CEO Moment | Thinking like a Futurist


Last year at this time, we didn’t know what to expect for the future. People were working from home. Children were learning from living rooms. The tragic events that spurred the nationwide call for racial justice hadn’t happened yet. We had hoped things would get back to normal soon, but we didn’t know what that meant.

Now, here we are today. “Back to normal” is no longer what it used to mean. To build a bridge from the normal we knew to the normal of the future, we must ask and answer questions about what we have learned from an unprecedented time in history.

At Lamp Rynearson, we’re doing this by thinking like futurists – looking for signals of change and asking, What is losing or has lost its margin of return? What is emerging? How do we plan to be a part of that?

We’re applying this framework to everything we do at Lamp Rynearson to Lead with Purpose for our employees, clients, and our communities. By answering these questions, we can approach change with the intent to take advantage of, instead of reacting to, the impacts it has on business opportunities for us and our clients.

An example is the decline of federal money dedicated to infrastructure projects. On the rise are stimulus packages focused on sustainability, climate change, social equity, and efficiency. How do we bridge the middle? Our team is on the forefront of learning about and applying the “shovel-worthy” principals laid out by the Biden Administration as criteria for federally funded infrastructure projects. The goal is not to just qualify for funding, but that our clients’ projects clearly encourage positive change, address long-standing inequities, and mitigate the effects of climate change resulting in prioritized funding.

The goal is to have clients’ projects prioritized for funding.

By thinking like a futurist, Lamp Rynearson increases value for society – not just by being experts of shovel-worthy design – but also through better services, developing our workforce, and renewing the environment. With a spirit of excellence, we will explore untested ideas, particularly if they serve a societal need, and allocate resources to make the greatest impact for both internal and external stakeholders.

Let’s not wait for the new normal to come to us. Together, we will shape the new normal with thoughtfulness, creativity, and compassion through purposeful, outcome-driven design.

Leading with Purpose,

Nancy Pridal, PE, ENV-SP
Lamp Rynearson President and CEO

To learn more about shovel-worthy criteria, visit our website to access a free quick-start guide on aligning your project with shovel-worthy criteria to prepare for federal funding.