Five tenets are central to advancing the engineering profession.
This year, Zweig Group celebrates 30 years in business. If we look back and try to summarize the value of what started as Mark Zweig and Associates — which became ZweigWhite, and is now Zweig Group — it would be difficult. But the story goes something like this: Mark Zweig built this idea of expanding business acumen to the AEC industry. As a result, there was a resource that focused on research and then provided that information to improve operations for firms.
Our company’s entrance into the market came at a time when there was a natural shift happening in the industry. Firm leaders were becoming open to the idea that growing a business was more than just providing good engineering design and on-time construction. They realized that they were, in fact, running businesses. Strategic planning, marketing, and business development became a way of life. We provided invaluable education and support in these and other areas, building on the idea of better performance through business savvy.
Now, we believe there is another shift at hand. It’s like a window is opening again. Change is coming and something, someone, is needed to facilitate that change. There’s a golden opportunity and, together, we have the power to take advantage of it and Elevate the Industry.
Elevate is our new mission, and we see these five tenets as being central to the movement.
Promote — We must work together to promote the industry. We need to work harder to bring more positive exposure to what we do for the world, starting in our own firms. We need to expand the positive impact of what we do and tell the world about it.
Diversify — It’s time to diversify our firms. Let’s start with our workforce and the policies that empower equality. Forget about political correctness and the so-called “millennial issues.” We need this because it’s a critical business strategy. It’s also the right thing to do.
Educate — Let’s unite with our educational institutions and push the message down, from universities to K-12. Let’s get into the schools and reach students at an early age.
Change — It’s time to change the conversation and shift toward growth-oriented policies that mobilize investments and create jobs. Simply put, we need to be able to pay better salaries to attract and retain the best talent. This starts with educating our clients and getting away from the low-bid selection process, differentiating our services, and breaking out of the commoditization trend.
Celebrate — Celebrating creates momentum. Firms that celebrate success create more success. As the momentum grows, the firm develops an increasingly positive energy that is critical to growth and evolution. I challenge you to look for every opportunity to recognize your teams, individuals, and even your clients. From small goals to giant wins, take the time to celebrate. When you do, you motivate your team.
We work in a field that makes a difference. This is why Zweig Group wants to mobilize the industry’s resources and bring greater awareness to this amazing profession. We believe in a world that celebrates the built environment and recognizes its impact on individuals, communities, and commerce. As John F. Kennedy said, “A rising tide lifts all boats.” Together, we can advance the engineering profession. Together, we can elevate the industry.
Chad Clinehens, P.E., is Zweig Group’s president and CEO. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.