How to Develop and Lead a Great Firm

Experiment with these practices, expand your knowledge of them; surround yourself with smart and dynamic people who practice them…

  • First of all differentiate your firm. Strive to be # 1 at what you do best.

  • Develop your brand. Promote your firm. Tastefully and tactfully market your services.

  • Clearly define and communicate the style and culture of your firm.

  • Emphasize creativity and encourage innovation. Create an environment that supports design excellence.

  • Embrace technology. Challenge your staff to investigate and experiment with the latest innovations in hardware, software and solutions.

  • Refuse to settle for mediocrity—whether it is in design solutions, management, marketing or human resources.

  • Encourage Growth—a growing firm is generally a healthy firm, which provides opportunities for advancement and learning.

  • Understand that it’s all about your clients. Unless you are independently wealthy, you can’t do what you love without the patrons to support you and your firm. Keep them happy!

  • Find ways to help all of your staff learn and grow.

  • As a leader, set strategic vision and provide momentum.

  • And lastly—read copiously; business classics, best sellers, industry-related and design journals.

Experiment with these practices, expand your knowledge of them; surround yourself with smart and dynamic people who practice them; incorporate them in your firm, and your company will “Stand Out in a Crowd” and have a high likelihood of success.

—Lucinda Ludwig, FAIA

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