One of the most challenging aspects of our work is building the skills necessary to be successful in the business of architecture. Every day we work to solve problems for our clients in a myriad number of thoughtful ways. However, our clients don’t always feel that we are effective communicating that to them and, sometimes, they don’t value what an architect’s creativity can do for them. We know this from the research we did through the Architects in Commerce Research Initiative completed a few years ago. It showed us that we are not as good as we should be on the “soft skills” side of our work – the business of architecture. 

What is MFBA?  

Mastering the Future Business of Architecture began in 2015 as a series of 6 workshops designed to address this perceived shortcoming. Topics addressed in this series included: client relations; communication skills; contracts; negotiation; value management; and leveraging your brand.

2017 MFBA

On June 8, 35 people took part in the skills-building session, “Productive Conversations for Successful Business Development’’. This highly interactive, day-long session was facilitated by Dean Hyers and Pete Machalek from SagePresence. Participants noted that the best part of the session were the skills gained in the areas of value propositions, speaking tips, using emotions as a tool, networking, gaining confidence, and appreciating others.

Two comments from the evaluations:

“The whole thing was pretty amazing! I would love to do this again tomorrow!” and

“I felt engaged throughout!”

Watch for MFBA at the Convention!

The next MFBA sessions will be scheduled to take place at the 2017 AIA Minnesota Convention in November.

One MFBA program will be a three-hour session on elevating value and profitability presented by Hugh Hochberg, The Coxe Group, Seattle, WA. Hugh is recognized as a pioneering force in management consulting for professional service firms.

The second MFBA program will also be three hours. It will be an interactive program evaluating project case studies and concluding with a summary of best practices.


Contact Deanna Christiansen, Continuing Education Director.