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The Practice Management Knowledge Community (PMKC) identifies and develops information on the business of architecture for use by the profession to maintain and improve the quality of the professional and business environment.  The PMKC initiates programs, provides content and serves as a resource to other knowledge communities, and acts as experts on AIA Institute programs and policies that pertain to a wide variety of business practices and trends.

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  • 1.  Seminars on leadership/mentoring

    Posted 10-19-2022 05:55 PM

    All, I wanted to ask if anyone had attended or could recommend a seminar for professional growth on leadership with a focus on mentoring. We have really strong PM's as far as architecture but not all have personalities that trend toward mentoring which they need to learn.I would like to have them go to seminars that they will learn from and, hopefully, see us as investing in them professionally. We want to help them intentionally build skills in this area. I have looked at Zweig. Any other ideas?

    And I do not mean to diminish the experience of anyone who wants to jump in and express how they successfully did this in house, but we have tried that and are specifically looking for outside educational experiences.

    Thanks!



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    Nea May Poole, AIA, NCARB
    Principal
    Poole & Poole Architecture, LLC
    Glen Allen, Virginia
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    Decarbonization of Cities webinar


  • 2.  RE: Seminars on leadership/mentoring

    Posted 10-21-2022 10:00 AM
    In my experience, seminars don't move the needle that much - incremental change at best, and then only with spotty uptake by the participants.  They are a great way to signal commitment from the firm to a person but aren't worth much beyond that.

    Executive coaching is another option and can be quite successful for those that are open to change.  The advantage of coaching is that a partner guides the person through change over time, often six months or more. Because coaches work confidentially and individually, they have a deeper connection to the person being coached and can support them with their real-time practical issues so that the process achieves results as you go...and the lessons are more likely to last beyond the engagement.

    Coaching is probably more costly than a seminar format, but when you measure it against the potential benefits of performance improvements and the cost savings for improved staff retention that comes from having better managers, it can pencil out quite well.

    A simple way to think about it is, how much better at tennis are you from a weekend seminar vs. a 6-month engagement with a private coach?

    So, if these PMs are truly the future of your firm and worth the investment, I'd suggest you consider an executive coaching option.

    Nick

    ::

    Nicholas Holt, AIA, NCARB

    HOLT ARCHITECTURE, PLLC
    393 Hanover Center Road
    Etna, NH 03750
    W: 603.643.2300
    M: 917.686.6119

    The information contained in this communication may be confidential, is intended only for the use of the recipient(s) named above, and may be legally privileged. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, or copying of this communication, or any of its contents, is strictly prohibited and may be unlawful. If you have received this communication in error, please return it to the sender immediately and delete the original message and any copy of it from your computer system. If you have any questions concerning this message, please contact the sender.




    Decarbonization of Cities webinar


  • 3.  RE: Seminars on leadership/mentoring

    Posted 10-21-2022 12:06 PM
    Nicholas, thanks for a well considered answer. I had not thought of executive coaching but that makes a great deal of sense; your analogy is spot on. That being said, my question would be how does one go about finding such a company? any recommendations?

    Thanks Again!

    ------------------------------
    Nea May Poole, AIA, NCARB
    Principal
    Poole & Poole Architecture, LLC
    Glen Allen, Virginia
    ------------------------------

    Decarbonization of Cities webinar


  • 4.  RE: Seminars on leadership/mentoring

    Posted 10-25-2022 10:48 AM
    I'd suggest reaching out to local business owners in your area and also to current or former clients who may know someone who they have had success with.  Word of mouth counts for a lot.

    One thing to keep in mind, when I have had executive coaching in the past, the coaches haven't held specific knowledge of architecture, and that hasn't mattered one bit.  The basic principles of teaching someone leadership skills and helping them to coach/mentor their own team, listen more effectively, improve communication skills, negotiate successfully, etc., are really agnostic of technical knowledge.  More importantly, the coach was insightful and demonstrated thought leadership skills that aligned with the firm's goals.   It is an unregulated space, so it probably makes sense to meet several folks and trust your instincts.  It's worth taking the time to find the right fit.

    Regards,

    Nick

    ::

    Nicholas Holt, AIA, NCARB

    HOLT ARCHITECTURE, PLLC
    393 Hanover Center Road
    Etna, NH 03750
    W: 603.643.2300
    M: 917.686.6119

    The information contained in this communication may be confidential, is intended only for the use of the recipient(s) named above, and may be legally privileged. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, or copying of this communication, or any of its contents, is strictly prohibited and may be unlawful. If you have received this communication in error, please return it to the sender immediately and delete the original message and any copy of it from your computer system. If you have any questions concerning this message, please contact the sender.




    Decarbonization of Cities webinar


  • 5.  RE: Seminars on leadership/mentoring

    Posted 10-27-2022 11:26 AM
    Yes, it is most important to have a business coach who understands the unique challenges of the architecture profession. 

    I have had two great coaching sessions (4 months each) with David Bradley, AIA of blueprint for Living.  David is a licensed architect, who is now a certified business coach.  Previously he had his own practice in Chicago.

    Here is a link to his website. https://blueprintforliving.coach

    ------------------------------
    Edward Shannon AIA
    Edward J. Shannon, Architect PLC
    Des Moines IA
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    Decarbonization of Cities webinar


  • 6.  RE: Seminars on leadership/mentoring

    Posted 17 days ago
    Nea,

    Our AIA Leadership Forum uses the Clifton StrengthFinder test with a trained strength coach to help leaders figure out how to use the information to better utilize the talent on their teams.  Eventually, I purchased training as a coach and our local AIA group developed a "super-strength workshop" to better lead this stuff in house (because we do it every year).

    The test breaks people's workplace strengths into 35 categorizes and tells you what each person's top 5 are.  A lot of firms in our area use this because it make something that could be a bit Fuzzy seem more black and white.  After the test results and training were shared we found that:
    -leaders thought about what strengths they needed when building a team
    -people weren't pigeon-holed, but they were able to spend more time doing what they were naturally good at
    -the general attitude that everyone bring something to the table took hold
    -we found that people sought out those with different/complimentary strengths (instead of pulling team based on who they liked)

    Anyway, something to consider.  It was probably the most impactful thing I've seen implemented.

    We've also used a lot of Patrick Lencioni's books.  Each book has two parts.  One that illustrates the points in a continuous story and the second half of the book spells things out in outline form.  A lot of business coaches use this material but the Table Group that puts out the book doesn't source speakers.  There are a lot of free online TedTalks though.  We did a 10 minute Ted Talk a week....but that doesn't work for leaders who are not all in.

    Good luck.  If you find something great please let me know.

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    Matthew Szymanski AIA
    Arx Design Co.
    Cary NC
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    Decarbonization of Cities webinar


  • 7.  RE: Seminars on leadership/mentoring

    Posted 17 days ago
    I was actually on this page looking for great conference speakers for young architect and AIA Associate members.  If anyone has heard of any or has had some great events in your local section and we could invite some of the speakers?  We're just looking for some young leaders who have great stories about stepping into leadership.

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    Matthew Szymanski AIA
    Arx Design Co.
    Cary NC
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    Decarbonization of Cities webinar


  • 8.  RE: Seminars on leadership/mentoring

    Posted 16 days ago
    I recommend Dr. Hope Zoeller's leadership training. https://hopeforleaders.com/leadership-development/ You can see she specializes in helping clients establish, administer, and evaluate an effective mentoring program.

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    Megan Smith Assoc. AIA
    Capital Works Project Advisors
    Louisville KY
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    Decarbonization of Cities webinar