trying to get at is the same, and then it’s fun to kind of see those light bulbs go off of, like, yes, I haven’t thought of it from their point of view and perspective.  

And so the industry, it seems like there’s all this conflict within it, but when you pull it the onion back, you’re really all going through the same pains and the shared problems and stuff that if people would come in and communicate better on the front side of a project and lay out their goals and put the weapons down at the beginning, that wouldn’t do everything and it wouldn’t be a silver bullet.  

It’s not a Kumbaya kind of moment. But I think seeing that the other side, if you will, as a person, will eliminate a lot of pain throughout the project because everybody’s working to the same goal. There’s different perspectives and different ways to go about it, but the end goal is all the same.  

So all roads tend to lead back to better communication skills.  


Wes Edmiston:  

I couldn’t agree more. The first project, wherever I worked as the client, I actually was working for the contractor, and the contractor that I was working for, we finished up our scope of work and I was leaving.  

I was going to go to a different project, actually with a different company. I was going to take a role as superintendent working for a buddy of mine and and as I was walking out, I ended up running into one of the, one of the Shell guys.  

And he said, Where are you going? I said, I’m going home for a while first, then I’m probably going to Houston. He said, no, you’re not. And he ended up sent him my resume, got picked up by Shell. Anyway, the point of that is so I worked as the contractor and then I worked as the owner on the same project.  

And then there I am working as the owner and hearing the inverse reciprocal of everything that I was just hearing whenever I was working for the contractor. Right? Like, we’re the good guys. This is the problem.  

This is what we need to do. They’re the bad guys. And then you turn back around, you’re working for the owner now. And then you hear that same thing. It’s just like, wait a minute. So if I fucking interject real quick, they’re saying the exact same thing you are.  

Just so you’re aware, there’s a disconnect in here and it’s so interesting to see exactly what you’re saying. If you just stop for just a second and see the other person as a human. If you think about yourself in the other person’s shoes and it was easy for me because I literally was right.  

If you think about yourself in their shoes, you can get to the answer. You can get to the end result. You can de-bottleneck whatever it is that’s holding you up and work to an effective solution. Yeah, I couldn’t agree more.  

Patient somewhere in there is entirely flawed and we have these biases and these ideas around who the other person is before we ever even meet them. And that needs to change. Very much needs to change.  


Todd Weyandt:  

Yeah, for sure. And even something as simple as the terms that. People use again, I get to come in and be the dumb guy. So people use the term and I’m like, all right, what do you mean by that? People will use the same acronym and same term differently.  

And you’re like, this is the same. I don’t get your definitions here, but okay, now that I know your definition, I can start talking and go down this trail. I don’t know if that’s the right definition, but but you’re using it this way, so I’ll go with it.  

I think that leads to a lot of frustrations, because if you don’t stop and say, what are you actually meaning by whatever phrase that you just said, then you’re assuming based on what your definition is of it.  

And that can lead to a lot of what happens when you assume doesn’t go to a good spot. So taking the time to slow down and ask those kind of dumb questions of what did you mean by that? How do you define this?  

I think that would solve some of the bumps along the way there, too.  


Wes Edmiston:  

I agree. And it’s one of those things, and I know we all do it, even in our personal lives, right? But how can I say this? It’s interesting that most people, whenever they’re in these roles, whether they’re whether they’re just a trades person, whether they’re their superintendent, project manager, contracts person, whatever they are, they assume that because they’re in that position, that they have to know the answer to whatever it is that the other person’s talking about.  

Whether it even if it’s something just as simple as an acronym. What is it that you mean by that? People just take, okay, I can assume that I know what this means, and they walk away and they can get things drastically wrong.  

But if people would just take this approach that almost like they’re learning a new language. If they’re in an environment that somebody’s speaking an entirely foreign language and over time, you’ll pick up on this.  

I don’t know if you’ve ever been in an environment like that. But I worked in South Texas for a long time, and I was on night shift on a project where 85% of the folks were from the Valley, and probably around half of those folks spoke Spanish as their primary language.  

So I was surrounded by people, and I spoke a little bit of Spanish at the time. I’m pretty fluent in it now. And I had to be very aware of what I don’t know and just get used to asking the question of, can you repeat that?  

Can you explain that? What did you just say? Over and over and over again. And then there was a time that I had a bunch of roommates that were all from India, and I was learning to speak Hindi because I like languages and the exact same thing.  

Right. Well, can you explain what you mean by that? Even this is the simplest of words. Can you repeat that? And if you take that approach with kind of everything on site, you don’t have to know everything.  

Like you said in the beginning, if you take this approach of humility in the construction industry, rather than being this kind of proud, bullheaded sort of person, you can get a lot better, you can learn a whole lot more, and people will respond to you a lot better.  

If you take that same approach with your contractor as an owner, or with your owner as the contractor, things will actually go a lot better than you seem to think. People aren’t just going to turn around and smack you in the head for it.  

They’re going to want to help.  


Todd Weyandt:  

Yeah, for sure. To put it in more real terms, I’m amazed at a concept as seemingly widespread, like BIM for the industry. I have asked, what is BIM to people? And I will get for anything from oh, it’s a software that you use to it’s a full blown all things digital.  

You have no paper anywhere in your workflow at all. Everything’s in the model and everybody’s connected to the model working in real time. Like those are and the BIM side of like yeah we’re we’re just kind of we’re taking our paper and we’re just sketching it out in in cat and stuff and you’re like those none of that falls in the same definition.  

Those are drastically different. So I think it is super helpful to take time and be like, okay, now this is what you mean by BIM. We’re way back over here at the starting line. That’s how helpful for me to know in context and then we can slowly start marching over to where BIM actually is.  

But unless I stop and I know that they’re over here at the starting line, then I might be talking way out of left field and they’re Like, this guy’s crazy. I have no idea what he’s saying to me. 


Wes Edmiston: 

Right, yeah. So hey Todd, I wanted to ask a question kind of personal for me.  

You started off as a Facebook Live kind of podcaster and you continue to expand this out and grow it and turn to the podcast that it is now and you’re on how many episodes have you released now?  


Todd Weyandt:  

We’re right around 200.  


Wes Edmiston: 

That’s incredible. Good work to you and the team. How did you grow the show as you have and how did you kind of continue to pursue down that path? Did you ever have times we were like should I even be doing this?  

Is this worthwhile how’s that gone for you? Yeah slow and steady how that went?  


Todd Weyandt:  

Yeah, it’s been a fun journey. It’s the guest I will always point point back to them that’s what makes the show is bringing on these really cool thought provoking people throughout the industry and just again having that humility to learn from them and get their understanding.  

But as far as practical stuff, social media has been huge. LinkedIn was our greatest friend. I tease it to my drug of choice, maybe a problem, but I love LinkedIn and being able to connect out to other people and just like, hearing the stories that come across my feed and reaching now and being like, hey, love what you’re doing there, and shrinking up the conversations.  

That’s been really helpful to expand my network and be able to reach out and see what else is going on in the industry that isn’t in my sphere that I might not be aware of. Yes, slow and steady and consistency on the podcast.  


Wes Edmiston: 

For sure, yeah. Are there any other tips you’d give to if, say, by chance you were talking theoretically to a person that’s just starting off podcasting, are there any other tips you’d give? 


Todd Weyandt: 

 The consistency is the biggest.  

It’s funny because they feel like with the podcast, they build it into their schedule. So I’ve had people say, like, we post every Wednesday morning. And they’re like, I know Thursday morning the podcast is already going to be there and I’m going to listen to you while I’m working out.  

I’m like, oh, that’s kind of weird, but go for it. That’s what you want to do. It cool, I don’t need to know that. But people build it into their schedule. So having a consistent time and kind of sphere of topics and stuff that you talk about.  

And then a thing that I had to honestly wrestle with for the beginning of it was the impostor syndrome of I come in, not with a construction background yet, I’m talking to these incredibly smart, awesome people throughout the industry.  

