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Creating a blueprint for your Business - Insights from AIA Cleveland's Business of Architecture series

I recently had the privilege of attending the inaugural session of the Business of Architecture (BoA) Series, an event organized by AIA Cleveland at the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative. The guest speaker for the event was none other than James E. Bennett, founder of the Bennett Group and former Director of McKinsey & Company.

The session centered around “Developing a Strategic Plan: Creating a Blueprint For Your Business.” This was particularly relevant for me as a business owner, as we are approaching the end of Q4 and preparing for the upcoming year.

Earn the Right to Grow 

A central theme that resonated with me from Bennett’s discourse was the emphasis on the Strategy Development Principle, “Earn the Right to Grow.” 

This principle underscores the importance of establishing a robust foundation before embarking on strategies for medium to long-term growth. Bennett aptly highlighted that attempting to build upon an unstable base, marked by issues such as diminishing market share or declining profits, is counterproductive. Simply put, if you’re grappling with issues like market share or declining profits, crafting a strategic plan won’t be beneficial. You need to “earn the right to grow.”

Breakout Session Insights

The session also featured a highly engaging breakout session. During the sessions, we shared our personal experiences regarding the benefits of having a strategic plan, the performance commitments that companies focus on to contribute to the company’s growth, and why employees need to be part of the planning process. It’s always great to learn from others’ experiences and perspectives.

A Grateful Acknowledgment

The BoA Series stands as a testament to AIA Cleveland’s commitment to providing essential resources for architects seeking to run sustainable businesses. Special appreciation goes to Nora Hoxha and the committee for spearheading this initiative, which is part of a broader effort to empower architects with the knowledge and tools needed to navigate the intricate landscape of business in the field of architecture.

Attending the BoA Series was a rewarding experience, offering not only insights from a seasoned expert like James E. Bennett but also fostering a collaborative environment where professionals could share and learn from each other. As we reflect on the importance of strategic planning and building a strong business foundation, events like these play a vital role in equipping architects with the skills and knowledge necessary for success in a competitive industry. The BoA Series is undoubtedly a commendable initiative that contributes to the growth and sustainability of the architectural community.

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