The opening of Peppers King Square Hotel (“PKS”) in Perth CBD this November was a major success for a number of reasons. As the founder of the development company responsible for the project, I had a front row seat to the activities that took place in the weeks and months leading up to the hotel’s opening. I can unequivocally say that this hotel will be a worldwide game-changer thanks to the incredible project team involved. Now this blog post isn’t intended to be a promotional piece or a back patting exercise, but rather a celebration of teamwork and project execution through a rarely used and extremely efficient methodology.
Christian ‘Boo’ Boucousis
Christian Boucousis is a performance coach, author and the CEO of Afterburner Australia; high performance fighter pilot team building events, coaching and keynote speaking services.
The Hotel That FLEX Built
The PKS project broke Australian construction records and challenged traditional industry cost structures like never before (more stats to come). What makes PKS and the project so unique?
- The whole building was constructed using prefabricated modular technology
- The quickest 17 level high-rise construction in Australian history – 11 months
- Costs 20% lower than industry standard
- Waste 90% less than industry standard
- WiFi is the fastest in hotels the country
- “Customer Experience” model delivered over “Customer Service” model, overseen by the Mantra Group.
So how was a building so innovative and new able to be built in record time you might ask? Well, it’s all thanks to “Flex”.
Strong Stats but what about FLEX?
All of these impressive stats were achieved by empowering a big team to reach a unified goal using a certain framework for action and a way of thinking – the Flex method. It’s what I used in my past life as a fighter pilot, and still use today as an entrepreneur to establish the foundations for achieving an end goal.
For PKS the goal was simple, to create the country’s most profitable hotel in its class. And how did the Flex Method get us there you may ask? Through a simple alignment model that created clarity for all the stakeholders involved in the project. This model utilised a team based approach, and provided the flexibility and the focus to cope with constant change, shifting needs and ever growing challenges from external, and often uncontrollable factors (such as the economy, our competitors, sceptics…the list goes on). We used this approach to stay agile and adaptable. The result – we were able to outthink, out plan and out manoeuvre those uncontrollable threats because we changed and adapted from the bottom up, as well as from the top down. We engaged everyone involved in the project to the fullest possible extent, and because of this we achieved a competitive advantage. Our whole team was helping to achieve it.
Accountability is King
As a leadership coach and motivational speaker, I have dealt with a wide variety of Australian businesses and organisations, big and small. And there’s one thing that often perplexes me. Why is average or even below average good enough? So often, the belief system is that our best efforts are sub-par, and that’s OK. Excuses always come flowing about why an organsiation can’t implement a simple process to achieve great results – no time, too busy, external factors, staff not motivated, meetings, this is how we always do it etc etc.
I can’t remember the number of proposals, requests, applications and discussions I submitted and had with financiers, insurers, planners, builders and suppliers about the prospect of developing a pre-fabricated modular hotel. What I do remember is that 99% of them ended with a ‘no’, or ‘declined’, or ‘too much risk’, or ‘too hard’. Despite all the set-backs, we didn’t give up. We had a vision, and all believed in it. We developed a plan that would lead us to the end point, adapting and adjusting it along the way. We made openness, honesty, and accountability amongst the team a must. And at all times we remained focused on our mission objective.
I now have something tangible to show you. Visit Perth and our amazing hotel for yourself, because without Flex, one of the most innovative hotels in the world would not be open for business.
Big Thanks to my project team
PTI Group Architects and Peter Israel, hotel design guru and my spiritual advisor
John Molyneux and Wes Blackie, wing-men and Co-Directors
Crystal Tarasin, Afterburner GM, legal and admin machine
Chris McIntosh, David Chaplin, Michael Moret-Lalli and the incredible Mantra team
Hickory Group’s Peter Michaltsis, our Mr get it done and site project manager
Design Inc Perth’s Gary Reynolds and Ron Jee, our master architects
The Good Guys, who supplied us with all of our electrical product solutions
Everyone who came to site each and every day to pull it all together