Workshops, Meetings, Seminars and Publications
Why Strategic Plans often
fail ( to produce results ) …
Firms that develop worthy written goals and action plans, then
fail to achieve credible results, may be handicapping their own efforts and
good intentions for one or more of the following reasons :
- An overdependence on an annual retreat to create
- Leadership’s lack of commitment to invest in
change, as demonstrated by an apparent unwillingness to spend the time and
money to get the results they have announced that they support.
- Goals are unrealistic and may be driven by
expectations and peer pressure.
- Lack of an agreed upon process for following up after
the retreat on performance and dealing with obstacles.
- Disagreement, sometimes open, sometimes
concealed, between firm leaders, about the direction the firm should be
- Lack of preparation, in evaluation of past
performance, researching current trends, assessing strengths and
weaknesses, etc.… all of which may lead to reaching superficial and
- Failing to involve, or consult with key staff
who will be responsible for carrying out critical aspects of the plan …
For those firms who are
looking for ways to improve the effectiveness of their strategic planning
process, it may make sense to consider the above as a check list of possible
areas to choose from, to do things differently, before planning next year’s
Programs and events that Teambuilders has
organized, presented or participated in
: Teambuilders has provided its time and
expertise in assisting the design and construction community by
developing and providing seminars and workshops, and participating in panel
discussions, that have contributed to
the understanding of the challenges that
face the profession today, and in developing new approaches to improving the
practice of architecture.
- At an SMPS Professional Advisory Rountable held at the Center for
Architecture, on September 29th, 2006, for senior managers and marketing
professionals, Teambuilders facilitated an interactive workshop on “Motivation,” that focused on identifying
and understanding the role that motivation plays in individual and organizational
- Developed and
helped organize “Getting to
Great … A regional conference on
achieving firm excellence.”, held
on Oct 26th, 27th
and 28th, 2005, and jointly sponsored by the AIA/ Practice
Management Knowledge Committee, and the AIA/NYChapter ; including seminars, workshops and panel
discussions in leadership development, marketing and management skills.
- Moderated an interactive
panel discussion ( at the above conference ) on “Growing Leaders : How a mentoring program can help firms succeed by
promoting leaders from within”. Panelists included Walter Hunt, FAIA, managing
principal at Gensler, Richard Southwick, AIA, managing principal at Beyer
Blinder Belle, and Susan Boyle, AIA, managing principal at HLW.
- Presented and facilitated an
interactive seminar, ( also as part of the above conference ) on “Understanding Group Dynamics : The
key to a team’s effectiveness”, on Oct 28th, 2005.
- Facilitated a Professional
Practice Committee roundtable discussion, on “What are the challenges in architectural practice today ?
, sponsored by AIA/NY’s Oculus, and Professional Practice Committee, on May
- Organized and moderated a roundtable discussion on “The education of architects in business”
, on May
18th, 2004, at the Center for Architecture,
with George Ranalli, CCNY Dean of Architecture School,
Robert Hillier, founding partner of Hillier Associates, Bruce Nichol, principal of Front; and Gerry Gurland, Architect.
- Organized and
moderated a roundtable discussion on “Managing
parenthood and the architectural profession” , on Jan 27,
2004, at the Center for Architecture, with Susan Doban, principal in Susan
Doban Architects ; Robin Komita,
associate at Becker Winston Architects ( Philadelphia ) ; Rachel Frankel,
of Rachel Frankel Architect ; Steve Mitchell, associate at Goshow
- A workshop for AIA and SMPS members on “Closing the deal without giving away the store”
, on March 28th, 2003, provided insights to participants on how to
negotiate successfully with clients and colleagues. The 4 hour session,
attended by 50 principals, marketing directors and project managers,
used the “Thomas Killman Conflict Style Inventory” ( TKI )
to help participants discover how they most often deal with conflict,
and how they can learn to use more effective approaches. A case study
gave everyone an opportunity to test new skills and to compare results,
- "Marketing and Managing Strategic Alliances that work."
An AIA/NYC Chapter Program jointly sponsored by the Marketing and
Professional Practice Committees. Ralph moderated a two part panel
discussion on September 10th and September 26th, 2002, that focused on
the following questions :
- How do firms that work in the same marketplace, with clients
in common, often providing similar services … overcome
competitive issues in forming strategic alliances together ?
- How can you successfully develop a strong, unified image with two firmsthat have significantly different
values, organizational systems, and approaches to design ?
- What are the key ingredients of a successful strategic alliance ? " Teamwork … where has it gone ? "
- A round-table discussion, sponsored by The Structural Engineers Association of New York ( SEAoNY )
was moderated by Ralph, on April 2nd, 2002 ; that addressed the
increasingly frenetic pace that is resulting in more adversarial
relationships and less teamwork on projects. The panel, included
representatives of the design team, including architect, engineer,
contractor and owner, and discussed ways of improving collaboration.
