Business of Architecture: It’s About People
My Colleagues and I at Vocon’s Open Bar
As I entered Vocon, I was impressed by the reception area. It had a welcoming lobby, an impressive well-stocked bar and warmly-lit rooms with different design accents. The evening started with a happy hour and networking event. I had the opportunity to catch up with my colleagues Jud Kline, Karen Bialosky, Andrew Bennett,and Nora Hoxha. We then enjoyed red Hershey’s kisses, wine and a wide assortment of appetizers.
Red Hershey’s Kisses
We then moved on to the event’s main session which was shared by guest speakers Eric Booth – President, Ingrid Lamay – Designer and Travis Kreidler – Principal of Desmone Architects. The session started with the sharing of Desmone’s HR processes, organizational structure, strategic planning tools, their recent growth spurt in the last 3 years, current operation of 3 offices and having a workforce of 45 employees.
They shared about the need to create a work environment where leaders don’t rule with an iron fist and instead set direction, encourage employees to be creative and take initiative, recognizing each team member’s strengths and mental and emotional health. They also shared the importance of creating a strong and solid company culture, keeping the pipeline of projects flowing, practicing constructive criticism, and using the Predictive Index method; a recruitment technique that sees people as the heart of every organization.
Beginning of the Session
Round Table Discussion
The event ended with a round table session where we shared our insights about each other’s company culture. I shared about my firm’s culture at MGS Global Group where we create a culture of collaboration, open communication and relationship building. Since our firm mostly operates within a remote setting, I explained how we focus on the health and well-being of our employees by giving them flexible work schedules and freedom and ownership of their work.
This is ideal for our drafters who deliver our core services of BIM modeling and CAD drafting to architecture and interior design firms. I also shared about the different ways we strengthen our firm’s culture by organizing and providing monthly team lunches, quarterly team outings, mountain resort stays and creating a separate Slack channel for casual conversations that aren’t work-related.
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