In sharing our insight about the business of design and construction, we advance the larger conversation about industry trends.

Technology Enables The Return Of The Master Architect

There is a perception in the construction industry that offsite manufacturing produces boring boxes. This perception has created a subliminal, sometimes primal, objection to the genre in terms of architectural form within the urban environment in particular. But is it real?

+ Read More

Part 1: How Do You Design For An Unknown Future?

What is your go-to resilient design resources? I asked this question of two leading design firms each at the forefront of integrating resilience into their projects. And their responses were compelling and informative for anyone interested in addressing resilience in their work. Based on the latest science* and weather reports, this should be all of us!

+ Read More

Adult Conversations: Managing Building Project Risk

Why do so many capital projects begin with promise but end in frustration and conflict? Why does the design and construction industry have such a bad rap for budget and schedule performance?

It’s because we often fail to plan for the uncertainty we all know is part of the process.  We don’t have serious conversations about risk at the right time.  We can do better…here’s how.

+ Read More

The Five Habits Of Client Development Rock Stars

In the A/E world, a rainmaker is a designer, an architect, engineer, or planner who brings in new business almost by magic, since it is often not readily apparent how this new business activity happens. Design firm leaders, especially namesake founders, often grasp this magic themselves but need help passing it on to next generation leaders.

+ Read More

Building A Rainforest Firm: Lessons From Silicon Valley

Your design firm can step up its game by adopting a few principles that make Silicon Valley the world’s most productive center for innovation.

As an architect, I’ve always been focused on creating firms and project teams that can draw the best talent and do the best work. A friend recently recommended a book that provides a great model. We know that rainforests are the most diverse, fertile and biologically productive places on earth – so how can we achieve the same qualities in a design firm? + Read More

Making Real Change Or Just Rearranging The Chairs?

It’s popular to be a champion of change. We see it every day in politics, businesses, and institutions. At a personal level, we’re all aware of the pace of change around us and privately hoping that we can keep up. We hear “Change or die.” We see successes and failures. We all want to be agents for positive change in things that matter to us. + Read More

Advice To Potential New Principals

Our consulting firm completed a benchmark study a few months ago on how architecture firms are handling the ownership succession process involving one or more founders who are near the end of their tenure.

+ Read More

Can’t Somebody Just Make A Decision?

Design firms are busy and growing at a pace we haven’t seen for many years.  Competition for talent seems to be more difficult than competition for clients and projects.  This is one of those “good problems” the industry prefers.

+ Read More

Designing Your Client Experience

Why do you buy coffee at Starbuck’s, or buy shoes from Zappos? You can get a fine cup of coffee or a good pair of shoes elsewhere, and probably for less. If you’re a customer of Starbuck’s or Zappos – or Ritz-Carlton, Disney World, Lexus, Singapore Airlines, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, or Nordstrom – you’re probably there because of the legendary service experiences these companies create for their customers.

+ Read More

Keeping The Magic In A Creative Organization

You know it when you see it: a creative team that always delivers amazing work, a group whose performance is consistently greater than the sum of its parts.

There’s an inventiveness and exuberance that surprises you, even when you know the team well and have developed high expectations. The people are prolific. They work hard, sacrificing their own time and interests when the job demands it. They obviously love what they do and love working with each other. It shows.

+ Read More

Want To Improve Your Firm’s Go/No Go Process?

Monday, 9:30 AM. It’s time for the weekly Monday morning marketing meeting and you and your partners gather in the conference room. Discussion begins and quickly turns to the Go/No Go decisions on the table. Two are strong prospects—you have great relationships with the clients, you have been positioning your firm for months, and you have exactly the right relevant experience. The discussion is quick and painless.

+ Read More

Sign up to stay informed and receive occasional updates and insights from us.