Chad Clinehens' predictions for 2017...

Dec 09, 2016

1. Stodge will continue to be the preferred cultural thrust for firms in 2017. Touting flexible hours, casual Fridays, and no tie Tuesdays, firms will continue to innovate as much for themselves as they do for their clients. A pervasive resistance to change and unwillingness to take real risks solidifies stodge for the foreseeable future. 2. In 2017, firms will continue to obsess over their general brochure while their websites continue to age and suffer from neglect. On a positive note, the average span that AEC firms update their websites will actually decrease in 2017 from every 5.8 years down to every 5.5 years. 3. Career development plans, organizational structure, and understanding of the firm's strategic plan will continue to mystify employees of AEC firms in 2017. Citing a pathetic lack of communication, employees will continue to rely on water cooler talk to generate conspiracy about the future. 4. Increased investment in trade shows and conferences in 2017 will yield lower results. In 2016, firms earned an average 9 leads per trade show. In 2017, that average will drop to -3 leads as attendance goals trend toward amount of time spent drunk and partying versus amount of time developing future business. This is an unfortunate side effect of the recent overall success in the industry. 5. Marketing and proposal coordinators will produce 23 percent more proposals in 2017 with no additional resources. Marketing, accounting, and IT departments overall will do more with no additional resources as firms funnel investments toward additional visits from the snow cone truck in an effort to earn more points with their employees on local best companies to work for contests. 6. Exotic retreats for top management will nearly double from 2.3 per year up to 4.1 per year as higher profits fuel AEC pork barrel spending.

Chad Clinehens is Zweig Group's executive vice president.

About Zweig Group

Zweig Group, three times on the Inc. 500/5000 list, is the industry leader and premiere authority in AEC firm management and marketing, the go-to source for data and research, and the leading provider of customized learning and training. Zweig Group exists to help AEC firms succeed in a complicated and challenging marketplace through services that include: Mergers & Acquisitions, Strategic Planning, Valuation, Executive Search, Board of Director Services, Ownership Transition, Marketing & Branding, and Business Development Training. The firm has offices in Dallas and Fayetteville, Arkansas.