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THE workbook for designing your firm's ideal operating model, based on the Sparks Framework strategy as described in Ellen Flynn-Heapes' best-seller, Creating Wealth: Principles and Practices for Design Firms. In 20 categories of company strategy and structure, the Assessment helps your management team identify the conscious and unconscious choices you've made - and how well they form an aligned whole. It also helps you identify your future choices, and define the exact changes you'll need to make. The Assessment is the best way to prepare for focused strategic planning, especially for architects, engineers, and other design professionals as they seek to manage and market themselves as high-value consultants.
Among the 20 components of strategy covered are: Image, capabilities, target clients, sales, promotion, project leadership, project management, technology, in-house discussions, employee educational background, staff mix, basis of career growth, compensation, values, fee pricing, MIS systems, investment, ownership, organizational structure, and office configuration.
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As a strategic planner, I'm concerned that leaders see only the tip of the iceberg when planning their company's growth. Most are riveted on "live" project opportunties, and then try to morph themselves to fit, rather like Cinderella's ugly step sisters. I want them to be true to themselves, to become magnificent experts in something they love - and for the prince to come seeking them. In the global economy, there is a market for anything at all - so we should never fear being special.
After years of study and experiment, I assembled these six cultural models. Each uses a clear, coherent set of strategies and structures. Most firms are unconscious about their choices, especially those of structure. Like dynsfuncional marriages, you can stay stuck for all the wrong reasons. Better to become conscious and create exactly what you want.
Now we've made our proprietary instrument available for everyone. We hope you find it makes you a true designer of your firm's future!About the Author:
Ellen Flynn-Heapes, president of SPARKS, pioneered the current generation of strategic planning for architecture, engineering, design, and construction firms. An MBA and 25-year veteran in the industry, Ellen grounded her early career with HOK and Skidmore Owings and Merrill. Today she consults with firms throughout the nation, and is a committed contributor to the industry's advancement. She has written over 100 articles on company growth and transition, and has taught courses for PSMJ Seminars as well as national conferences for AIA, SMPS, ACEC, PSMA, and A/E/C Systems. Academic lectures include the University of Denver, the University of Wisconsin, and University of Phoenix.
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