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Select people who are compatible with you

1200 A to Zweig advice Category_Articles communication compatibility employees featured Mark Zweig work ethic

Select people who are compatible with you

We often talk about compatibility in the context of marriages. Oftentimes, when there’s incompatibility, one spouse tried to change the other. We all know how well that works out! It rarely does. If people aren’t compatible – it’s a bad marriage – they often end up in divorce. In AEC firms, that same relationship exists between employees and their managers. They have to be compatible. If not, they too, get divorced. And like marital divorces, divorces between employers and employees are rarely fun for either side. So compatibility is clearly a big deal. What are some common areas of incompatibility...

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Two firms, one team

1200 Category_Archives Category_Transportation featured Proposals Scott Johnston transportation winning work

Two firms, one team

Firms that prepare together find that the investment in time and resources equates to project wins and good relationships. Teaming with other AEC firms is a common strategy to win work that requires different types of expertise, size, and capabilities. What is not so common is presenting a seamless partnership to the client, both in the proposal and during the interview. “Sometimes I get the impression that teams met in the parking lot before they walked in,” said the director of a large city transportation department in the Puget Sound region. To build a team that is more than the...

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Conference call: Lonnie Laffen

1200 401(k) accounts receivable Benefits Billing Board of Directors Category_Articles featured flex schedule Growth IT JLG Architects Lonnie Laffen M&A marketing Ownership Transition Proposals Recruiting Retention success rate

Conference call: Lonnie Laffen

President of JLG Architects (#4 Best Firm Architecture for 2016), a 110-person, employee-owned North Dakota-based firm co-founded in 1989 by Laffen. By Liisa Andreassen Correspondent “We love organic growth but it’s dependent on developing internal leadership fast enough,” Laffen says. “M&A allows you quicker penetration into the market and leadership you can’t find internally.” A conversation with Lonnie Laffen. The Zweig Letter: What’s your philosophy on fee/billing and accounts receivable? How do you collect fees from a difficult client? Lonnie Laffen: We do a lot of public work (intentionally for this reason), and haven’t had many issues relating to collections....

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A new leadership paradigm

1200 advice career path Category_Articles featured millennials Ownership Transition Stephen Lucy Training

A new leadership paradigm

The transition from boomers to millennials is going to happen anyway, so put in a good-faith effort and make it a positive experience. By 2020, 50 percent of the U.S. workforce will be millennials. In our industry, that number may actually be higher due to the retirement of baby boomers and the hit our industry incurred during the recession, when a large segment of mid-management employees were decimated. The bottom-line? No matter how we feel as firm owners, our financial well-being is predicated upon millennials being engaged, productive, and loyal to the firm. Operationally, we need them, and we especially...

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Keeping up appearances

1200 Category_Articles featured Glassdoor online image Randy Wilburn reputation social media

Keeping up appearances

Your firm’s reputation can be made, or broken, on the internet. Maintain a clean online image if you want to attract and keep top talent. I’m constantly fielding questions from clients and potential clients about the challenges they face when it comes to protecting their firm’s reputation on the recruitment and retention front. There’s no single answer that addresses everything that you may go through to protect and grow your brand in the minds of your current employees or even future ones. Here are three things you can do to keep your firm looking good on social media and in...

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