Dear YouDig?

Dear YouDig?,

We have been very successful in constructing strip centers throughout the Midwest. Our success has brought us many opportunities to venture into other areas. We always stay in our lane and reject these opportunities, until now. A majority of our members voted to begin seeking hospital construction projects because of a key relationship. Most of our team has never constructed a hospital. We have many who disagree with this decision. So far the learning curve is weighing us down on ALL of our work let alone the two new large hospital projects we are on. There is some grumbling. How do we press on without a revolt?

-Strange Man in a Strange Land

Dear Strange Man,

Nothing strange about your experience. Just remember, there is immense power in a decision. A REAL decision. When is an organizational strategy truly a REAL organizational decision?

A decision means your organization smartly analyzed the pros and cons of the situation. You applied the agreed upon process to reach the decision (e.g., majority rule). Based on the agreed process EVERYONE decided to carry out the strategy with 100% commitment to execute the decision. Even dissenters who agree with the process, but not the strategy, have made a decision if they commit their best efforts to the strategy despite their differences.

Where it gets strange, Mr. Strange, is when there are false commitments. Decisions to install strategies can survive a few grumbles. However, if dissenting members are committed to being right versus committed to the success of the strategy the divisiveness can damage you. Change their minds with your effort but do not accept half-hearted efforts or toxic people. YouDig?


John Swansinger is the author and founder of YouDig?, is a partner in Buckingham, Doolittle & Burrough, LLC‘s real estate and construction practice group and is the Cleveland Office Partner in Charge. He works with contractors, developers and construction owners on construction law issues including construction contracts, commercial agreements, construction litigation, subcontractor issues, insurance liability, breach of contract and more. He can be reached at or 216.615.7356.

YouDig is an online resource that connects the construction community with vital issues affecting the industry and is a component of the business law firm Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs, LLC that is specifically geared toward construction.