General Interest


Who, Me?

Many years ago, when two of my bosses took me to lunch and asked me to be the firm’s COO, I experienced one of those funny sitcom episodes. The one where the guy being asked…


Carpe Diem

“Will you be our COO?” When the question finally sank in, I was stunned.  Speechless.  It was the very last thing I expected my bosses to ask me. I’d been minding my own business since I…


To the Manner Born

We invest years of tuition, countless studio projects, and more than a few all-nighters to become architects, interior designers, landscape architects.  Years. There are times when we may doubt our ability to get there.


The Management Imperative

I began this site with a New Year’s post exhorting a renewed commitment to better firm management.  I’ll end this first month by explaining why I think this is so important. First of all, the stakes…


On Duty

In this month of presidents, I’m reminded of a man who had the gravest of responsibilities thrust upon him, and never shrank from them.  The fate of an entire country depended on his unwavering commitment. For…


How is the Firm Like a Project?

They can both make us crazy? No, that title really wasn’t intended as the first line of a joke. But there are a couple ways that a firm is like a project for me.  The first is that we are always striving to…


Profit: The Air We Breathe

If we want to practice architecture, interior design, or landscape design for very long, we must find a way to make a profitable business of it. It cannot be merely a happy accident.  Or an occasional thing….


A Culture of Profitability

Over the years, I’ve presented a number of workshops on financial management for design firms, and I have often sensed a skepticism in my audiences about making a design firm consistently profitable. I think there may be a prevalent mindset that the…


It’s Elementary

This month of March is that unpredictable, yet hopeful time between winter and spring.  A time for students to take a break before continuing on with their school year.  For gardeners, a time of preparation. A kind…