Vancouver-based management consultant Jo-Ann Panneton presented “managing attention in the age of distraction” at the Vancouver Regional Construction Association’s Construction Leadership Summit in Whistler, B.C. Inability to focus comes at a cost. It costs time and energy, leads to errors and mistakes, impairs memory and learning and causes stress and anxiety. “In high hazard environments, this can lead to lapses in safety,” she said. Understanding and managing attention is now the single most important determinant of business success, she said, adding we have to respect attention as we do the passage of time. The average adult mind is involuntarily wandering 47 per cent of the time, she said. “Imagine the change in productivity and safety if we could change it by five per cent,” she said. Construction sites used to be stable, predictable environments, but current construction sites are now anything but, she said.