Don't be the smartest guy in the room, be the guy in a room full of smart people.

I am a voracious reader.  Books, magazines, blogs, posts, newspapers, web sites - honestly, it's not the source its the content.  I read it.  I am an idea junkie.  I was apparently born with one of those brains that feeds on connecting the dots, finding trends, commonalities.  Drawing from a vast array of ideas is the fodder for much of my  writing and I combine them with my business experiences so they make sense to me and my profession.

I follow my clients.  I also follow people from many vocations.  I call the professionals I follow, my "virtual Board of Directors".  So imagine my excitement and pleasure at finding someone staring at me from my virtual board table, who projected 6 actions businesses should embrace for success.  He is not an Architect.  He is a Accountant by profession but a thought leader in business by his writings.  There was simply no need to paraphrase his words or even attempt to make them more clear, so here they are:


Anticipate: Learn the critical competency of anticipation Only those who constantly try to anticipate change will survive when change happens.

Collaborate: The collaboration curve is quickly replacing the experience curve. Who you know is replacing what you know.

Learning is the next competitive advantage: As editor Robert Safian wrote, “the most important skill is the ability to acquire new skills.

Embrace digital: Learn how to elevate and accelerate your job using technology and to race the machines, not against them. Think SMAC - Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud.

Protect the core: When everything is changing, it is important to know what should not change. Core purpose and values for individuals and organizations should serve as that anchor or grounding.

Make time for the future: Your time and those of your people will be your No. 1 challenge, and nothing will change if you are overwhelmed and too busy. Smart organizations will be proactive and make time for the future.

This list is taken from Tom's post "Why Accountants must learn to ride these Big Waves of Change".  Tom's comments support my theory that the digitalization of business is bringing many businesses together - at least in how they may choose to office, how they promote collaborative staff workspace and how their clients think about the way they manage and deliver services.  Digitalization has leveled the idea of officing to the common denominator of people, regardless of the service provided - empower, collaborate, communicate and think.

Again, I read a lot not only aboutarchitecture but all businesses because the gems of wisdom and logic can often apply to any profession - and I need all the tools in my toolbox that I can possibly have.  So if you are like me, enjoy the discovery of gems of advice give some thought to following Tom.  

William M. Burwell is a retired Architect and Interior Designer whose career focused on corporate interior architecture in sole proprietorships, and partnerships from 9 to 120 staff.  Bill retired in 2014 and began Burwell Consulting a Firm Marketing and Management Consulting firm, to share the wisdom and experience of those 45 years.   Bill writes articles sharing his experience in four keystone practice areas:  Marketing, Design, Project Management and Practice Management.  He graduated from the University of Houston College of Architecture in 1971 and now serves the College on the Dean's Committee on Excellence. Check him out at