THE ZWEIG LETTER | OCTOBER 31, 2011, ISSUE 933
A/E BUSINESS NEWS
RESOURCES Guide to ownership transition: Ensuring a successful transition of firm ownership requires an understanding of all the options available, careful preparation and long-term planning. Unfortunately, truly useful industry- specific information is difficult to find, and ill-informed advisors with ulterior financial motives abound. Finally, there is a comprehensive guide to ownership and succession planning developed specifically for firms in the architecture, engineering and environmental consulting industries. The Insider’s Guide to Ownership & Succession Planning for Architecture, Engineering & Environmental Consulting Firms provides detailed information about all the options available for ownership and succession planning, as well as real- life examples of firms both large and small that have successfully made the transition. Rather than being authored by one or two individuals, this guide represents the collective experience of over a dozen experts. The Insider’s Guide to Ownership & Succession Planning also contains 10 detailed case studies of A/E and environmental consulting firms of various types and sizes that have successfully executed ownership transition and succession plans. For more information or to buy a copy, call 800-466-6275 or log on to www.zweigwhite.com/zw-744.aspx.
Mark Zweig , from page 1
– along with better sales training – are some of the ways I would be spending my marketing dollars today. 2) Consider mergers with other, similar-sized firms in similar financial condition. BUYING may be hard now. Cash is tight and there’s a dearth of sellers, as many are waiting to recover the “value” they lost over the last three or four years of weak financial performance. Merging with another healthy firm is a different matter. Sure, there can be a loss of control as the “other guys” won’t be subject to your absolute control like they would be in an acquisition. But so what? Maybe merging is a better way to grow. A healthy company probably has competent managers and decent systems. And maybe there will be some combined synergies and cost savings to be had. Consider it. 3) Be more selective than ever about who stays on your team – and be more demanding of them once you’ve decided they’re worth keeping. This is essential. It is an employer’s market. You cannot afford to have anyone who is careless, sloppy, or less than 100 percent committed. Just doesn’t work in this economy. Nor can you afford managers who don’t get the job done, make excuses for poor performance or complain constantly. My experience is that many complaints, while justified, cease being constructive and instead become irritating IF solutions aren’t served up along with them. Do some recruiting of raw talent. You have to infill at the bottom. But be selective and only hire the very best and brightest! When you cut through all the discussion about what it takes to be successful in this economy, it makes me think of the pop culture management book of a few years back, Who Moved my Cheese? That book can be summed up in nine words: “What used to work yesterday probably won’t work today.” I just saved you from buying and reading the book – believe me, that’s the entire point of it. It’s a worthwhile idea, nevertheless! Mark Zweig is the founder and CEO of ZweigWhite. Contact him with questions or comments at email@example.com .
Haiti partnership: Build Change, the international, non-profit, social enterprise that designs earthquake-resistant houses in developing countries, has partnered with Degenkolb Engineers (San Francisco, CA), a leading structural design engineering firm, to provide technical assistance and training services to the Government of Haiti following the devastating Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake. Build Change and Degenkolb have been working with the Haitian Ministry of Public Works, Transport & Communications, to help increase its capacity to rebuild after the magnitude 7 earthquake left over 200,000 dead, displaced more than 1 million residents, and destroyed more than 80 percent of the country’s main capital of Port-Au- Prince and its surrounding towns. After an initial feasibility study on why so many buildings collapsed, Build Change signed a Memorandum of Agreement with MTPTC, agreeing to provide them with technical assistance, training services, culturally- appropriate para-seismic building codes, as well as inspection checklist systems that work for a government constrained by insufficient infrastructure, budget, time and skilled personnel. To help develop these systems and technical resources, Build Change partnered with Degenkolb Engineers, which has extensive expertise in the seismic performance of masonry structures. Product label launched: Construction Specialties and Perkins+Will (Chicago, IL) revealed the industry’s first building product transparency label detailing the complete make-up of a product, highlighting critical lifecycle information and potential human health impacts. This intensive effort, launched at Greenbuild 2011 in Toronto, is a collaborative step toward market transformation through increased disclosure on the part of building product manufacturers. C/S and Perkins+Will identified the industry need for such a product label based on the belief that chemicals generally harmful to humans, animals and the environment should be avoided in building products when there are reasonable alternatives. Designed to make environmental and health disclosure easier for any manufacturer who chooses to adopt the template, the label offers a forthright declaration of the make-up of a product and its potential impacts in multiple formats. Information is available at http://transparency.c-sgroup.com. The label identifies general product information, product content, ecological benchmarks, packaging information, the design process that went into the product and information on the product’s recyclability.
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