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Architect principals

What differentiates us now as leaders is our ability to roll with the punches and make sharp, sober decisions. The next five minutes

O ver the last month, our inboxes and news feeds have been flooded with extreme reactions, the least flattering among them from my fellow management consultants across the internet, who claim to hold various secrets to thriving in the face of this disaster, if you’ll just join them for a webinar or sign up for free information alerts. Scrolling one post down from a bold claim that COVID-19 is “the best thing to happen for our industry” was another consultant’s prescient guidance to prepare for “the greatest economic depression our country has ever faced.” Beware those who try to sell you solutions to a situation that we – as a society – have never faced. There was a five-day gap between the close of our 2020 Principals, Partners, & Owners Report of AEC Firms and the launch of our AEC Industry Outlook & Response to COVID-19 Pandemic survey. On March 7, participation closed for our 2020 Principals, Partners & Owners Report of AEC Firms . A selection of data points that aged like milk regarding AEC industry outlook from a simpler time: ❚ ❚ 38 percent of principals felt that the AEC business would outperform the U.S. economy. ❚ ❚ Second-to-last in the list of challenges for firm principals: financial issues or cash flow. ❚ ❚ 50 percent of principals felt that the likelihood of layoffs or pay cuts in 2020 was “all but impossible;” only 1 percent believed this was “highly likely” or “likely.” ❚ ❚ 0 percent of AEC firm principals felt that the 2020 business environment will be much worse than the prior year. On March 12, just five days after closing participation in our Principals, Partners, and Owners Report for 2020, we launched an urgent study of how AEC firms are responding to COVID-19 with “live” participation to allow new information to be incorporated into our reporting. A selection of data points from participants: ❚ ❚ Collection period/accounts receivable scored in the upper half in a list of negative impacts of the pandemic. ❚ ❚ 67 percent of firms believe the impacts of COVID-19 will likely cause a decrease in their 2020 revenue compared to 2019. So, is coronavirus the best thing that’s happened for the AEC industry? Absolutely not. Will it inevitably lead to catastrophic disaster for the AEC industry? Not likely. It is beyond question, though, that coronavirus has required some degree of change.

In Zweig Group’s 2020 Principals, Partners & Owners Report of AEC Firms , we asked principals how their actual time breaks down relative to their ideal time. Among architect principals, we found that about half of their actual time is spent on firm and project management while just over a quarter of their time is spent on design work and mentoring. Ideally, these principals would want to spend the most time on design and technical work.

Jamie Claire Kiser

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F I R M I N D E X Fitzemeyer & Tocci................................12 Jones|Carter. ..........................................4 JQ.........................................................10 KPS Group, Inc.....................................12 Ramey Kemp & Assoc............................6 Ware Malcomb........................................4 MO R E A R T I C L E S xz MARK ZWEIG: Get on the phone now! Page 3 xz Ownership: Montell Irvin Page 6 xz STEPHEN LUCY: Don’t forget the forest for the trees Page 9 xz SCOTT LECLAIR: The brand as a leader Page 11

See JAMIE CLAIRE KISER, page 2

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