Skip to content

Reimagining Leadership and Innovation in the Digital Era: Insights from the ENR Emerging Leaders Forum

Mar 22, 2024
group photo at ENR event

As leaders in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry, we are currently challenged in navigating the evolving landscape of leadership and innovation in the digital era. Recently, we had the opportunity to attend the Engineering News-Record (ENR) Emerging Leaders Forum in Chicago, where early- and mid-career professionals from across the industry converged to explore these challenges and opportunities.

In our keynote panel, “Room to Flourish: Tapping Emerging Leaders to Reimagine Your Organization’s Digital Future,” we discussed how emerging talent in our industry is playing a pivotal role in driving digital innovation and shaping organizational strategy. It was inspiring to share our insights and experiences with industry peers, and we are excited to reflect on some key takeaways:

  1. As our industry undergoes rapid digital transformation, it is imperative for leaders to foster an environment that empowers emerging talent to drive change and innovation. Additionally, we must leverage diverse generational perspectives to unlock the full potential of our teams. At STV, we are committed to giving up-and-coming leaders a voice in shaping our strategic direction and strengthening our connections with clients.
  2. Recognize the transformative power of data in driving meaningful change within an organization and remember the importance of aligning digital initiatives with business objectives. We need to focus on providing adaptable solutions that evolve with organizational needs while effectively bridging gaps to enhance operational efficiency, elevate client experience and yield superior business results.
  3. Understand the challenges and opportunities associated with advancing digital transformation within organizations. From overcoming resistance to change to addressing skill gaps and securing investment, navigating the digital landscape requires a strategic and forward-thinking approach. At STV, we recognize the importance of taking a long-term view and crafting implementation strategies that align with our organizational goals and constraints.
  4. Effective leadership embraces openness to new ideas and humility in acknowledging uncertainty. It is through collaboration and trust in our teams that we navigate through transformative times and truly make a difference. For emerging leaders, it’s crucial to build a solid track record over time to gain recognition within an organization. Be patient and consistent in delivery and seize opportunities to present your work to leadership. And always be prepared to share your vision and articulate your needs to successfully deliver your objectives.
KiSeok Jeon and Greg Kelly speaking on stage

At STV, we have cultivated and expanded our digital advisory practice over the past two-and-a-half years, assembling a diverse team of experts across consulting, advanced analytics, digital delivery, product management and solutions. Our expertise in this realm has earned us national recognition from ENR, and our commitment to these services propels us toward a unique approach to digital transformation. We aim to provide data as a service, both to our clients and internally within our organization, by not only leveraging data but developing our own tools and software to drive informed decision-making and strategic outcomes. Meanwhile, we believe in fostering change through our people, recognizing their pivotal role in driving delivery, while using technology as a complementary tool. Our digital advisory specialists are instrumental in realizing the firm’s strategic vision, reimagining how our teams work and deliver client solutions through technology.

As we continue to navigate the digital era, events like the Emerging Leaders Forum further inform our path of growth and discovery by allowing us to connect and collaborate with the next generation of leaders and learn from their experiences and perspectives.

Greg Kelly headshot

Greg Kelly, P.E., is STV’s president and chief executive officer. He is responsible for overseeing the workforce of 2,900 employees and guiding the organization forward achieve its short- and long-term strategic goals with an emphasis on performance, business development, technology and human capital.  

KiSeok Jeon headshot

KiSeok Jeon is the vice president of digital advisory lead at STV and a recipient of the ENR 2024 National Top 20 Under 40 award. Since joining the organization in 2021, he has been instrumental in allowing the STV to reimagine how they deliver client solutions through technology.