Managing Professional Services – Simple, but Hard

Many design and technical professionals are attracted to complexity. Engineers, scientists, architects, and consultants often seek out larger and more complex projects – and eschew the simpler ones. These professionals are invigorated by using their experience, expertise, intelligence, and creativity to attack and solve challenging problems (particularly those that others can’t readily solve).  With this paradigm, design and technical professionals envision that the opposite of simple is complex. Complex is good, interesting, and necessary. Simple is simplistic, unchallenging – and boring. In contrast, experiences in the business of the firm suggest a different model.  Managing a professional services firm focuses […]

AEC Leaders – Is it (Really) the Economy, Stupid?

Yes, the economy stinks. Not for all of course, but most sectors of the US economy remain weak, uneven, and uncertain. Moreover, many economists now believe that both low growth and ongoing uncertainty could be with us – for a good long while. Ken Simonson, Chief Economist of AGC – the Associated General Contractors of America – recently characterized April’s modest rise in construction spending as “deceptively positive,” [http://news.agc.org/2011/06/01/construction-spending-figures-highlight-how-government-funding-cutbacks-are-limiting-industrys-recovery/] – pointing to weakening public sector demand and the still slow residential construction market as important underlying factors. Simonson further noted that the relatively flat construction market was “uneven” – a […]

AEC Leaders, Recharge for the Recovery!

“Hello?  Are you there?” You’re right in the middle of a really important call – with your best client or a gigantic prospect – and … nothing.  Your cell phone dies – battery dead.  There you sit – in the car, on a plane, at the park – and out of luck.  No connection …no juice … no deal.  Sound familiar? Is this the road you’re planning for your business as well? Certainly not intentionally, but perhaps inadvertently so.  Like many today you’re probably running nonstop and working as hard as ever – just to keep the firm (and yourself) […]