The AIA 2030 Commitment: A Strategic InitiativePosted: July 20, 2011
Bergmeyer’s AIA 2030 Commitment letter was signed, sealed, and delivered. Within 24 hours, an email came back from Kelly Pickard, the AIA’s Manager for Strategic Initiatives. “Thank you for showing industry leadership and adopting the AIA 2030 Commitment.” Nice. We’re now part of an AIA “strategic initiative”. (I immediately forwarded that message to the rest of the leadership team.) And there – on the AIA website under “Recent Firms to Join” – was a link to our website. Not bad!
Shortly after our initial meeting to discuss signing the Commitment, we convened another meeting to talk 2030 PR. Press release? E-mailer to clients? Link on our website? Yes, all of the above.
How about internal marketing? We want to tell our staff about this, too, but I suggested we could do a “lunch and learn” any time. Low priority. (Architects know all about “lunch and learns.” Sometimes slightly more interesting than reading door hardware specifications.) Besides, I was sure Ed Mazria, Architecture 2030, and the AIA’s 2030 Commitment wouldn’t be news to anyone. Pretty mainstream, right?
We have these informal all-office morning meetings once a month or so. We introduce new employees, talk about projects, pump up the softball team. At our last all-office meeting, someone suggested I talk a little about Bergmeyer signing the Commitment. I wasn’t quite ready, so I immediately switched into “seminar mode” and asked one of those typical puff-ball starter questions: “So how many of you have heard of the 2030 Challenge?” I expected to see all hands go up and gain another 10 seconds to think. A few hands went up, but not many. A clear minority. I was surprised.
At that moment, I heard the voice of Ken Fisher AIA, (Principal at Gensler, Boston) in my head. I was recently disparaging an educational initiative to Ken saying it sounded too much like “green building 101”. Ken nailed me: “You wouldn’t believe how much we still need ‘green building 101’ mister smarty-pants!” OK, he didn’t actually say mister smarty-pants, but his point was spot on.
Lesson one: Spreading the word starts at home. Doing the all-office 2030 Commitment “lunch and learn” zoomed to the top of my list.
(PS: Sasaki is in! They’re the latest firm from the Boston Society of Architects to sign. Who’s next?)