A couple of years ago Buddy Webb, founder of Springfield-based architectural firm Buddy Webb and Company, brought an idea to the other two partners at the firm, Lesley Guillot and Stephen Bent. Webb wanted to establish a number of committees to focus on different areas of business development that would include staff in some of the more important decisions that impact the firm while also being a useful check-in and tracking system to ensure all aspects of the firm are healthy and functioning well. The partners all agreed it was worth a shot.
“We decided to implement the committees for a couple of reasons,” explains Vice President Lesley Guillot. “First, it was an effort to make sure we are maintaining focus and forward momentum in all three of those areas. As an architecture firm, obviously the majority of our attention goes toward completing projects and taking care of our current clients but we know that the staff is the future of this business, so it’s important that they have a voice in how we operate and where we’re headed. And a fresh perspective can often be the key to real breakthrough.”
“We utilize committees that we’ve established within the office to focus on different areas of business development,” says Guillot.
Buddy Webb and Company’s Committees are as follows:
•Design and Technology Committee
The firm’s three partners each head a committee. Staff members get to choose which committee they want to serve on and they spend at least a year on their chosen committee. If they want to switch after that time, they can. “The goal is for everyone to find the committee that suits them best and settle in for the long haul,” says Guillot. “So far, we’ve gotten some great input from our staff and made some very positive improvements. And everyone seems to be enjoying it.”
“We feel it’s a way for each person to have a voice in the direction of the company and the decisions we make in moving ourselves forward,” says Guillot. “It also makes use of some other talents and skills of our staff, beyond what may be required for their actual job position.”
Committees meet at least once a month to evaluate progress and goals. Guillot says it’s easy to get caught up in day-to-day production, so monthly meetings are a good way to make sure staff is carving out time to address the inner workings of the office and to keep the company fluid and evolving.
“We have employees with business backgrounds, IT backgrounds, and graphics backgrounds, and it makes sense to tap into that resource pool,” says Guillot. “Hopefully, it keeps things varied and interesting for our staff, as well.
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