Build Business 2008: Navigating Uncertain Times

Navigating Uncertain Times: An Executive Briefing on What to Do Now

Speakers:
Randy Pollock, FSMPS – Walter P Moore
Praful Kulkarni, AIA – GKK Corporation
Monica Bell – HDR/CUH2A
Bill Viehman – Perkins + Will
Greg Nook – JE Dunn Construction
(note: speaker names were not provided in the program so I pulled them from Google searches. As a result this information may not be perfect)

Favorite Quote from the Session
“Even optimists have to come to grips with uncertain market conditions.”

Key Takeaways

  1. The speakers were generally optimistic on the market. Overall the feeling was a strong institutional/public sector market, and a weak residential market.  Only limited comments were made on the retail and commercial markets.
  2. In every market condition it is imperative that firms ‘follow the money.’  Research the market to identify future growth sectors and then work to lead in those sectors.
  3. Relationships must be the focus to succeed in this (and every) market.
  4. Prepare for the upturn that is coming through market positioning. Be prepared to take advantage of opportunities, be nimble and ready to react, anticipate the market.
  5. Look to the future and identify the trends that will dictate success: energy crisis, economic changes, and cultural changes are all important to explore.
  6. We are becoming an expertise driven industry; clients are beginning to expect the “A” team on every project.
  7. Trust and Shared Values are two of the top reasons that clients are hiring firms. Clients are looking for more than great design, they are looking for values in the companies that serve them.
  8. Politics: There was a debatable belief that the upcoming elections will not have a major impact on the industry post-election.
  9. Public Private Partnerships (P3) are a wave of the future for the A/E industry.  They represent a new change in how clients want projects to be managed.
  10. Marketing needs to intersect with human resources to develop programs that focus on hiring a new generation of leaders.
  11. Never stop marketing. Firms that do quickly find their backlogs depleted.
  12. Embrace change – with volatility comes opportunity.

Build Business 2008: The Medici Effect

The Medici Effect
Groundbreaking Innovation at the Intersection of Disciplines and Cultures

Speaker: Frank Johnson
Bestselling author of The Medici Effect: Breakthrough Ideas at the Intersection of Ideas, Concepts, & Cultures.

Favorite Quote from the session
“If you always look at the same places you will always come up with the same ideas.”

Key Takeaways
Diversity Drives Innovation
The world is changing quickly so we must innovate to survive
Intersections of diverse ideas, people, concepts, etc… are the best places for innovation

Keys to Transform:
1. Find inspiration from fields or cultures other than your own… then dare to explore the connections
2. Staff for Innovation
     – Surround yourself with people that are different than yourself
     – Go to different people for advise
     – Hire people from outside your industry
3. Leverage Existing Diversity
     – Actively try to find the connections between existing knowledge bases
4. Unique prospectives do not automatically happen
     – You must place team members in new circumstances and in new places to get new innovations
5. Get ideas from people in other industries
6. Diverse teams outperform homogeneous teams… but they need more time to ramp-up
7. ACT! Try as many ideas as you can.  Many will fail, but some will succeed
8. Use diversity to make connections that yield success. 

Someone is going to innovate and make the connections, why not you?

Build Business 2008: Lead Tracking and Client Relationship Management – Group 3

Group 3 Members:

Tim Klabunde – William H. Gordon Associates – Moderator

Carie Dunn, CPSM – Trivers Associates

Denise Ann Balko, CPSM – BBC&M Engineering

Diane Hathcoat, CPSM – BAMO

Dinah Layton, CPSM – SLATERPAULL Architects

Elizabeth Connolly, CPSM – TOWILL

James Byrnes, CPSM – Erdman Anthony

Jennifer Ganley, CPSM – ARUP

Jessica McGaa, CPSM – Perkins + Will

Joanmarie Eggert, CPSM – Kennedy/Jenks Consultants

Joy Woo, CPSM – EDAW/AECOM

Karen Carr, CPSM – Stafford King Wiese

Lee Jarboe, CPSM – McCarthy

Marisa Verga, CPSM – Barton Malow

Mary Fogle, CPSM – Structural Engineering Services

Phyllis Boyea, CPSM – Rolf Jensen & Associates

Sean Lewis, CPSM – Absher Construction Company

Stacey Ho, MBA, CPSM – Kennedy/Jenks Consultants

Suvi Caton, CPSM – Adolfson & Peterson Construction

 

Session Overview:

Regularly turning leads into work is one of the most important actions that a company takes to solidify its future workloads and establish its growth path. Discussions centered on best practices and lessons learned on managing the lead tracking and relationship process through client relationship management systems.  Each of the three groups (Posted separately here) developed a list of the ‘Top 10 Keys to Managing Leads.”  That list for this group is provided below:
Top 10 Keys to Managing Leads
  1. Link all of your systems together (Marketing, Accounting, and HR)
  2. Develop Standards, Processes, and Procedures
  3. Don’t just train users how to use the system, but also train them about the purposes of the system (Build Buy-in)
  4. Develop a strong project close-out process that updates the data upon project completion
  5. Build accountability to the system by linking it with things that must be done
  6. Limit projects that you develop project write-ups about. One way to do this is to choose a fee amount for projects that won’t be entered into the system.
  7. Have a ‘sync’ feature between your CRM and individuals Microsoft Outlook contacts
  8. Match-Key software can be used to identify duplicate entries in your CRM
  9. Build a strong link between users in Marketing, Accounting, and HR
  10. Pay the extra money for 1st class mail so you can identify errors in your client information with every mailing.
  11. BONUS: Having buy-in from the top of an organization is needed for successful implementation

