The Last Word: Skiles Group CEO Keyan Zandy On Quality Over Quantity

Zandy, who won a "Pioneer" award for lean construction in October, developed a crisis management tool for construction that's earned him two patents as well as awards from Constructech Vision and AGC. He shares his thoughts on redefining success for 2024 in an option piece on D CEO.

The Mantra for 2024: Do less, better.

Keyan Zandy
Skiles Group
.…on redefining success for 2024 by cultivating people-centric leadership, via D CEO.

Zandy, CEO of the Richardson-based construction management firm Skiles Group, wrote an opinion piece in D CEO called “Crushing the Profit First Mentality: How to Cultivate People-centric Leadership.”

He writes that in commercial real estate, bidding more projects and generating more revenue is often the goal “at all costs.” But he believes that by “prioritizing quality over quantity” and “putting people over profit,” companies can redefine success in far more beneficial ways.

That philosophy has paid dividends for Zandy and the Skiles Group. In October, The Lean Construction Institute named Zandy as its 2023 LCI Pioneer Award winner. The annual award recognizes individuals who have moved the design and construction industry forward in embracing and implementing Lean tools and technique.

“Keyan has been an active advocate and champion for Lean construction practices since 2005,” Dan Heinemeier, executive director for LCI, said in a statement. “He’s used Lean culture, practices, and tools to propel Skiles Group to record growth and built an avid, active base of Lean enthusiasts with his The Lean Builder community.”

Zandy was recruited to the Skiles Group in 2014 with the goal of introducing and fully integrating Lean Construction practices into every project, the institute said, noting that since then, the Skiles Group has achieved 5X in volume and doubled its staffing as well as won numerous building awards.

Zandy brings a passion for technology innovation to his company, the institute noted, leading to his development of Smart Safety, a crisis management smartphone app used to improve and streamline communication on construction projects during crises.

The crisis management tool has earned Zandy two patents as well as awards from Constructech Vision and AGC.

For more of who said what about all things North Texas, check out Every Last Word.

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