Taking Firms to Task

A new book highlighting inefficient practices urges design and construction firm managers to move away from "the shortsighted mistakes made by firm after firm." The book, Creating Wealth: Principles and Practices for Design Firms, proposes that firms, in general, have lapsed into generic and benign practices rather than building highly defined, focused and energetic businesses.

01/25/2001


A new book highlighting inefficient practices urges design and construction firm managers to move away from "the shortsighted mistakes made by firm after firm." The book, Creating Wealth: Principles and Practices for Design Firms , proposes that firms, in general, have lapsed into generic and benign practices rather than building highly defined, focused and energetic businesses.

Ellen Flynn-Heapes, the book's author and the founder of SPARKS, The Center for Strategic Planning, Alexandria, Va., targets company managers involved in executive management, strategic planning and marketing. With more than 25 years of experience in A/E/C firm management and consulting, Flynn-Heapes wrote the book in response to what she terms "chronic mismanagement of firms today."

"Firm principals continue to fall into the diversification trap and buy the myth that 'bigger is better,'" she explains. "Again and again, I see firms with expertise in one area—commercial office buildings, for example—trying to move into unrelated area sucha s healthcare or criminal justice. This kind of expansion is mundane, lacks creativity and completely dilutes the potency of a firm."

The book goes on to relate Flynn-Heapes' theories to specific examples from firms around the country. For more information, visit www.ForSparks.com .





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