• Advancing Talent: Integrated Professional Development

    In many architecture firms, professional development is separated from marketing and business development. It would be better to think of them as interrelated, because each is about sharing expertise.

    Marketing and business development are about sharing the expertise of your firm with the wider world, and your firm’s expertise is the collective expertise of your staff.

    At the same time, the most effective form of professional development is honing one’s expertise by sharing one’s expertise—since the best way to master something is to explain it to someone else.

    Yet, a lot of architects reach mid-career and beyond without having much of a sense of how to do these things.

    I work with firms to develop programs to help staff:

    — define their expertise;

    — understand the landscape of that expertise;

    —  scope out their existing networks and how they can help them grow;

    —  identify new and extended networks that can help them grow further and faster;

    —  figure out how to make those extensions;

    —  make a plan for activities within those networks that demonstrate and advance their expertise; and

    —  make a plan for sharing both the expertise and the networks with others in the firm.

    The individual benefits through:

    —  increased expertise;

    —  increased ability to communicate their expertise, and thereby to comfortably market it;

    —  heightened professional profile;

    —  greater confidence; and

    —  greater clarity of purpose in relation to the goals of the firm.

    The firm benefits through:

    —  increased collective expertise;

    —  strengthened recruitment and retention;

    —  higher utilization of talent;

    —  clearer alignment of individual talent with firm goals;

    —  heightened profile of the firm within the profession and the marketplace;

    —  broadened base of active marketers within the firm;

    —  production of more robust marketing content; and

    —  preparation for leadership and ownership transition.