Meet Salla Eckhard. She directs all aspects of digital building lifecycle framework from initiation to successful completion to optimize total performance of build environment. she is passionate about leading digital building lifecycle and exploring the facts that how developing people's skills and organizational wisdom affects the next generation-built environment industry.
What attracted you to your role/position? I have built my career portfolio from the objective of becoming an international subject matter expert and a visionary leader. In order to become one, a lot of hard work and exposure to the “unknown” was needed. I started my career in academic research, gained practical experience in architectural design and structural engineering before moving to the USA and joining the GC/CM side of the industry. When Microsoft invited me to join a real estate owner organization it was the amazing opportunity to close the loop and start serious development of the digital building lifecycle. What are your goals for the next 24 months? My goals for the next two years is moving the industry needle from vision statement and digital building lifecycle strategy talk into supporting the tactical planning of digital building lifecycle applications in AECO companies. The processes and the technology are ready, it’s time to educate and train people how to apply. How will this company impact others? Microsoft’s mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
What would you say to other women in construction about breaking the glass ceiling? Don’t try to be a superhero alone. Build partnerships and push the other women to their next level so they can pull you with them. Breaking the glass ceiling is all about collaboration with everyone at all levels. Nobody gets to the top alone, and being at the top alone is lonely. Make it a team effort and seek out those who are passionate, inspired, knowledgeable, competent and nice.
What motivates you? People who are motivated themselves for improving the status quo. Everything is impossible until someone does it for the first time, and I want to be the first timer for everything. Seeing things take off and scaling because I have been able to support and help others succeed is very rewarding regardless of myself being the hidden figure majority of the time. Do you have a quote, spiritual practice or inspiration that guides you forward? Follow the Golden Rule in life and apply it to business everyday. Companies and organizations don’t work together, collaborate together or do business together. People do. Tell us about one of your wins or victories. I took the digital building lifecycle from a vision statement (2019) to operations (2022) in 2.5 calendar years. It feels like a big win since I did it with my team while everyone was dealing with COVID. People often mistake innovators being inventors who don’t have operational thinking. I feel like this is a victory in that sense. The built environment industry has a very bright future ahead!