Designing a World-Class Architecture Firm: People, Stories and Strategies Behind HOK

In times of crisis, architecture and construction firms often struggle more than most. After all, clients stop building buildings amid uncertainty. For example, the U.S. design, engineering and construction industries suffered more than any other sector during the financial meltdown of 2008. But there are concrete steps architects and other creative services professionals can take to weather tough times.

In his new book, Designing a World-Class Architecture Firm: The People, Stories and Strategies Behind HOK, Patrick MacLeamy, legendary former CEO of HOK, offers clear, actionable advice that can help other architecture and creative services firms survive -or even thrive. He describes how HOK’s founders, who had lived through the Great Depression, systemically set out to create a depression-proof firm. They were visionaries who deployed revolutionary strategies to establish a brand new type of architecture firm designed to last.

HOK grew to become one of the largest architecture and engineering firms in the world, learning lessons along the way that can help other firms. MacLeamy pulls no punches, also revealing the triple crisis that could have bankrupted HOK and how any firm can survive such calamities. In this tell-all guide, each chapter conveys lessons learned from HOK’s successes-and its struggles- including:

  • Three distinct ways to diversify in order to depression and recession-proof your firm.
  • The difference between leading and managing your people and how it will transform your practice.
  • The “run toward trouble” strategy to prevent problems from ballooning -saving money and your reputation.
  • Clear, simple financial metrics HOK developed to ensure health and profitability that other firms can adapt.

MacLeamy delivers this detailed advice via inspirational-and often humorous-stories. Along the way, he gives readers behind-the-scenes glimpses of some of HOK’s most iconic buildings, including: the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC, Apple headquarters in Silicon Valley and the reimagined LaGuardia Airport in New York City. “When I started as an architect, I was passionate about designing buildings,” MacLeamy said. “When I became CEO of HOK, I grew equally passionate about designing a firm. I learned some things along the way that I hope will help others design their own recession-proof firms.”

Designing A World-Class Architecture Firm will be available wherever books and ebooks are sold.

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