Build Business 2008: Lead Tracking and Client Relationship Management – Group 2

Group 2 Members:

Tim Klabunde – William H. Gordon Associates – Moderator

Carrie Mandelin, CPSM – Mortenson Construction

Debbie Gilbert, CPSM – McCulloch England Associates Architects

Emily Crandall, CPSM – Horizon Engineering

Kelly Ryan, CPSM – Architects Mosher Drew Watson Ferguson

Lori Slivensky, CPSM – Swinerton Builders

Matt deWit, CPSM – Geosyntec Consultants

Megan Muter, CPSM – HDR Architecture

Michelle Yates, CPSM – Lawrence Group

Paula Harris, CPSM – Barge Waggoner Sumner & Cannon

Robin Tsuchida, AIA, LEED AP, DBIA, CPSM – SUNDT

Sara Paul, LEED AP, CPSM – ARUP

Sheila Gonzales, CPSM – Provost & Pritchard Engineering Group

Stacy Robben, LEED AP, CPSM – HOK

Terry Ann Clifford, CPSM – Dibble Engineering

Tracy Sagehorn, CPSM – ColeJenest & Stone

 

Session Overview:

Regularly turning leads into work is one of the most important actions that a company takes to solidify its future workloads and establish its growth path. Discussions centered on best practices and lessons learned on managing the lead tracking and relationship process through client relationship management systems.  Each of the three groups (Posted separately here) developed a list of the ‘Top 10 Keys to Managing Leads.”  That list for this group is provided below:

 

Group 2: Top 10 Keys to Managing Leads

  1. Build an accountability system linked to your CRM
  2. Control and limit access to the system to preserve data integrity
  3. Establish specific standards on data entry and enforce them
  4. Identify ownership of not just the system, but also the fields in the system. What fields are Marketing, Accounting, and HR accountable for?
  5. When starting a new client relationship tracking system make marketing department responsible for the initial data entry and then transition the responsibility to the users of that data.
  6. Develop an effective “carrot” to motivate employees to use the system such as goals that are linked to the data drawn from the system.
  7. Ensure that project closeout forms are completed prior to accounting closing the job so that the database is always up to date.
  8. Clean up data before you download it into a new system
  9. “Draw a line in the sand” when starting a new lead tracking system. Do not complete old data entry unless it is required. This will significantly lower starting costs and allow for a focus on new information.
  10. Bring marketing and accounting together on a regular basis to facilitate communication regarding the shared systems.
  11. BONUS: Start with your end goals/objectives in mind

Build Business 2008: Lead Tracking and Client Relationship Management – Group 1

Group 1 Members:

Tim Klabunde – William H. Gordon Associates – Moderator

Dale A. Walker, CPSM – Francis Cauffman

Danna Olivo, CPSM – Turner Construction

Harry Lawrence, CPSM – RGA Environmental

Julia Oseland, CPSM – Harris & Associates

Lisa Thut, CPSM – Furgo Onshore Geotechnics

Lynn DiPlacito, CPSM – GossenLivingston

Shannon Bond, CPSM – PSOMAS

Shivina Waterman, CPSM – Winter Construction

Tracy Allen, CPSM – SANDIS

 

Session Overview:

Regularly turning leads into work is one of the most important actions that a company takes to solidify its future workloads and establish its growth path. Discussions centered on best practices and lessons learned on managing the lead tracking and relationship process through client relationship management systems.  Each of the three groups (Posted separately here) developed a list of the ‘Top 10 Keys to Managing Leads.”  That list for this group is provided below:

Group 1: Top 10 Keys to Managing Leads

  1. When developing a CRM you need to identify your end product first, and then base the development of your system on achieving that end result.
  2. No one system is the right solution for every company. Identify your needs and develop a system that fits your requirements and company culture.
  3. All user groups need to be involved in the discussions about and selection of a new CRM system.
  4. Clearly define the terms you use in a database. For example: be certain everyone agrees what a ‘lead’ is versus a ‘prospect.’
  5. Develop realistic expectations about the system before it is implemented. This will ensure managers and users understand the limitations and opportunities of the system.
  6. Look at your existing systems to develop what you need. What tools are you missing today that would help your staff be more successful?
  7. Discuss who will maintain control of the system before you implement it.
  8. Focus on getting buy-in prior to purchasing your system.
  9. Your system needs to track relationships for followed up and provide a reminder when the follow-up needs to occur.
  10. “Draw a line in the sand” when starting a new lead tracking system. Do not complete old data entry unless it is required. This will significantly lower starting costs and allow for a focus on new information.

Build Business 2008: Building a Company of Rainmakers

I am leaving for Denver Colorado tomorrow to attend this year’s SMPS Build Business 2008 convention. I am going with a refreshing sense of excitement as I look forward to meeting, in person, many new friends that I have made while blogging this past year.  While I am gone it is my intention to “whiteboard” the sessions that I attend on this blog every evening, so if you are unable to attend this year, just stay tuned for the key takeaways from those sessions. 

While at Build Business, I will be speaking at this years CPSM day on the topic of ‘Building a Company of Rainmakers’. I have attached a copy of my PowerPoint presentation to this blog for those that won’t be able to make it, as well as for those that would like to download it after I speak on Wednesday. I have attached two versions: 1) a .pdf handout version of the PowerPoint that is an easy reference tool and 2) a full, editable, and usable copy PowerPoint that you are welcome to download and use for your own purposes.  (As always, please provide credit where credit is due) I look forward to seeing many of you in Denver later this week! 

.pdf – Building a Company of Rain Makers

.ppt – Building a Company of Rain Makers