Book Endorsements and Reviews
The global construction industry has made significant strides in understanding how collaborative thinking can drive better programme outcomes. I have worked with Garry Bowditch over several years, and his latest book BIG FIXES takes us to the next, arguably more important, level.
This is a well-crafted, carefully thought-through book for infrastructure professionals which places social and economic outcome-based thinking at the heart of the debate. Too often, a procurement process results in something which is not quite what the client needs. The engineering may be exceptional: but, like it or not, the public first and foremost want infrastructure to drive better social and economic outcomes for them. That needs a much deeper and clearer discussion to help clients specify the economic and social outcomes they need, forcing those designing and constructing infrastructure to challenge themselves whether a traditional answer fits a non-traditional question.
Garry lays out truisms on trust, agility of thought, and choices: things we should all know but often forget. As Sir John Armitt notes: if we can take on half of his recommendations, we stand some chance of creating better infrastructure for future generations. BIG FIXES should be a must-read for clients determining and specifying the social and economic outcomes they actually need.
D.J. Gribbin, Former Special Assistant for Infrastructure to the President of the United States of America, The White House
“BIG FIXES should be on the shelf of any professional who cares deeply about infrastructure. The book’s thoughtful view of infrastructure policy pierces through the political obsession with how much should be spent and focuses instead on the foundational policies needed to restore infrastructure globally. This first principle’s view is as helpful as it is refreshing.
Garry Bowditch provides an experienced and measured approach to reshaping our public institutions to allow them the ability to build public trust and develop the type of systems needed to create infrastructure that, in his words, “provides humanity with a means to an end.”
Sir John Armitt CBE, Chairman, National Infrastructure Commission, United Kingdom
As the world emerges from the shadow of Covid the need to invest in infrastructure to grow our economies is a common theme. Will these investments, public or private, result in real long term benefits to our societies. If we continue as in the past it is questionable.
BIG FIXES argues for the central importance that citizens have an underlying trust in the decisions of professionals, politicians and their policies. The need for openness and transparency in the debate of options, and costs which ultimately are born by the citizen, for collaboration between stakeholders, the use of reliable data and the wise use of land which once purposed is not easily repurposed. Whole life considerations, recognition of legacy, the risk of planning and designing for the short term and failing to recognise future technologies and their impacts.
As engineers, architects, planners and of course politicians we expect the citizen to trust us to develop infrastructure and systems which are completely reliable and resilient. Systems which recognise the complexity and interconnectivity and the potential of several risks happening simultaneously.
BIG FIXES is an important reminder of our responsibilities and a guide to enable better outcomes especially by putting foremost the end customer, listening to what good means for them not what simply creates a good business case.
Garry Bowditch does not pretend it is easy but if we can take on board half of his recommendations then we stand some chance of creating better infrastructure for future generations.
Ross Israel, Head Global Infrastructure, QIC
Infrastructure investors should heed the call of BIG FIXES. As fiduciaries of capital, the cross over to being owners of infrastructure is brought out by Garry Bowditch’s focus on the importance of stakeholder primacy and customer stewardship.
In delivering resilience and future-proofing the infrastructure they own, long term institutional investors have a tremendous opportunity to make a difference to deliver lasting intergenerational legacies.
They are uniquely positioned in a world decarbonising, digitalising and decentralising to be active FIXERS, it’s a timely call to action!
Professor Ian Harper AO, Dean of Melbourne Business School, Melbourne, Australia
If your vision of infrastructure is roads, bridges, schools and hospitals, then your vision is too narrow. Let Garry Bowditch widen your perspective to think about infrastructure as the gift that current generations pay forward to future generations.
When we invest in infrastructure, we express hope for the future. We also create the future, since good infrastructure empowers human beings to trust and collaborate with one another, and this in turn unleashes human ingenuity and creativeness that literally fashion the future.
BIG FIXES will change the way you think about infrastructure but, more fundamentally, it will change the way you think about the future, and how to secure the hope of brighter and better things to come.
Governor Martin O’Malley, Fmr Governor of Maryland & Mayor of Baltimore
Societies improve the well-being of their people, not by locking money in a vault, but by distributing human solutions to human problems more efficiently, more sustainably, and more broadly.
“BIG FIXES,” is a clarion call to the deeper and more life-giving instincts of our humanity. It is a call not merely to rebuild the failing infrastructure of our past, but to build anew with a clear eye toward the further future.
