Monday, April 18, 2022
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Networking Cocktail Reception

We gather for a low-key “get-to-know-you” reception and wine tasting for meeting and networking with your peer Retreat attendees in a casual setting.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022
7:30 AM - 8:30 AM


8:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Morning Group Session
Eye-Opening Disruption and Opportunity Ahead: What the Future Holds for A/E/C Firms

After breakfast together, we kick off by comparing your firm’s Post-COVID experiences and performance with what peer executives from high performance firms are revealing through PSMJ’s benchmarking data and member discussions.

How effectively is your firm attacking the BEST new business opportunities in a robust climate, and where does it stand in relation to industry trends? What’s working to build healthy and sustainable backlog of high-profit projects? What’s a dead-end?

We then explore some of the major disruptions that are poised to radically re-shape the A/E/C industry in the coming years:

How are some firms ditching the antiquated time-based business models (and the long-despised timesheets that go with them)?

How is artificial intelligence going to turn your firm’s staffing needs, capital investments, and value proposition upside down?

This is “No B.S.” stuff that forward-thinking firms are embracing RIGHT NOW to strike while the iron's hot.

We move quickly into an intense study of your firm’s vision for growth and how to map your future direction to capitalize on the disruption ahead, and deliver sustainable stress-tested impact and growth.

We also uncover the specific issues YOU want to bring forward for discussion with peer executives while we’re in Sonoma. This helps us get in front of the near-horizon opportunities and challenges that can bend your firm’s growth curve, and leverage the collective expertise of your fellow Retreat participants!

12:30 PM - 4:30 PM

Group Winery Experience

5:00 PM

Group Dinner (Details coming soon!)

Wednesday, April 20, 2022
7:30 AM - 8:30 AM


8:30 AM - 4:00 PM

Group Session
Building a Future-Proof A/E/C Firm: Critical M&A Trends, Smart Tech Investment Strategy, Effective Corporate Governance, and Creative Transition Planning.
(includes lunch)

Now we tackle the financial aspects of your growth planning. We see how we can get your numbers that beat industry norms. We discuss the smartest ways to plan capital investments in high-ROI technology, design and finance acquisitions, and what payback period top firms seek to achieve.

Then, we focus on how to structure your firm’s board of directors to maximize its positive impact on meeting strategic goals, how to select the right board members, new approaches to governance, pros/cons of outside directors, and optimum ways to structure your charter and bylaws for growth.

We also dive into your plans for leadership transition, taking stock of your current leadership strategy and how to identify and nurture your next-gen rockstars. But, more than that, we examine creative win-win strategies that solve some of the most common issues that break transition plans.

We wrap up the day by shifting gears to talk about how to leverage new uses for Artificial Intelligence to complete A/E/C projects when talent is hard to secure, what communication, visualization, and collaboration tools tomorrow’s clients are going to demand from your firm, including where VDC, XR, and Augmented Reality is headed.

Thursday, April 21, 2022
7:30 AM - 8:30 AM


8:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Morning Group Session
Going from Idea to Execution: Refocusing BD Efforts, Rethinking Your Recruiting Strategy, and Embracing Agility

After breakfast, we dig into the details of growth strategy execution. We discuss the markets you serve and the new BD and sales strategies you can best use to communicate with them. Here, our goal is to differentiate you from the competition through innovative marketing tactics that work with hybrid virtual and F2F meetings. Next, we focus talent optimization and why your recruiting and engagement strategies may have quickly become ineffective and outdated. We explore how top-performing firms are having no difficulty attracting and keeping the best talent.

After three intensive days, you walk out energized, exhilarated and eager to go, with the framework of a written growth plan in your hands. It won’t be perfectly typed, bound and tabbed. But it will have substance and meaning for you and your firm. You’ll have the tools, the insight, the information, the data, the ideas and the assistance of the best the world has to offer…and the opportunity to discuss it all with other design firm executives, just like you!

12:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Free Time and Optional One-on-One Discussions

We insist that you don't leave Sonoma with any unanswered questions, so we set aside time Thursday afternoon and Friday for one-on-one consultations with your Forum facilitators. 

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