And I was like, okay, I like talking to people, so that’s fun for me. But I had to kind of overcome. I don’t have to know every single thing that they’re talking about. And I’ve learned a ton over the years of listening to people, but some stuff still totally goes over my head.  

And that’s okay. I don’t have to be totally in the know on every single thing. I can, again, ask those kind of stupid questions and just seek to learn and hear their story. And I do have a voice that can contribute to the conversation, even if I don’t have the first hand experience exactly like they do.  


Wes Edmiston: 

Yeah. I think, again, the fact that you don’t try to act like, you know, it all taking that more humble approach, I think people can respect that a whole lot more. Even people in the industry, we’re pretty bad about this idea that we act like just because we’ve been on site, we know everything, and that doesn’t do anything to earn new friends.  

So no, I think yeah, I’ve listened to quite a few of your episodes. You do a very good job. So whatever you’re doing, keep it up. And if I meet anybody that happens to be starting up a podcast, I’ll be sure to give them the feedback that you just gave.  


Todd Weyandt:  

Yeah. Wow. For sure. It’s a fun ride. I think anybody that is thinking about it, then go for it. The water’s great. Yeah, it’s a lot of fun. So here’s one of my favorite questions that I love to ask guests.  

If I could give you all power and you could snap your fingers and innovate one thing in the construction industry, what would you choose to innovate?  


Wes Edmiston:  

Mmm, it’s a good question. I think one of the areas where we have the biggest shortcomings is oftentimes getting material on project at the right time.  

The right material at the right time. And whether that’s because something turns out to be a longer lead item than they thought it would be. Whether that’s, you know yeah. So it ends up being not all of the components are on site at the right time, what have you.  

I don’t know what this solution would look like, but if there was a way, in order to solve that problem, either through innovations to be able to to better predict, you know, we have these components, we will have these components at site with a higher level of certainty and to be able to map the plan accordingly.  

I think solving that problem effectively would end up keeping people far more productive. I’m saying this from my own personal experience and from what I’ve seen on site for 15 years or so. One of the areas where it always just killed me was whenever we would start working in a particular area and we would have seven out of eight needed components, and we would find out midstream that we need to pivot and go on to something else, it just creates unbelievable levels of inefficiency.  

And being able to effectively solve that problem would streamline projects and be able to get things built. I can tell you, a whole lot faster. Yeah. Interesting. Yeah. Agreed. What is really the most frequently cited issue that you think that people aren’t really attacking?  

I guess are there any issues that you hear, I guess, reoccurrent themes that you’re hearing from people that they’re screaming, we have these problems, but nobody’s really identifying potential innovative solutions for it?  


Todd Weyandt:  

That’s a great question. The thing that’s popping into my head first thing, so gut reaction is interoperability of how do you take all these great softwares and platforms and get them to talk to each other and funnel the information seamlessly through?  

Each one. There’s so many data silos that these awesome softwares are creating and then you have the problem of the GCs particular software that they use, which is different than the subs, which is different than the owners, which is different than the architects and so how do you get them all on the same page?  

The industry is starting to talk a good game of open dialogue and, and really connecting all those dots. But then we’re also hand tied in that not all the softwares and platforms are talking and friendly with each other and wanting to pass that data back and forth.  

So it’s creating a hurdle or you’re having to do multiple entry depending on the project. And so being able to streamline that and simplify that, it’s a big lift, but that’s a needed lift. I think that’s once we are able to make some good strides in that area, that’s going to really help level up and kind of create the next evolution of software development for the industry.  


Wes Edmiston:  

Yeah, I think there’s also a lot more and this is something that my CTO talks about quite a bit and I think that standardizing the data so that these systems can communicate a little more effectively would be a huge win.  


Todd Weyandt:  

Yeah, no, that makes a ton of sense for sure. Very cool. Well, thanks for taking the time. This was really fun. I enjoyed the conversation.  


Wes Edmiston:  

Yeah, me too. We should do this more often.