Thinking Strategically

Too Busy (To Plan)?

August 2019 Dear Clients and Friends, These are great times for most architecture and engineering firms! Our industry continues to benefit from the longest economic recovery since WWII. From my consultant’s anecdotal perspective, my clients are doing very well, with plenty of work to go around and very healthy financial performance. Current A/E industry surveys [...]

2019-08-06T13:25:57-04:00By |Thinking Strategically|

Getting It Done!

May 2019 Dear Clients and Friends, Next week, I will be making a presentation at the ACEC Annual Convention entitled “Getting It Done! Keys to Implementing Your Firm’s Strategic Plan.” If you can make it there, great! I look forward to seeing you. For the rest of you, here’s a summary of my key points: [...]

2019-05-02T09:35:31-04:00By |Thinking Strategically|

Success and Succession

March 2019 Dear Clients and Friends, If you’re reading this, you’re either leading your firm or would probably like to be leading it someday. Effective leadership is the single most crucial asset a firm must have to succeed. Firms that need money can borrow; firms without enough business can boost their marketing; but firms that [...]

2019-03-04T12:13:42-04:00By |Thinking Strategically|

Looking Back and Looking Ahead

Looking Back Our industry and the overall economy has been enjoying a long (and well-deserved) recovery since the Great Recession: As of December, 2018, the current economic expansion which began in mid-2009 will have lasted nine years and six months (114 months). According to the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER, the official arbiter of [...]

2019-01-04T10:58:39-04:00By |Thinking Strategically|


We often hear calls for accountability when we work on strategic planning with our client firms. A lack of accountability can creep insidiously into all facets of your business: marketing and business development, project management and profitability, and staff management. Its worst symptoms can take many forms: Underperforming principal Market leaders not meeting revenue and [...]

2017-01-28T18:26:04-04:00By |Thinking Strategically|

On the Minds of Firm Leaders

Our A|E Advisors group ( has just completed our annual CEO Forum, where 50 firm leaders from across the country came together in Scottsdale, Arizona for a 2-day CEO roundtable. A thought provoking session this year was the discussion of our CEO Survey Report. We once again surveyed A&E firm CEOs regarding the trends and challenges that they’re seeing today. I’d like share some of the survey results with you, and also pose some follow-up questions.

2017-01-28T18:26:04-04:00By |Thinking Strategically|

The Talent Scramble

The economic downturn that has affected nearly all of our industry has had most firms scrambling for work to keep their people busy. No doubt this has been a top priority for you, too. As a result, we’ve observed one element that has been notably absent from strategic plans developed over the past few years: [...]

2017-01-28T18:26:04-04:00By |Thinking Strategically|

Where Do We Go From Here?

In these changing and uncertain times, many firm leaders are asking themselves “where do we go from here?” In my strategic planning work, I too have had ample opportunity to think deeply about this with my clients. In pursuit of meaningful answers, I’d like to pose several more focused questions: What’s changed in the world? [...]

2017-01-28T18:26:04-04:00By |Thinking Strategically|