The act of creation is embedded in the very fabric of an architectural practice. As buildings rise from the ground, they are tangible, shiny, new, distracting, but we should remember that it is people that make them so.
A lauded practitioner, Michael Laird himself was also an inspiring teacher at Edinburgh College of Art, and although those of us at the helm of this architectural practice that bears his name never met him, we carry the baton of his people-focused ethos. It’s an ethos that is more relevant than ever before as people are embedded in our vision for the practice’s future.
With new roles, as CEO and Chairman respectively, Tim Griffin and I look to the future with renewed clarity on how people are connected to both the creative and commercial success of our business.
Recent work with external consultants Shirlaws has provided us with valuable strategic thinking time about the future commercial success of the practice. As we come to the end of a strong and successful year for the business we will focus on expanding MLA’s position as a premium architectural service.
As senior architects, both Tim and I have benefited from long careers in this practice. A practice where we see our long-standing clients as friends, and our colleagues as family. As we work together on the practice’s future success, Tim’s focus on people, process and approach plays to the need for more astute commerciality; whilst I’ll continue to focus on creativity and design to allow for time to mentor and nurture the next generation of architects at MLA.
As we look forward, we intend to lean heavily on the next generation of talent by promoting from within, and giving the practice’s rising stars more responsibility for the design and delivery of projects. This will be the first important step for a wider succession plan that will unfold in the coming year.
For a practice that has been around for 65 years, and prides itself on repeat business and client loyalty, we will not be complacent. This new leadership structure is all about securing a strong future for the firm, its clients and the people who make it such enjoyable place to work.
We believe that this design-led, commercially astute and people-focused formula is one that should inspire the architectural community in Scotland for years to come.