Kim Balchin HR Director.
“We put a lot of effort into making this an inclusive workplace and we give people every opportunity to realise their potential, whoever they are and wherever they come from”.
CEO Darren Comber comments: “On behalf of the Board of Directors, we are delighted and honoured that the RIBA has recognised Scott Brownrigg as one of the professions role models. As one of the most established Practices within the industry, we are extremely proud of Scott Brownrigg’s resilience over the years, and the strength and success of the Practice that it is today and recognise our friends and all of those that have supported us. This is an immense achievement of which many have contributed to and we are honoured that our Practice has been selected and collectively viewed as one of the professions nine role models”.
Nine practices in total have been selected, each illustrate a variety of characteristics deemed important to building a successful practice and for imparting knowledge and learnings to others within the industry namely - Professional Leadership, Pioneering Attitude, Clear Social Purpose, Sustainability as Core, Strong Practice Leadership, Inclusive working environment, Wellbeing prioritised, Effective People Development, Client/stakeholder focus.
Whilst none claim to be perfect, the RIBA believe there are ‘things to be learnt from each’. The selected practices will provoke a profession-wide debate over the next 12 months about what it means to be a successful RIBA Chartered Practice.
Each chosen practice hopes to act as a catalyst for questions such as; how do we measure up? What ideas could we apply to our own workplace? What do we do well and what do we need to change? It is through this kind of constructive challenge, within and amongst practices, that architecture can better realise its ambition to be a diverse profession, representative of society and equipped to meet the opportunities and challenges of the future.
And for Scott Brownrigg, having a pioneering attitude has ensured the Practice has continued to thrive; recognised not just for its creative design quality, but also as a high performing business. “Design and commercial imperatives need to be perfectly aligned, otherwise you won’t have the profit necessary to invest in your future” states Darren. Scott Brownrigg took a rigorous approach to ensuring it came out of the recession in good shape. “We wanted to do more than survive – we wanted to come out of the recession considerably stronger than we went in. When the market opened up, we were already on the blocks; we weren’t still in the changing rooms thinking ‘oh I forgot my kit’. That experience taught us to get to grips with problems quickly, make the tough calls and take care of talent. Just over 20 years ago we had fewer than 50 staff and now we are one of the top 100 practices in the world, with a very healthy balance sheet and our own property. That didn’t happen by accident; we made a profitable company because we took the necessary steps to create it” says Darren.
At Scott Brownrigg investing in the culture of the Practice and the people is at the core of the Practice’s DNA. During the early selection stages the RIBA clearly observed the importance that the Practice places on its staff with Darren commenting “Here we have a collective purpose that keeps us focused on product; promotion; people; process and profit. Each strand of the business is led by someone from the Board with the right expertise; that clarity of role and responsibility then cascades downwards”.
Compared to others within the industry Scott Brownrigg has become much less hierarchical and more focused on attracting, retaining and developing diverse talent. 52% of the management team are female, whilst there are 33 different nationalities in the business and a wide employee age range from 21 to 72. “We view our people as our most important asset and make huge investments in staff development. We put a lot of effort into making this an inclusive workplace and we give people every opportunity to realise their potential, whoever they are and wherever they come from”. says Kim Balchin HR Director.
Darren continues “Scott Brownrigg is a terrific career vehicle but people have to want to drive it. We want people with an appetite for success to make the most of their talent and to know that if you commit energy and effort to this place, you will get the rewards.”
Over the course of the next 12 months Scott Brownrigg will be sharing initiatives and Best Business Practices which support the Practice’s recognition as a RIBA Practice Role Model.
Read more: https://www.architecture.com/campaign/practice-role-models
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