Building a Culture of Productivity

March 2, 2009 · by Todd DeGarmo

An organizational structure that enhances organic collaboration may not be inherently efficient, but Studios Architecture finds that in some regards, ambiguity builds success.

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Since its nascence, the practice of architecture’s success centered on the individual and collective talents of those who comprised the design studio. Read full »

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How Firms Succeed 5.0

Strategic Self-Assessment

LEAP is a strategic assessment tool developed by The Greenway Group that appraises the likelihood of profitability in a design firm. At its core is the assumption of a four-fold basis of success: leadership, empowerment, accountability, and processes.

If a firm is to find success in today’s challenging business environment, it must be focused on maximizing profits organization-wide. Neither a firm’s size nor its reputation guarantee continued success. Employees must be empowered to do their jobs, but they must also be held accountable for results. A management system needs to be in place to drive revenues and profits.

The following self-evaluation from Greenway allows firms to determine if they have a management system and culture in place to succeed at the highest level.

Check off each item below that is fully implemented at your firm.

• All employees know and understand the top priorities of the firm, and their job activities are focused accordingly.

• Employees are empowered to do their jobs, and they understand the need to link empowerment with accountability.

• The strengths and weaknesses of the firm are known and being acted upon accordingly.

• All employees are accountable by specific, measurable, and time-framed individual objectives contributing to the success of the firm.

• Priorities, objectives, and accomplishments are periodically reviewed and adjusted.

• The employee appraisal process and salary administration are linked to what makes the firm succeed.

• All employees know what salary increases are based upon.

• Incentive compensation plans are linked to what makes the firm succeed.

• A formal annual planning process is in place and involves all employees.

• Managers and staff embrace a management system that enhances the firm’s culture, promotes teamwork, and makes everyone more productive and effective.

• A current and easy-to-update strategic plan is in place that drives revenues and profits.

• Revenues and profits are growing as a result of happy clients, happy employees, and happy owners.

• Double-digit pre-tax profits are consistently achieved each year.


If you checked 11 to 13: Congratulations on a great management system that drives profitability.

If you checked 8 to 10: You may need to fine-tune your management system.

If you checked 1 to 7: You need to make significant changes to maximize profits.

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