When was the last time your architecture or engineering firm looked at your strategic and business plans? Have you been flying by the seat of your pants, reacting to changing economic conditions as they develop? Is your backlog below par? Are projects dwindling?
If you fall into the above situations, now is the time to do some serious thinking and planning.
• Look for new ideas. Have you engaged your young staff? They have lots of good ideas, so sit
back and listen.
• Is everyone pulling their weight? Maybe it’s time to replace the non-performers with those who are willing to grab onto the rope with two hands.
• Get away from the office for a day. Bring key staff together, buy them lunch. Bring plenty of newsprint pads and roll up your sleeves. No idea is a bad idea.
• Get staff involved. A staff that is involved buys in and supports the plan. Try it, you will be surprised.
• Do what you say you will do. Don’t give lip service to the process. The boss needs to lead, support, demonstrate enthusiasm and carry the flag. Staff will follow.
• Get the marketing department to think out of the box. Old ways and good ol’ boy techniques need to be re-thought. Remember every dollar spent on marketing is critical and results count.
• Make good decisions and stick by them. Rules apply to everyone from the boss down to the staff.
• Find ways to become more efficient with the tools and staff you have. Your procedures and policy books should not be cast in concrete.
• Above all, develop a realistic plan with achievable and measurable goals. No pie in the sky planning. These are serious times demanding serious planning.
• Your plan must be flexible and not collect dust sitting on your bookshelf. Keep staff apprised of your firm’s progress and change if you have to.
• Just remember: Be proactive! Change, tweak, and altar your plan as current conditions warrant.
Is your firm's growth plan a vague wish, or a clearly defined map you can actually use?
Every firm has goals–whether written or nebulous ideas in the minds of top principals. But only by converting those goals into a plan can you unleash growth forces and direct your energy efficiently. Without a structured, documented, and communicated plan, your firm is rudderless.
On September 16-19, a select group of senior A/E/C firm leaders from across North America will gather in beautiful Martha's Vineyard for Breakthrough Growth Planning Strategies: A PSMJ Senior Executive Forum, a frank and open exploration of the decisions that drive growth and how to make the winning call every time, led by PSMJ Founder and CEO Frank A. Stasiowski, FAIA. But, you won’t just be hitting those nails with the same old hammer. In this completely confidential and candid setting, Frank turns traditional thinking on its ear.
You also might be interested in these blog posts by Frank A. Stasiowski: