Leading in the face of change

As AEC firms navigate toward an uncertain future, the most effective leaders are those who eagerly adapt to change. Here are three attitudes that drive leaders who are of most value to their firms.

September 26, 2013 |
Steven Burns

As AEC firms navigate toward an uncertain future, the most effective leaders are those who eagerly adapt to change, writes James Cramer, President of the Design Futures Council, in DesignIntelligence.

“Leaders in successful professional practices are optimistic in the face of change,” he writes. “They understand that without objective optimism they are of little value to their firms and certainly without value to their clients — no matter how intellectually smart they may be otherwise.”

Cramer says smart leaders recognize that growing and profitable firms aren’t just lucky.  

“Success in professional practice happens because leaders are willing to ask smart questions, take time to plan and set goals, make some sacrifices, and take risks,” he says.

He believes three attitudes drive leaders who are of most value to their firms:  

1. Leaders understand that they must invest in and invent their own sustainable future and to be an entrepreneur within today’s changing context.  

2. Leaders understand that chaos and change are major forces in professional life today.  

3. Leaders understand that they need to design their professional and personal life to be lean and action oriented. 

Yet Cramer observes that numerous professional practices are continuing to sell the same thing and deliver services the same way. 

“It doesn’t take long for smart clients to recognize when services go stale or become slow or irrelevant compared to other innovative choices in the marketplace.” 

Ultimately, Cramer says the profit-making potential of “new-strategy” professional practices will be undeniable.  

Read more from DesignIntelligence

Editor's note: This is a sponsored article. All text and images were provided by the sponsor company.

Steven Burns | The Business Behind Design

Steven Burns, FAIA spent 14 years managing the firm Burns + Beyerl Architects, and during that time the firm’s earnings grew at an average rate of 24% per year. After founding his own software company, Steve took his management expertise to BQE Software, where he is refining their business strategy and product development for the company’s groundbreaking project accounting solution, BQE Core.

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