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Scarlett Letter #19: Take a chance on a face…

I’ve never been good with names OR faces. Lately, I’ve had to reckon with this deficiency more than ever, as I’ve placed myself in many professional networking scenarios that are outside of my typical AEC-industry circle. For example, as I expand my own understanding and comfort with social media, part of my strategy has been to build friendships with experts in that area. Social media functions are ultra-abundant, and overwhelming. {Admittedly, functions in general can be overwhelming!} As another example, I’ve become far more engaged in the sustainability movement (both in buildings and lifestyle) so that has enveloped me ...

Tags: Anne Scarlett, Anne Scarlett A/E Marketing, linkedin, Networking, professional services marketing, professional services sales, Scarlett Consulting AEC business development

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June 29, 2009

Scarlett Letter #18: ‘It causes me to consider multiple options,’ says she.

Last week, in the middle of volunteering for a St. Jude’s benefit, we had some downtime during the event. I sat there, smack in the middle of two other women, both of whom started playing with their handhelds (iphone and blackberry, respectively). They struck up a conversation about Sudoku, the Japanese game that entertains millions.

Because I myself do not have a particular interest in puzzles or games, I originally tuned out, lost in my own thoughts. But something about their discussion relating to ‘strategy’ and ‘benefits’ to the game piqued my interest in their conversation.

As Felicia, a district Human ...

Tags: Anne Scarlett A/E Marketing, Connect Four, linkedin, long term memory, Puzzle, puzzles and behavior in business, puzzles and work habits, Scarlett Consulting AEC business development, Sudoku, Video game

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June 24, 2009

Scarlett Letter # 17 Part III – AEC team building in tough times: It also goes side-to-side

Parts I and II of AEC team building in tough times spoke to 1. productive, practical team building alternatives; 2. a leader’s attitude to keep team building on the forefront day to day.

This final entry on the topic is about how team building can be solidified side-to-side…meaning: connect your internal teams with one another. Often, we look at strengthening our teams on a micro level, with the folks that work directly with one another on a regular basis. But for big and small firms alike, there’s also the bigger ‘team’ – the entire firm. What do you do to ...

Tags: Anne Scarlett A/E Marketing, linkedin, Scarlett Consulting AEC business development and marketing, team building

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June 22, 2009

Scarlett Letter # 16 Part II – AEC team building in tough times: It starts at the top….

Hopefully, you’ve given serious consideration to the ‘what if’s’ team building suggestion that I mentioned in Part I. Yet, here’s a question: who facilitates those ‘what if’ dialogues?

Listen, if you are a leader, then you need to be involved with these team building efforts—either as the primary facilitator, or as an active participant during a facilitation led by an expert consultant. Without you, Mr. and Ms. Leaders, any team-building results will be diminished. (Incidentally, while leaders are often at the helm, leadership qualities are demonstrated at virtually every level of the firm, depending on contexts and sub-contexts).

And let’s ...

Tags: Add new tag, Anne Scarlett A/E Marketing, Building, Education and Training, Leadership, linkedin, Scarlett Consulting AEC business development, team building

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June 18, 2009

Scarlett Letter #15: Part I – AEC team building in tough times

With another round of layoffs recently (and covertly) ‘announced’ at a few prominent Chicago A/E firms this month, and with 2009’s NEOCON festivities dialed down like never before, I empathize with the professionals that have held onto their positions—their morale; career development; and level of belonging and purpose at their firm. Among other things, I suspect they are feeling the sense of loss that we all feel when surviving a downsize.

As a result of this news, I have been thinking about esprit de corps and team building, which is not just isolated to the internal team. It can also be ...

Tags: Anne Scarlett A/E Marketing, linkedin, professional services marketing, professional services sales, Scarlett Consulting AEC business development, team building

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June 15, 2009

Scarlett Letter #14: Do you know who’s got your back?

Last week, I went to see Keith Ferrazzi–best selling author–speak on his new book “Who’s Got Your Back?” Because I had heard a RainToday podcast with a Ferrazzi interview just two weeks prior, I was moderately prepared for what I would learn in his session.

Yet, I wasn’t prepared for my emotional reaction when listening to his personal stories. They were both touching and real. These stories made me further respect his perspective on vulnerability—which is one of his proposed Four Mindsets: Vulnerability; Generosity; Candor; Accountability. His willingness to share humble story after humble story weighed on my mind that evening ...

Tags: Anne Scarlett A/E Marketing, linkedin, professional services marketing, professional services sales, Scarlett Consulting AEC business development

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June 11, 2009

Scarlett Letter #13: Keep your good ideas from slipping away…

“When you want to get something done, write it down.” How often have we heard this piece of advice, or something similar?

Recently, I’ve been getting more eyebrow raises and questioning looks from those who see me whip out my tiny notebook (in public) and start writing something down. I could be anywhere — a Cubs game; a bar; a bus stop; a five-star restaurant; a salsa club; a concert…it’s fair game for my notebook to appear wherever I go!

Mind you, I’ve been doing this for over a decade. At that time, a colleague that I admire, Gerald Haman of ...

Tags: Anne Scarlett A/E Marketing, Brainstorming, linkedin, professional services marketing, professional services sales, Scarlett Consulting AEC business development, Tape recorder

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June 08, 2009

Scarlett Letter #12: Part II – Vyying for change in your professional services firm? Even small improvements add up…

In the Scarlett Letter #11, I spoke about the (sometimes) sloth-like execution process when it comes to marketing and business development activities within an AE firm. My colleague, Rana Lee of SmithGroup, had shared a recent story about the process her firm went through to execute an unusual marketing campaign to a targeted group of prospects.

Rana put it well when she said: “After our conversation on Monday, I read up on Kaizen. What struck me were the founding elements consisting of teamwork, personal discipline, improved morals, quality and suggestions for improvement. When reflecting upon our project, I recognized that we ...

Tags: Anne Scarlett A/E Marketing, linkedin, Marketing for Construction Managers, professional services marketing, Scarlett Consulting AEC business development, Scarlett Consulting Marketing and Business Development for building architects, Scarlett Consulting Marketing and Business Development for civil engineers, Scarlett Consulting Marketing and Business Development for engineers

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June 04, 2009

Scarlett Letter #11: Part I – Vyying for change in your professional services firm? Even small improvements add up over time, and they keep the momentum going…

Last week, I attended a Green Symposium in which a colleague of mine (Claire Wooley, Howard Ecker) mentioned a concept that I have not thought about for some time: Kaizen.

According to Wikipedia, Kaizen (“improvement”) is a Japanese philosophy that focuses on continuous improvement throughout all aspects of life. When applied to the workplace, Kaizen activities continually improve all functions of a business, from the CEO to the staff. By improving standardized activities and processes, Kaizen aims to eliminate waste (similar to lean design/lean manufacturing).

Kaizen methodology includes making changes and monitoring results, then adjusting. Large-scale pre-planning and extensive project scheduling ...

Tags: Anne Scarlett A/E Marketing, linkedin, scarlett-consulting-marketing-and-business-development-for-building-architects-mep-civil-structural-engineers-construction-managers-general-contractors

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June 01, 2009

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