The True Wealth Of Experience

Durl Jensen

An optimistic end-of-year note from CDI World USA President, Durl Jensen, looks at how overcoming adversity has strengthened the group’s most important asset – its multiskilled workforce.    

Durl Jensen, President of CDI World

We’re coming out of some very challenging times. As a company, we’ve faced headwinds even the world’s best crystal ball couldn’t have forecast and, even knowing we were one of many millions, did not make our decisions any less demanding. Recalibration has been the order of the day, entailing some changing up of agreements and associates, along with some long, hard looks in the mirror.

But things are brightening. I’m pleased to report that every hour at CDI World Atlanta is booked solid with projects well into 2022. Now that furlough has officially “left the building” there’s a tangible desire to move forward. Exciting hires are happening too, as we bring on fresh talent: passionate leaders with the training and skills vital to our industry.

Though we’ve dug in hard and made sacrifices, as every gym trainer will tell you, pain can bring gain and we’ve built new muscle doing so. The build and installation of commercial interiors, for example, always part of our workflow, has grown during this period and we’ve used the opportunity to refine our craftsmanship across many high-end properties.

Conjuring one-of-a-kind feats is our business after all, and I’m more convinced than ever, that to sustain the quality we’re known for, it best serves us to seed and nurture specialty expertise within our growing team. Focusing on our in-house uniqueness and taking on those selective projects that play fully to our strengths will be a priority as we continue to fine tune for the future.

Our staff is our lifeblood. However, while people are assets, they’re also dynamic ones and developing individuals with potential into different roles than those for which they were originally recruited has proved to be a beneficial strategy for all concerned. That’s not to say all our needs can be met from within. For example, our business requires many humans with hands of gold – skilled craftsmen with tens of thousands of hours of experience.  

Unfortunately, folks with these time-served credentials don’t just grow on proverbial Georgia peach trees. That means we’re actively recruiting seasoned specialists. And not only craftsmen, we’re looking for CAD designers, project managers, production managers and others who have mastered their art and come ready to devote the extra hours and effort to perfecting a build.

If recruiting good people is essential, so too is retaining them. Aside from fair compensation and maintaining a compassionate, flexible working environment, it’s important to ensure that the personal effort employees make is acknowledged. In turbulent times this can sometimes be overlooked, especially when the stream of projects seem to leave little space for more reflective moments.       

While we continue our ongoing recruitment efforts and look to attract new folks into our ranks, I want to take this opportunity to express my own immense gratitude to our current CDI World global family, for their professionalism, stamina and equanimity. Plainly, it hasn’t been easy but you’ve awed me with your work ethic and stunned me with your results.

As recent happenings have reminded us, the fundamental nature of the events, exhibitions and interiors business is one of continuing adaptability, always seeking ways to keep one step ahead of our clients’ needs. That requires great reserves of energy, and looking ahead to the New Year, we will be placing renewed emphasis on health and wellness in the workplace to keep us all in fighting-fit shape.

Our company culture relishes a challenge and takes pride in its devotion to clients, but it also recognizes that industrial robots we are not. Building human capital requires a devotion of its own, as well as a responsibility to ensure employees are valued and properly supported. This is, in my view, critical to our health as people and as a successful business.   

Happiest of holidays to all


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