Taking five with Greg Quinn
Rebecca Gundalech, 24 September, 2018
Joining Australia’s largest privately owned construction company and an iconic century-old Queensland business Hutchinson Builders in 2001, Greg Quinn became the first non-family member to hold the position of Managing Director. The company is one of the leading performers in the construction sector and is now ranked in the top 10 of Australia’s Top 500 private companies. Today, Hutchie’s construction business employs more than 1,600 people and generates an annual turnover of $2.7 billion.
Who are you, and what is your role?
Greg Quinn – and I am the Managing Director of Hutchinson Builders.
What has been your career highlight to date?
Over the past 25 years, I have headed up the Queensland Master Builders and the New South Wales Master Builders’ Associations, and for the last 17 years, I’ve been Hutchies Managing Director.
I think being instrumental in the restoration of a flailing New South Wales Master Builders in 1998/1999 would be up there. Also, being a part of the great Hutchies machine that has developed not only into the largest private builder in the country, but also one of the most reputable.
What leadership values are most important to you?
Work hard, be fair – whatever the circumstances – and act with integrity on every front by always doing the right thing.
What are the greatest challenges facing the building and construction industry right now?
Industrial relations are up there, alongside maintaining all-around building and construction management skills so that our people have the ability and confidence to take on a project from start to finish. Many builders have transitioned into managers of projects, or managers of subcontractors, as opposed to the traditional builder. People are being trained for this model.
Will the industry look different in 20 years time? If so, how?
Everyone is talking about innovation at the moment. We have seen many changes over the years, such as improved formwork systems, greater use of pre-cast concrete and modular bathrooms and ensuites.
However, at the end of the day, construction is a highly labour-intensive industry in a relatively dangerous and unsafe environment. Seeking greater productivity, resulting in shorter building programs, whilst still protecting our workforce is a challenging dynamic. Also, the cost of change going wrong in construction is very high and can be a disincentive to innovation. Consequently, I don’t think building and construction will look a great deal different in 20 years, except for the IT component.
Greg Quinn will join us for the QUT Business Leaders’ Forum on Tuesday 23 October 2018. To find out more, visit the QUT Business Leaders’ Forum.