209 - TZL - John Wheaton

and our space of specialty delegated design, engineering and consulting. But how much is it attributed to the market and how much is it attributed to us, I think it's a combination. We are more focused on our mission. We've redefined our core. Again, you talk about EOS. What it did was it had us get together as a leadership team. So that first part is us. We redefined our core purpose, which is to enable facades that inspire. We defined our core values, not aspirational, but who are we? What is our DNA? Its collaboration, integrity, client-conscious communication, and capability. We redefined our niche - design engineering, science, and consulting for building facades. So armed with that we're super focused on what it is we do and the type of work we do. I'm going to say the market is no better. We're getting more comfortable with the dynamics in the market. I think owners are getting edgy and tired of waiting. They're trying to push the buttons before inflation kicks in more. We scorecard nine different areas. Our number of RFPs increased. Our estimated work increased steadily, it’s above our scorecard value. Our backlog has started to rise. New acquisition of work is rising in different pockets, different areas of the country because we work nationally. I don't know, Randy, if it's any better or easier, I just think we're getting more comfortable with the weirdness of it and the ability to shuck and jive and figure out. We're going to focus on these customers in these markets, these tech centers, these areas that build hospitals, and these areas that build secondary education. There are active areas, but I think people are tired, and they're just ready to move forward and figure out how they're going to act in the new reality. So that's kind of a long answer but there are lots of different signals and triggers to kind of inform that mentality.

Randy Wilburn[ 26:54] You almost have to be malleable to whatever the market is giving you, and so, if you're not, if you're inflexible as an organization, sometimes the market can be very unforgiving.

John Wheaton [27:10] You know the market doesn't care. So I always say, if you're super innovative, if you're Steve Jobs, if you're Thomas Edison, if you're Bill Gates, you create a market and the market builds around you. But with us, we're a service-oriented industry. We can be innovative, and we can be differentiated, but we have to say, what is the market giving and how best can we differentiate, serve and provide value in the context of that market? So one of the guys who are on my leadership team, Mike Kohler, who I think we were on my second podcast together, he's good about managing what you can manage and control what you can control. I can't control what's going to happen tomorrow outside of me, but I can read the signals, and I can talk to people. And honestly, Randy, I think the best way to be informed is to just get on teams or on the phone or in a dialogue with clients and ask what are you seeing? What are you

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