How practices are preparing for Brexit
Mark Thompson is Managing Partner at Ryder Architecture. In the first of three blogs in which practices share their thoughts and strategies regarding the UK's leaving the EU, Thompson discusses ways in which a practice might make itself 'Brexit resilient'.
Networking and communication, both within the fields of architecture and construction and across other sectors, is an important factor in strengthening a business. For Thompson, in a time of economic uncertainty, having access to information about economic developments that impact his sector is an essential part of responding to them.
Thompson also recalls a few tactics that his practice adopted to weather the storm of the last UK recession. He acknowledges that changes may have to be made, but stresses that sustaining a core company ethos is paramount.
Tim Bailey, a Partner at Newcastle's xsite architecture, is especially concerned about potential skills shortages that might result from Brexit. He explains initiatives he has taken to ensure a consistent base of architectural talent in his region, via an apprenticeship programme he has helped to set up.
Like Mark Thompson of Ryder, Bailey was also a practicing architect during the last UK recession, and he provides some insights into what a practice can do to keep its team together while tightening the purse strings.
Having a business plan is, of course, fundamental. Being agile yet inclusive in decision-making is a necessary part of a thriving business, he believes, and he is keen to give all of his practice a say in its future.
Simon Allford is a Founding Partner of Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM). The practice employs a multinational workforce with approximately a third of staff originating from the EU; of whom the majority are from Spain, with a number of staff from Portugal, France, Poland, Italy, Romania and Albania.
Allford believes that quality of delivery and a clear-eyed business strategy can make a practice robust in the face of economic uncertainty. In this blog, he explains the philosophies and ideas that have governed AHMM consistently from the start.
He adheres to simple and well-defined tenets: focus on the architecture, the quality of what is delivered, and charge fees that enable the job to be done properly. A scrupulous focus on allowing architects to focus upon what they are good at has also played its part.
‘Avoiding any temptation to develop as a niche practice has also helped the business retain good architects,’ Allford suggests, ‘precisely because they are not constrained to working as specialists in a niche field’.
With thanks to Mark Thompson, Ryder Architecture; Tim Bailey, xsite architecture; and Simon Allford, AHMM.
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