Garry Bowditch helps us understand that the success of our efforts — in these critical times of environmental and social change — requires “a more profound practice of reciprocity.” It requires a way of building, living, and governing that strengthens our trust in one another and our faith in a better tomorrow.
There’s no shortage of reports, papers, books and analysis on every conceivable aspect of infrastructure. And yet, this one is different. Garry has stepped back from the ‘what’ and the ‘how’, and instead asked ‘why’. It’s a very personal perspective on infrastructure – what it’s really for, will it still be good in the future, and is the best way to get what we want and need from it. Well done, Garry.
BIG FIXES and the principles of customer stewardship so well explained by Garry Bowditch shows us that our infrastructure not only drives our economic lives it shapes how we operate as a community.
A strong community is dependent on whether our investments actually provide the improved services we all need and are procured in the way we need them to strengthen our social bonds and goals.
Public policy professionals and all those planning and procuring the investments for the future should read this as part of their thinking about the responsibility they have for shaping enduring and positive legacies.
Airports present the ultimate opportunity for customer-focused infrastructure development with connectivity and informed customer choice being its underpinning objectives.
Our vision of “Connect the World Create the Future” reflects the very same principles Garry Bowditch promotes in BIG FIXES for all public infrastructure including serving all through effective engagement, setting ambitious goals with inherent adaptiveness to meet the customers’ future needs of total network connectivity and the opportunity for customers, consumers, and stakeholders to make informed choices when visiting Brisbane Airport.
Preview video of BIG FIXES
What BIG FIXES is about ? A message from Garry Bowditch
BIG FIXES is about how we, the citizens, the customers and the institutions that shape modern life need to check-in and take stock to ensure we always project the best version of ourselves into decisions vital to our future.
Apart from astuteness, responsibility and optimism, we all need to challenge ourselves to adopt a bigger perspective on the consequences of our choices and strengthen our resolve to build bridges to an inclusive future.
With over a decade of ESG (environment, social and governance) investing, this juggernaut should form an important part of the solution, but regrettably, it has not. Bowditch investigates why modern decision-making is failing to deliver better long-term outcomes when resources, money and capability are so abundant. Redressing the ever more ESG announcements of great intentions and substituting with decisive action has never been more important.
A key thread in the BIG FIXES conversation speaks to building the quality of leadership in institutions and the community sector to more rapidly evolve the ESG space rather than rely on the weight of money. That means rebuilding trust across society – especially between people and institutions – and the importance of having more accountability for the long-term consequences flowing from decisions made by institutions on our behalf.
Bowditch argues infrastructure is an excellent starting point to make big changes in rebuilding trust. But if your vision of infrastructure is roads, bridges, tunnels, schools and hospitals, then your vision is too narrow. BIG FIXES will widen your perspective about infrastructure as the gift that current generations pay forward to future generations, says the Dean of Melbourne Business School, Professor Ian Harper AO.
When we invest in infrastructure, we are expressing hope and optimism for the future. However, investing in infrastructure today also creates the future because good infrastructure empowers human beings to trust and collaborate – unleashing human ingenuity and creativeness that fashions the future.
BIG FIXES critiques governments and institutions that now have an oversized impact on the long-term well-being of our societies. Bowditch pierces through infrastructure policy to reveal the damage caused by a political obsession of governments intent on grand announcements and short-term political gratification.
Experts have acclaimed BIG FIXES as a clarion call to the deeper and more life-giving instincts of our humanity, says former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley.
Infrastructure investors committed to self-improving should heed the call of BIG FIXES, says Ross Israel, Head of Global Infrastructure at QIC. Bowditch highlights the cross-over of infrastructure owners and the importance of stakeholder primacy and customer stewardship to strengthen ESG practices as fiduciaries of capital.
The time has come for all non-executive directors, politicians, officials, engineers, lawyers, architects and economists involved in infrastructure to fulfil their duties more consistently in orchestrating long-term change. BIG FIXES recognises the many challenges and clarifies what is vital to transforming businesses through collaborations with customers.
New technologies and digitisation of infrastructure services are powerful allies in putting customers back in control. BIG FIXES will engage and provoke all stakeholders with insights, examples and the customer stewardship framework.
Infrastructure is the fabric beneath us that fuses communities to find renewed purpose, collaborate in making a difference, and secure goodwill and posterity for all. There is absolutely no room to compromise on these precious qualities, only to strengthen them. Yet, because none of these is assured, it is reason enough why BIG FIXES are urgently needed now.