As the father of a young child, I’ve found myself doing all kinds of things in recent months that I haven’t done for years, from singing nursery rhymes to crawling on all fours with the little one. But one blast from the past I’ve enjoyed more than most is getting creative with finger painting, colouring in and above all, joining the dots.
In fact, as we watch a picture begin to take shape with each new connection, I’m reminded of my working life. And the more I think about it, the more I see the surveying business itself as an elaborate game of join the dots. It’s not just that surveyors often work with blueprints and other building plans that can resemble a join the dots picture. It’s also the fact that a good surveyor has to be able to see all the connections and anticipate the emerging shapes long before someone with an untrained eye.
In technical terms, of course, surveyors have to understand how buildings are put together and how each part fits into the whole. And that means understanding the connections between different architectural features: knowing which walls are load-bearing, for example, and seeing how alterations to one part of a building will affect the others, or indeed how they will affect neighbouring properties.
But that instinct for understanding connections goes beyond the technical side of surveying. A good surveyor also has to join the dots when it comes to understanding the clients and other stakeholders in any given project. He or she will be able to see connections others miss, and think strategically not only about the problem at hand, but how to minimise future maintenance, and identify opportunities to combine two or more projects for maximum impact: joining the dots can also save money!
Beyond that, a good surveyor also needs to be able to join the dots when it comes to planning and implementing a project. When it comes to major works in particular, much of the most important work happens before anyone picks up a hammer or a paint brush. The starting point is to look at the dots on the paper, and then to start writing in the numbers that will guide the pencil from dot to dot and form the desired picture. From that stage, it might look easy, but just try completing a dot to dot picture without the numbers!
At Earl Kendrick, our whole business is organised around joining the dots. When we recruit, that’s certainly an ability we look for in surveyors. In fact, we’ve recently invested in a giant Connect 4 set for the office, and we’re running a league to encourage everyone to think in terms of making connections every day.
You see, it’s not just the surveyor who shows up to survey a flat or residential block who makes connections between different elements. That surveyor him or herself is just one ‘dot’ in a bigger picture, including other team members, our brilliant back office team and the practice management system we use to join the dots. The result is that our clients see not a series of disconnected dots, but one seamless picture, expertly drawn exactly as intended. I only wish I could say the same about my artistic efforts with the little one!
T: 020 3667 1510
T: 0161 706 0676
T: 01273 974 416
T: 07764 788405
T: 07590 881 621