September 2018 //

Practice Makes Perfect

By Eric Marks


The extremely competitive nature of commercial and retail development has demanded that architects reimagine the practice and develop new ways to differentiate themselves in the marketplace.


As Allen Iverson, famed basketball player for the Philadelphia 76ers, once said, “We’re talking about practice, man?! I mean, how silly is that?” This Insight is less about cross-over dribbles and more about MG2’s practice of architecture.

The extremely competitive nature of commercial and retail development has demanded that architects reimagine the practice and develop new ways to differentiate themselves in the marketplace. There has been a significant shift with clients prioritizing schedule and time, requiring architects to evolve the process and be forward thinking in their delivery methodology.

This change has required MG2 to alter the way we utilize our staff, their talents and our resources through streamlined communications and efficient practices. Our evolution in efficiency has added a greater rigor to our practice and has translated into a restructured design and delivery process for our clients – one that creates improved design concepts and the highest quality deliverables. The added benefit of the cultural shift for our employees is a renewed interest in the meaning of the work that the firm executes, and a renewed excitement in working at MG2. Efficiencies in our practice have led our staff to research and develop new technologies that allow us to better communicate our designs to clients through virtual reality and augmented reality. Innovation is the common thread running through all aspects of our practice.

Some people in the industry say there is a trend of working smarter in the current economic times, however, I would argue that in addition to working smarter, we, as architects, must work harder to ensure our teams are flexible, agile and producing the highest quality deliverables. As real estate development begins to settle in for a gradual, prolonged descent and funding continues to be available at a slower rate, it is imperative we develop nimble staff that can translate their expertise into related, emerging markets. MG2 believes that our greatest strength as architects is “human capital;” people make the place.

As we continue to hone and practice our skills, these are four ways we’re implementing efficiencies in order to better serve our clients:

Proactive, interactive communication tailored to what matters most to our clients; a no surprises approach. Clarity, accountability and consistency.

Customized reporting at an appropriate cadence for our clients that is relevant to their business needs and goals.

Change management and cost management integration throughout design and delivery to include the realities of budget constraints early and to manage through the project life cycle.

A growth and innovation mindset lead to greater fulfillment, resilience and inspiration.

 

The promise of this practice metamorphosis is to bring greater value, expertise and leadership to the markets and clients we serve and to invest in the career development of our staff. Teaching teams to be nimble creates inspired design for our clients. Working in a creative, innovative environment creates quality for our clients. Collaborating across markets and offices creates expertise for our clients to better position their business in the marketplace.

Maybe Mr. Iverson got it wrong when he disparaged practice. At MG2, practice is what inspires us, and it is why clients trust us.


Did you enjoy this article?