Mark Bryant has worn two hats for more than a year in his dual roles as CIO of PCL, a
group of multi-national, independent construction companies, and CEO of Latium
Technologies, an end-to-end solutions provider for IoT technology. He suspects there
will come a time when it becomes too much, but for now he’s enjoying a challenge that
advances Canada’s leadership in the technical space.
“The two jobs are not as different as one might think,” he says, speaking with ITWC CIO
Jim Love on Leadership in the Digital Enterprise, an ITWC podcast series focused on
real discussions of leadership in this new digital era. “You still have to nurture your
people, you still have to understand the tech, you have to be innovative, and you have
to figure out how to how to grow the business.”
A visionary leader with a passion for Smart Construction, Bryant sees the potential in
technology for improving build quality, reducing warranty claims, conserving energy,
and increasing workplace safety. His success bringing artificial intelligence and machine
learning technologies to the construction site has earned him widespread recognition,
including ITWC’s Canadian CIO of the Year, Top 50 Construction Influencer, ENR Top
25 Newsmaker, and a seat on the board for Alberta IoT.
A Different Way of Thinking
Reflecting on leadership, Bryant enumerates the qualities of exemplary leaders along
his career trajectory. “Good leaders have time for you. They have patience. They make
you part of the process, they get you involved, and they look for opportunities to support
your growth,” he tells Love.
As for his own success, he chalks that up to these same leaders, saying they modelled
traits that have helped PCL do great things. “I’ve empowered my people to do the things they need to do to align with our vision and I’ve empowered them to make decisions,” he explains. “If they fall down, it’s my job to pick them up. Great things happen when we work together.”
Bryant credits PCL’s long-time, employee-owned structure with creating a positive and
dynamic work culture. As a cloud-first based company, it has superior mobility, a cutting
edge data strategy, and integrated services that set the stage for artificial intelligence
and IoT. This inclusive approach is also in sync with his belief that authority and power
impede a leader’s ability to succeed. “I am never comfortable with people calling me the
boss,” he says. “I’m not the boss, I’m a colleague, and that requires some different ways of thinking.”
What Would His Father Do?
Asked by Love to share a moment that defined his leadership style, Bryant recalls a
difficult situation at the trust company where he worked when he was 24 years old.
Uncertain how to deal with this, he asked himself what his father would do – a practice
that ended up rectifying the problem and becoming one of the staples in his leadership
toolkit. “From there, my career took off,” he says. “Whenever I got in a jam, I would ask
myself what Dad would do.”