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Scarlett Letter #81: Best practices for design and construction—exchange!

When was the last time you traded best practices with a respected colleague in our AEC industry? While most certainly you could trade best practices (but not proprietary firm information) with direct competitors, you might feel more comfortable to share with a professional that: 1. Represents different disciplines but focuses on similar markets; 2. Represents the same disciplines but focuses on different markets; 3. Operates in a separate geographic region; 4. etc.

How might you locate the ‘goldmine’ professionals with whom you can exchange design and construction industry best practices? Check into: Linkedin groups; Twitter/social media communities; authors from RainToday or ...

Tags: Add new tag, AEC best practices, AEC knowledge transfer, Anne Scarlett A/E Marketing, design and construction best practices, linkedin, professional services marketing, professional services sales, Scarlett Consulting AEC business development, team building

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January 28, 2010

Scarlett Letter #80: Share the vision; be a team player;…or, get purged!

Years ago, I was the Director of Business Development (Midwest Region) for CUH2A (now HDR)—a multi-office, international, AE firm.  The firm’s recruiting style was second-to-none (worthy of a separate blog post!) During the process—which can be described as thorough, diligent, mutually informative, exhausting, and exhilarating all at once!—one message really stuck with me: “Mediocrity is eventually purged from our system.”

The context: I had expressed admiration for their recruiting approach. I asked: “Even after all of your due diligence, does your firm ever make hiring mistakes?” Their response: “Sure, we do. But those ‘mistaken hires’ eventually figure it out ...

Tags: AEC leadership best practices, AEC shared vision and strategic planning, aec teams, Anne Scarlett A/E Marketing, design and construction leadership, design and construction teams, linkedin, professional services marketing, professional services sales, team building

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January 25, 2010

Scarlett Letter #79: Relationship-building requires looking in the eyes

Whether you’re out at networking events, meeting with clients, or just having a casual conversation at the bus stop, your intuition responds to the body language of those around you. As an advocate of clear communications for the AEC industry and beyond, I have studied up on body language. While I’m no expert, I do watch for those non-verbal messages, and I remain acutely aware of the signals that I am sending out to others.

Last fall, I attended my first Tweetup. At the onset, I entered a conversation with Warren, a Chicago entrepreneur. It was great to finally meet this ...

Tags: Add new tag, Anne Scarlett A/E Marketing, architect and engineer body language, best practices for architects engineers, body language, design and construction networking, linkedin, Networking, professional services marketing, professional services sales, Scarlett Consulting AEC business development

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January 21, 2010

Scarlett Letter #78: Best practices: Clarify and confirm before responding.

Recently, I experienced an unpleasant communication exchange that took me by surprise. To support a friend in my network, I wrote an email speaking on her behalf. My note was sent to a decision maker in a department at Columbia College where I serve as an adjunct professor. Essentially, the series of messages went like this:

ME: … A colleague of mine expressed an enthusiasm for teaching at the college level. She was kind enough to share her slides from a recent speaking engagement to students at DePaul, ...

Tags: AEC best practices, AEC communication best practices, Anne Scarlett A/E Marketing, communication best practices, design and construction industry, design and construction marketing, linkedin, Networking, professional services marketing, professional services sales, Scarlett Consulting AEC business development

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January 18, 2010

Scarlett Letter #77: Innocent eavesdropping…oh the things you learn!

Eavesdropping ain’t all bad, is it?

Mind you, I am not endorsing tuning in on conversations that are clearly private and personal. But what about the conversations you overhear when you are alone in public? A perfect example: during the Chicago Humanities Festival, I attended several of the events on my own. As a result, I found myself eavesdropping…often.

What did I learn? Of course I heard reviews from attendees regarding the content throughout the festival.This was helpful in terms of deciding what made the most sense to watch later on video. But I also learned about events and opinions unrelated to ...

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

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January 14, 2010

Scarlett Letter #76: What happens when you take away the excuses?

When you motivate someone in your firm to undertake a particular initiative or task, what happens? Does that person willingly respond, working with you to ensure that what you want to happen, will indeed happen? Or, does the person come up with all sorts of excuses not to do it?

The latter can be discouraging, even for the thickest-skinned leaders and managers. Some of the ‘true’ reasons for resistance and/or avoidance could be that these employees:

1. Don’t know how to do it

2. Are lazy

3. Do not believe in the value of doing it

4. Need much more supervision

5. Are already overwhelmed, and ...

Tags: Anne Scarlett A/E Marketing, design and construction manager and leaders, linkedin, motivational managers and leaders, professional services marketing, professional services sales, Scarlett Consulting AEC business development, team building

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January 11, 2010

Scarlett Letter #74: Specific is terrific, revisited!

In Scarlett Letter #69 (you may want to skim that first), I wrote about a networking group that my friend belongs to: Executives Network, led by Founder and CEO Molly Wendall. This group serves to help mid to senior level professionals (from various industries) in their job search.

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to attend a Chicago meeting, and see for myself how it worked. I am pleased to report that it was just as I described it in Scarlett Letter #69: clear, direct, and forthcoming from all participants.

Here’s the aspect that I most want to underscore: everyone was required ...

Tags: AEC networking, Anne Scarlett A/E Marketing, design and construction job search, design and construction networking, linkedin, professional services marketing, professional services sales, Scarlett Consulting AEC business development

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January 07, 2010

Scarlett Letter #75: Firm Analysis of 2009; Firm Projections for 2010

A friend of mine sent out these poignant questions. While they are written more in terms of personal growth (which could also be answered in terms of the ‘professional you’), why not also do them as a group (leadership; department; marketing team; etc) at your firm?  You could even join up with key client(s) and talk through these same answers as they relate to a specific project, and/or to your service provider-client relationship in general.

Replace the “I” with “we” or “our firm”. It could be uplifting, motivating, and directive as your firm energetically jumps into 2010!

Completing 2009 * What was ...

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

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January 04, 2010

Scarlett Letter #73: Tweets Collection 2009–Dozen favorites, Part II

Part II is a “baker’s dozen”…..I hope you can find value in some of these posts. Happy New Year….!

annescarlett: RT @mashable 10 Sites to Learn Something New in 10 Minutes a Day http://bit.ly/3hhBDB — great website resources for power learning!

annescarlett: RT @NextMoon: Here’s an example of architectural firm thatdid rebranding the right way WATG.com http://bit.ly/d0lPt. – Good stuff! #AEC

annescarlett: RT @mjcarter: Social media policies from 80+ organizations. http://ow.ly/qg2s (via @PublicityHound)-templates to formalize policy #AEC #SMPS

annescarlett: RT @archpaper:RT @architectmag How IT managers at #aec firms cope with smaller budgets. What’s essential, what’s not? http://bit.ly/2H2t0E

Tags: aec twitter, Anne Scarlett A/E Marketing, design and construction twitter, linkedin, professional services marketing, professional services sales, Scarlett Consulting AEC business development, Twitter

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January 01, 2010

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