Are Architects Hurting Enough to Change?
“People change when the pain of staying the same outweighs the pain of changing.” (variously attributed)
Contemplating this quote, my thoughts turned to the architecture profession. The profession is hurting, we face a number of challenges: poor fees and/or fee undercutting, procurement practices, public misapprehension of the value of architects, poor business practices, gender equity, to name the most prominent. Efforts are being made on a number fronts to address these challenges. Yet in a failure of culture and leadership, the profession is surprisingly resistant to making the necessary changes to address the challenges.
There’s a few things that are interesting to me about this. As I observed, there are already those in the profession that are trying to make change happen. What is disappointing with these attempts is that many continue to adopt failed strategies.
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”?—?Albert Einstein.
There needs to be a change in the way that the approach to change making is being effected by the profession.
The profession too often fails to recognise they need changing themselves. Frequently the rallying call is for others to change, without acknowledgement or recognition that the change must come from within too.
The profession, by persisting with the old strategies, is avoiding doing the hard work, the real work necessary to effect change. That’s not to suggest that it’s easy to continue to drive change in the usual way, but it is easier than trying something different. Trying something different is hard, could be risky and failure could be criticised.
It’s easier to fail the same way than try a new way.
So what to do? I don’t have answers as yet. I do know that there are immensely creative and intelligent people in the profession, who are more than capable of coming up with focussed creative strategies to effect change. It will also take leadership to build the culture of the profession and begin to embrace new change making strategies.
So I return to my question…
Are architects hurting enough to change?
I ask this as I develop a call to action for the profession with a new strategy. I am about to launch a new project aimed at developing culture and instigating change within and without the architecture profession. Keep your eyes open for this, I’ll be writing about it here very soon.