Strategic Performance Advisors

Create. Innovate. Cultivate.

Phipps | Nelson exists to help "Build a Better Practice". Our approach is consultative and collaborative in nature. Architecture Firms are not problems to be fixed. They are organizations to be strengthened so they can advance practice to the next level.


Managing Directors and Principals of the mid-sized firm that don't have the resources of Perkins and Will, SOM, Gensler are stewards who need help digging deeper to understand and address the gaps that exist in expectations, actions, leadership impact, collaborative, constructive culture and the focused and aligned actions needed to perform well. Through programatic, proven efforts, substantial returns on investment in resources, including marketing can be obtained.


Lets consider just a handful of many of the key issues that many firms, particularly mid-sized firms face:


1. The marketing function is often like a revolving door and questions abound as to the effectiveness and purpose of the role.

2. Management rigor and systems may often be lacking as relate the strong drive for a performance-focused and collaborative culture that help drive creativity, client satisfaction and a differentiated position.

3. Principals are often confused about the functions of marketing vs. sales and this creates tension and sub-performance and turnover - as well as a lack of the right focus on results.

4. Firms are missing key new techniques to build their brand, and differentiated value proposition.

5. Optimal organization of the firm to optimize and incentivize developing strong lead generation is critical.

6. Climate and Culture issues often block greater success.

7. Lack of clarity of goals, responsibility may prevent an optimum client experience and harm morale.

8. Proposals don't have the extra edge they need to win.

9. Lack of clear succession planning creates an environment of uncertainty that can undermine fully committed teams.

10. Firm governance processes, communication and strategy can be unclear or not well understood, making it difficult to achieve focused and aligned actions and collaboration.


At Phipps | Nelson we understand first-hand these critical issues. We are smart people with a unique approach, tools and methods focused on helping your firm successfully diagnose, strategize and address constraints and internalized negative forces on your performance. And, one more thing is different at Phipps | Nelson there will always be a licensed, active Architect advisor assigned to any project.


At Phipps | Nelson, we don't just fix symptoms or go through the motions -- instead, we get to the heart of what's stopping you from becoming great and we remove those obstacles to success.




  • Architecture firms have faced many challenged over the last decade. Certainly, this is an industry of survivors.
  • The good news is that since 2010 things have been getting better for the industry. Now is the time to "build a better practice"
  • Architecture firms sometimes miss their true opportunity.  Let's face it, Architects, much like physicians in healthcare,  are often not well trained in how to run a successful business. So like anyone would, they may turn to "managerial stirring" and "hope marketing" strategies that fail to drive the truly desired results.
  • Despite this many succeed and have great, successful practices but they are are still not achieving their true potential. Why?
  • It is no surprise there are a couple of key themes in the dimensions of the Phipps | Nelson strategic performance model that seem particularly relevant to Architecture firms: Leadership Impact, Constructive Culture, Issues faced with growth and scale; significant marketing and differentiation issues and strong unique selling propositions -- just to name a few.
  • With a programatic approach and focused effort, a mid-sized or larger Architecture Firm can achieve transformation change and performance to create competitive advantage.

Phipps | Nelson - Architecture