Every architecture firm has goals. They can range from increased visibility and entering a new market to winning better projects and greater income. Of course such aspirations take time and work to realize, but are at the core of what will take your firm from just surviving to real success.
But what are the basics of realizing these long-term, strategic goals? To start with, they should be ambitious and their success measurable.
And their foundation should be a comprehensive vision for your practice that you’re committed to realizing. A vision that describes the firm in all its aspects – both the satisfactions and responsibilities – as it realizes these goals.
So, before you start, be clear about the strength of your ambition, your desire for realization and your commitment to trying new activities. What is your comfort level with change and are you ready to inevitably step out of your comfort zone to embrace change?
Whether motivated by fear or a desire to grow, are you willing to embrace a bit of the unknown? Are you ready for the day-to-day effort to take the steps required? And what are the steps?
When you are ready to take action, make a list of the specific elements or tactics for the change. An example of a tactic is the design of a new website that lets clients get to know the firm and the value it delivers. Another could be a networking effort to get to know potential clients. If you are uncomfortable with networking at large events, plan to go with a friend, or arrange for one-on-one get-togethers with colleagues to share leads and connections. Better yet, do both.
If you get overwhelmed by the list, break each activity into smaller, doable actions that you can easily accomplish. Taking each action will give you a sense of progress and motivate you to continue.
For example, if you need a new website, outline the decisions and activities that go into developing one such as selecting a graphic designer and clarifying who you audience is and what they want to hear.
Once you have a list of doable tasks, sequence and schedule them over a series of months. Make sure the schedule is realistic. If you find your schedule is too ambitious, adjust the schedule and tasks accordingly. And if you get stuck, again be realistic regarding the obstacles – and what it will take to get moving again. Get help if you need it.
Finally, the effort needs at least one champion to lead the effort. Identify who that is, and support them as they enter new territory.
It takes consistent, targeted effort to reach strategic goals. And the resulting sense of accomplishment, major step forward, and growth are worth it. Where there’s a real commitment, there’s a way. After all, the firm you’re leading deserves the ambitious future you can assure it.