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This year of two halves offers lessons for 2014

As the year draws to a close, it’s natural to take time to reflect on what has passed and what lies ahead.

For the construction industry, 2013 has been a year of two halves: continued recessionary pain for the first half, followed by vastly improving sentiment in the second.

In our review of the year we take stock of the highs and the lows. We celebrate some fantastic projects, chew over the best and worst of government policies and pause to remember the people and firms this industry has lost.

We look forward to 2014 with one eye on the main chance and one hand behind our back, fingers crossed the economic recovery holds and growing confidence translates into growing balance sheets.

This year holds lessons for the industry - on fair payment, on listening to your staff and your supply chains, on putting yourself in your clients’ shoes.

In 2014 construction must be responsible in recovery, efficient in delivery and determined to create better conditions for innovation and collaboration than before the downturn.

This week’s issue contains an exclusive analysis of Crossrail’s performance management framework through which the client is working with its main contractors to create a better, safer industry.

By driving up performance, it hopes to create a legacy that extends further than the project itself.

But you don’t have to be Europe’s largest infrastructure client to know that legacy is what construction is all about.

This industry builds things that last, that change people’s lives. It transforms our environment, travel, work and family life.

In July, I wrote a leader that started: “Just as construction is at the heart of the economy, people are at the heart of construction.” It ended with: ‘You work in construction. You love this industry. Tell people why.’

We’ve had thousands of #loveconstruction tweets and LinkedIn messages and more than a hundred of you have requested a Love Construction logo in your company colours.

Six months on, I’d like to thank you for all the stories you’ve shared and the inspiration you’ve given.

We look forward to seeing even more of the passion and enthusiasm you show for this industry, every day, to help make recovery in 2014 a reality.

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