- A key-note address to the Alberta Association of
Architects, at their annual meeting in Calgary, on May 6th, 2002, was
presented by Ralph on “The Formation and Management of Strategic
Alliances that Work. ”
- Participated in a panel discussion on "How to build
a successful local alliance," for the Boston Society of Architect's,
"Build Boston" conference, November, 16, 2000.
- Presented a workshop on change management called :
"Beyond Resistance : Strategies for Organizational Change" at the AIA's
Professional Practice Conference in Portland, Oregon ; October 14th,
2000, with Rena Klein, AIA, MSM, of Seattle, WA.,.
- Facilitated an "open space" strategic planning retreat
for the Directors of SEAoNY ( Structural Engineers Association of New
York.); September 22nd and 23rd, 2000.
- Organized and presented an interactive seminar on
"Creating and Managing Strategic Alliances," at the AIA / NY State
Convention in Brooklyn; September 22nd, 2000.
- Gave a two day workshop, on "Negotiation Strategies in
Public Construction", to managers at NYC's Department of Design and
Construction, provided by the Program on Negotiation of NYU's Robert F.
Wagner Graduate School of Public Service ; August 29th and 30th, 2000,
with NYU's Professor Alan Zerkin.
- Facilitated monthly "Green Building Tax Credit Advisory
Committee" meetings for NYSERDA ( N.Y. State Energy Research and
Development Authority ), to develop new regulations to implement New
York's "green building" incentive program ; June thru December, 2000.
- Facilitated a special meeting of the Board of Directors
of AIA / NY State, on developing proposed legislation that would
provide guidelines for a Design/Build project delivery process, and for
corporate practice for architects, in New York State ; May 15th, 2000.
- Facilitated a full day interactive workshop on "Mergers,
Acquisitions, Joint Ventures, Associations and Other Strategic
Alliances" for the Boston Society of Architects/ AIA, in Boston, MA.;
May 12th, 2000. · Participated in a panel discussion on "Doing
well by doing good : Social responsibility and the bottom line," at the
AIA Convention in Philadelphia ; May 4th, 2000.
- Facilitated a retreat of the Board of directors of the
AIA's New York Foundation of Architecture, to develop a long range
plan, as well as specific action to be taken during the current year,
that would further the foundation's mission to promote scholarship,
research and education, in architecture and the designed environment ;
February 4th, 2000.
- Served on a panel discussing " Managing Design : Best
Practices ", sponsored by the AIA/ NY Chapter's professional practice
committee ; January 20th, 2000.
- Moderated a panel discussion on design/build, in May 1999,
sponsored by AIA/New York State, and GBC (General Building Contractors)
- As a continuing education provider for the 1999 AIA Convention
in Dallas, Mr. Steinglass gave a seminar on "Negotiating Strategies in
- Worked with the AIA Committee on Design in facilitating its
first Collaborative Design Charette, in Cincinnati, Ohio, in April
1999, focusing on the process of collaborative design.
- Provided a seminar for facility managers at Columbia University
, in April 1999, on new approaches to negotiating and building
consensus among stakeholders.
- Worked with New York University's Wagner School of Public
Service to develop and provide a course, in October 1998, in mediation
and conflict resolution techniques for public-sector project managers.
- Organized and moderated a roundtable for the NY Chapter of SMPS
, in March 1998, on "Building Successful Design Alliances," and
facilitated a follow-up master's seminar on "Design Team Formation : A
Workshop for Principals."
Articles and publications
- Why Strategic Plans often fail (
to produce results ) : SMPS/NY,
Feb 2007 'E' Letter.
- Mentoring; the key to leadership development : AIA, Oculus ( Quarterly AIA/NY publication ) ,
- “Building Successful
Design Alliances,” SMPS/NY Press, winter 1998.
on Collaborations,” Places
( AIA quarterly ), winter 1999, co-authored with Wendy Feuer.
Symposium : A panel discussion on Design/Build in New York …,"
AIA/NYS News, summer 1999.
- “What do Designers
Want Anyway ?…Strategies for Managing Creative Staff…,” Contract
Design, June 1999.
- "Team Time :
Team Building Takes Energy and Commitment, But It Works,” Facility
Design and Management, September 1999.
- “Strategic Alliances,” The Architect’s
Handbook of Professional Practice, ( AIA, with John
- "Creating and Managing Strategic
Alliances, a guide", Acquiring the Competitive Edge, an educational
publication from CNA and Schinnerer, November 1999.