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West Fraser

Challenges Lead to Innovation


2024 could be a year of ingenuity

Lately I’ve had multiple requests to share my prognostications for 2024. The question from friends and peers has occurred through casual conversation. This is not surprising, as the future and what it holds for us, near and far, is a topic that occupies our minds and brings both anticipation and anxiety. 

I’ve also been asked my opinion on what is coming in the next year by representatives of organizations that I respect. I watch closely general trends in an attempt to manage business goals.

Related: Home Tech Innovations for 2024 and Beyond

Over the last four years, it feels as though the pace of change has accelerated dramatically. Our political system seems to be less consistent, with national policies whipsawing from one extreme to the other depending on which party is in office. Technology appears to be bringing sci-fi plots of the past to present reality at a break-neck speed. The world at large appears to be politically and socially unstable, as societies grapple with disparate perceptions of justice and equity, and how to achieve them.

The U.S. economy rests in a position never seen before, with inflation requiring high interest rates to cull cash from the system, but also driving service on the Federal debt to levels that crowd out the ability to fund government functions. There are multiple wars that threaten to entangle our country. And over all of this, 2024 brings another level of instability with the U.S. presidential election.

Confronted with these uncertainties, what do I expect? When there are significant challenges, we pause and evaluate, and then we adjust and move forward.

Related: The Path to Renewed Passion in Construction

The last two years, with inflation and rising interest rates, following on the heels of the pandemic, have definitely caused an economic pause as projects in almost all business sectors are reevaluated. However, it appears that projects are starting to move forward again, although with constant scrutiny and caution.

We are a culture that was born out of fierce independence and unusual ingenuity. As we move into 2024, I expect a slow acceleration in the construction industry, as innovators develop new solutions to the financial challenges we face. Businesses must be introspective, streamlining operations and reevaluating core objectives.

Our history has demonstrated, repeatedly, that we are resilient, and that adversity makes us better. I’m looking forward to being better in 2024, both professionally and personally.


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