Advancing the Practice of Architecture
Summer 2012 Issue
0As the Practice Management Knowledge Community, our mission is to advance the practice of architecture through discovering, generating, organizing, and sharing insights, resources, and tools that enable architects to practice more effectively.
Letter from the Editor
By Ray Kogan, AIA
0“People are our greatest asset!” How many firm leaders have glibly made that clichéd claim, to the extent that it has become Dilbert fodder? More to the point, how many firms sincerely mean it? This issue of the Practice Management Digest—which goes out quarterly to all 10,000+ members of the AIA Practice Management Knowledge Community—is all about the people in your firms, who truly are your greatest asset. The following seven articles by industry experts provide valuable insights into attracting, retaining, developing, and managing your firm’s employees.
0• Finally, people being people, all is not always smooth sailing. Dr. Kiban Turner of Turner McNabb Consulting has provided an article with the self–explanatory title "Resolving Partner Conflict." Read…
0• An eighth article, "Knowing the Unknown Unknowns: Achieving Certainty in Documents" by Micheal J. Lough, AIA, of Integral Consulting focuses on quality in construction documents and is a carry–over from our Spring issue. Read…
We are also introducing a new feature with this issue: simply click here to download this entire issue, including all articles, as a single PDF for your ease of printing and reading later at your convenience.
0Our next issue, to be published in September, will revolve around the all important theme of marketing and business development: bringing the work into your firm. If you would like to provide an article for consideration in the next PM Digest, or know someone who would, please contact me at email@example.com.
Defining the Value of Human Resources
By Barbara Irwin
Understanding the value of HR is critical for the overall success of a firm regardless of size. It doesn’t matter if a firm is a sole-proprietorship, has expanded to an office of five, or has grown to a staff of 50 or 500; developing a holistic view on the value that HR brings to an organization will ultimately contribute to the overall success of a firm. More…
Employment 101 for Small Architecture Firms
By Jane Frederick, FAIA
During this last recession, many laid off architects hung out their shingle and started their own firms. Now that the economy is recovering, these same architects want to know - How do I get all the work accomplished? Should I hire an employee? More…
Bridging the Talent Gap: How Good Firms Get Great People
By Kerry Harding
Standing across the street from The White House recently on an unseasonably warm spring day, I asked 100 people passing by two questions: “Can you name a famous architect?” and “Can you name a famous basketball player?” Of the 51 people who could answer the first question, 37 responded with “Frank Lloyd Wright,” six said “Michael Graves,” and three said “Frank Gehry.” Of those same 100 people, 87 said, without any hesitation whatsoever, to the second question, “Michael Jordan.” I pondered a third question: Why aren’t there more superstars in design firms? More…
How to Align Your Team with Strategic Objectives to Create a High Performance Workforce
By Sandy Blaha
Creating a high performing team is not an accident, but the result of a specific intention executed with discipline. It requires aligning your workforce with your strategic objectives — and developing your team with a focus on talent management. Sound fluffy? Consider these sobering comparison statistics of companies that focused on talent management versus those that didn’t over a 10-year period. More…
How to Create an Employment Brand
By Lizz Pellet
Employment Branding is a hot topic and has become just as important to human resources and marketing professionals as it is to recruitment advertising firms. The hard dollars spent on recruitment and retention are under the microscope. While the extent of organizations’ people investments vary greatly from one industry and employer to the next, experts agree that the costs of losing valued employees is considerable. That’s why it is imperative to attract the right employees, increase efforts to retain employees before their employment officially begins, and to repel the ones that just won’t fit before they even apply. More…
Compensation Survey Data for Emerging Professionals
By Jennifer Riskus
Many architecture firms continue to report declining firm billings, and salaries remain relatively flat. But there is still work to be had, and still a need to hire emerging professionals to continue to grow the ranks of future architects. Firms need to continue to nurture and encourage intern architects and other emerging professionals to help prevent a “lost generation” of architects. More…
Resolving Partner Conflict
By Dr. Kiban Turner
There are few things as stressful as being in conflict with a partner. This is as true in business partnerships as it is in marriage. In both cases, people are highly vested in the relationship and interact with each other all the time. To dissolve the relationship is expensive in terms of financial and emotional cost. Living in conflict with a business partner is stressful, in an everyday, can’t-sleep-for-thinking-about-the-problem way. It can make going into work an exercise in misery and if things have gotten bad enough, the business of the firm can be significantly impacted. More…
Knowing the Unknown Unknowns: Achieving Certainty in Documents
By Micheal J. Lough, AIA
The single action that architects can take to improve the “certainty” which they expect of their Construction Documents is to increase the frequency, quality, and extent of reviews of the documents. Too often, documents at all design phases and the Construction Documents phase are issued without sufficient review. Insufficiently reviewed documents are a firm’s “Unknown Unknowns:” important details that firms don’t know that they don’t know, which can bite them later in the project. More…
2012 AIA National Convention, Washington, DC, May 16-19, 2012
Practice Management Lunch: The Future of Practice by Phillip Bernstein, FAIA, RIBA, LEED AP
0In a sold-out room for the annual Practice Management Lunch, Phil Bernstein, Vice President for AEC Industry Strategy and Relations for Autodesk and co-author of the book Building (in) the Future: Recasting Labor in Architecture examined the challenges and opportunities facing the profession of architecture relative to our value proposition as we enter the second decade of the 21st century. In response to many audience requests, Phil agreed to share his presentation online. View Phil’s presentation on Prezi.
Quite a number of AIA members at the Convention also took advantage of the 2012 Marketing Media Exchange, a joint venture of the AIA PMKC and the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS www.smps.org and received free constructive critiques of their firms’ printed and online marketing materials.
0Be on the lookout for the annual Practice Management Lunch and another Marketing Media Exchange as well as other practice management programs when you register for the 2013 Convention in Denver on June 20-22, 2013.
2012 Fall Conference
0Your Practice Management Knowledge Community is joining forces with the AIA South Atlantic Region for our annual Fall Conference on September 19-21 in Atlanta. The entire day of Wednesday, September 19 will be devoted to practice management sessions, so save the date! Find out more about the South Atlantic Region Fall Conference.
0Our June webinar, Human Resources: Creating the Right Workforce For Your Future will be presented by Sandy Blaha on June 28, 2012 from 1:00-2:15 EDT. Registration is free and you will earn 1.25 CES credits. You can learn more and register here.
0One of the PMKC’s initiatives is to continuously improve the AIA’s Best Practices. AIA Best Practices represent the collective wisdom of AIA members and related professionals. Download this PDF article addressing what a Best Practice is, and how to write and submit a Best Practice article for review and consideration. You can learn more about the AIA Best Practices on the AIA Website under the Practicing Architecture section. If you would like to share a best practice with your fellow practitioners, contact David Richards, AIA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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