Originally we were an autocracy—just one man establishing an architectural business. That worked awhile. As the business idea became reality and the firm grew, additional human capital was necessary. Each unit of human potential joining our ranks came with hands, mind, and ideas of their own—a good thing since there was much to do and no one does everything well. This also increased the well of creativity to be drawn from and provided synergistic advantages.
Schmidt Associates has never become a full democracy. Not all heads and hands count the same way, but all heads and hands count. It’s an organic model that encourages the contribution and circulation of intelligence from all quarters with greater information sharing than is typical. Observers may notice open, congenial work spaces and the switch up of team members as projects conclude and others launch. All staff are updated monthly in a single group, celebrating achievements, sharing recognition, and sometimes exasperation. We each participate in a yearly 360° review so all levels of staff provide input on one another. We foster life-long learning and community service. And yes—we brake for fun!
‘My people’ bears significance to one who builds a business, shoulder-to-shoulder with others who cast their lot with his. Such a one is grateful and committed to a way that works for all.
“The more you trust folks, the less they let you down.”
– The Universe (Mike Dooley)