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Conference call: Don Benvie

1264 Business Development Category_Articles design-build Don Benvie Entrepreneurship featured leadership pipeline Liisa Andreassen marketing Ownership Transition profit centers Project Managers Tectonic Engineering & Surveying Consultants P.C.

Conference call: Don Benvie

President and CEO of Tectonic Engineering & Surveying Consultants P.C. (Hot Firm #89 for 2018), a 500-person multifaceted engineering firm based in Mountainville, NY. By Liisa Andreassen Correspondent “Years ago we tried the sales force approach,” Benvie says, referring to business development. “It didn’t work. Engineers want to deal with engineers. We operate on a seller/doer model and then have business development staff who support those efforts.” A CONVERSATION WITH DON BENVIE. The Zweig Letter: There are A/E leaders who say profit centers create corrosive internal competition for firm resources. What’s your opinion on profit centers? Don Benvie: We operate...

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An enticing aroma

1264 Business Development Category_Articles featured Improve innovate Innovation James A. Lee James Lee Leadership Development learn teach Technology

An enticing aroma

If your firm makes a sincere effort to learn, teach, develop, innovate, and improve, old and new hires alike will notice. As president of a 400-person design firm, one of my favorite activities is one-on-one meetings with new employees. They share their personal story and first impressions of Shive-Hattery’s culture. A new hire recently summed things up by saying, “I like the smell of the place.” This was the most succinct way to say she liked our values – what we do, how we do it, why we do what we do, how we treat each other, and what we...

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Trust your partners

1264 A to Zweig advice business partner Category_Articles communication featured Mark Zweig Partner Trust

Trust your partners

After being a part of the AEC industry for more than 38 years now, I have witnessed a problem too many times – one that hurts both the company and the people working in it. That is a lack of trust between business partners. I don’t know exactly why it develops. I’m sure there are many possible causes. But one thing I do know for sure – it’s a terrible cancer. Sometimes the lack of trust results in an all-out major war between two or more partners in the firm. That can lead to partner separations or a break up....

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Off the shelf

1264 Andy Platz Category_Articles featured strategic plan

Off the shelf

When creating your strategic plan, don’t forget that transformative ideas might be buried deep within your organization, so be inclusive with your staff. I recently overheard a CEO of a large AEC firm say, “We just went through another strategic planning exercise that included our entire management team. My COO and I do not think it is the right direction, but we’ll print it anyway and then do what we think is best.” In other words, the obligatory strategic plan is completed and then put on the shelf until the next one replaces it. It is never used as it...

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What millennials get right

1264 Category_Articles equality featured generational differences honesty millennials opportunity Stephen Lucy work-life balance

What millennials get right

The new generation brings a lot to the table, much of it good, so lighten up, be honest, and enjoy yourself as you roll up your sleeves and work. By 2020, nearly half (46 percent) of all U.S. workers will be millennials. They outnumber baby boomers by 7.7 million according to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau estimate. As a baby boomer, I sometimes find that rather frightening in light of all the press discussions regarding the many things that millennials do poorly. However, given that almost half of our firm’s staff are millennials and that we are still successful,...

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