Most Architects complete their training with amazing design skills which are appreciated internationally but often without the necessary business experience to ensure that their visions are realised. The RIBA intend to help Architects find information on what skills are necessary and where to look for additional help – either through books, online videos or courses and links to universities or other further education.

On his appointment, Chris Williamson said, “When I was studying Architecture Norman Foster wrote that “there’s no reason business and art cannot co-exist”. Norman cited our romantic vision of great artists starving in cold attics and expressed the opinion that we seem to have the same view about architects. Andy Warhol turned Art into a business even calling his studio the Factory. 40 years on Damien Hirst has turned business into an Art.  I think as architects we also have to appreciate the art of business. We often make our clients rich whilst making a huge contribution to the cultural life of towns and cities and the national economy. Clients pay us to take their worries away and deliver great projects yet we often undervalue our own worth. Clients value the way architects think and we shouldn’t assume other people think the same way as us.

Initially we will make a series of videos on the following topics and point Architects in the direction of further information. We will use this website (www.architectskills.com)  as well as architecture.com, you tube and elsewhere and try to drum up interest. They are available to view below and via the Video page.

We will also lobby to ensure that Business Skills become part of every architecture course and are incorporated in Architects CPD. There is much excellent work already completed and underway by the RIBA both Nationally and in the Regions. The trick now is to make this widely available and publicise it’s importance.”

The topics to be covered include the below. If you feel you can contribute to making this The Definitive List, please email Chris at chris.williamson@westonwilliamson.com

1.    Aims + Objectives
Vision and goal setting and business plans
Developing a USP
Valuing architecture and designs
Lifestyle Business VS Real Business

2.    Organisation
Leadership skills
Entrepreneurship
Make better decisions
Leverage opportunities

3.    Management
Employment law
Delegation
Negotiating skills
Countering the discounting epidemic

4.    People
Interpersonal skills
Presentation skills
Writing  skills

5.    Marketing
Marketing and Networking

6.    Systems
Diary Planning
Finances and cash flow

Note this excellent American website www.businessofarchitecture.com which has additional useful information. Also the Future Leaders Course run by the RIBA.