If you had to pick a philosophy to describe the work of Margaret Wood, project director at Pinck & Co., “think big” would be a strong candidate.
That’s not because she only works on big projects – though she certainly has many of those under her belt. Wood coordinated two teams in two different cities on two different continents (Boston and Tokyo) while working on pre-construction for the expansion of MIT’s Media Lab.
She was also involved with the pre-construction of Lawrence’s Fenton Judicial Court Center, a 10-courtroom complex that consolidated district, probate and juvenile court functions and services. Wood has since 2015 served as the owner’s project manager for the city of Boston’s 10-year school facility master plan.
Still, the “think big” mantra applies not so much to the size of her projects but rather to how she approaches them.
“I’ve always been interested in the challenges of design and building [regarding] ‘What are the core decisions that you need to make?’” Wood said. “I’m not terribly interested in the super-fine level of detail – I feel like the architects are really good at that … I’m interested in the core decisions about how you build, where you build, how much money you have to build.”
Wood’s work as an owner’s project manager has only caused her to think bigger, as it’s introduced her to her passion for “organizational dynamics.”
“I’m interested in … the way organizations make decisions, and I mean that both in the sense of a town – how does a town that has both parents and the elderly come together to, say, vote to support a tax override? … How do you make people see the value of it?,” Wood said, “but also the organizational dynamics of other kinds of groups.” For example, Wood explained, she’s currently helping a charter school that’s considering adding a high school create a committee structure that includes all interested parties in exactly the way they want to be involved.
Needless to say, Wood’s line of work requires her to be an expert communicator, a skill she has in spades, said Jennifer Pinck, founder and president of Pinck & Co.
“Margaret knows how to take a complex ideas and concepts and really break them out into plain English,” Pinck said. “Architects tend to speak in architect language, contractors speak in contractor language, permitters speak in permitting language, and clients may not understand the implications of what’s being talked about. She’s really able to break it down.”
While Wood may spend her days answering the big-picture questions, her dedication to each of her projects is intimate and personal. This is particularly true of her work with the Boston Public Schools, which Wood described as “unbelievably fascinating.”
“Margaret is insightful, strategic and thoughtful,” Pinck said. “She’s always able to connect the dots for clients. … She cares a lot about the city of Boston and she cares a lot about her work.”