68: From Downturns to Expansion: Diversifying Your Architectural Firm with Mike Kunz

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Mike Kunz is a principal partner at Maugel DeStefano Architects, a well-established architectural firm with offices in Harvard, Massachusetts, and Portsmouth, NH. With a professional journey spanning over 25 years at the company, Mike Kunz started his career in architecture when emails and the internet were beginning to emerge. Having climbed the ranks within the firm from entry-level beginnings to eventual co-ownership and executive roles, Kunz's dedication exemplifies a 'started from the bottom' success story. An avid reader and enthusiast for personal growth, he also embraces practices like cold plunging for discipline and focus.

Episode Summary:

In this episode of “Design Development,” we dive into the intricate world of architecture with Mike Kunz of Maugel Destefano Architects. This show peels back the layers of leadership, company growth, and the foundational culture that drives a successful architectural firm. From discussing how to navigate ownership transition to leveraging business development and the impact of remote work, this episode is rich with insights from Kunz's robust experience.

Mike Kunz shares his journey, detailing how Maugel DeStefano Architects has navigated various economic downturns, embracing diversification as a strategy for resilience. The firm's growth, including a recent acquisition, is also unpacked, revealing a mindset geared towards continuous expansion while maintaining the heart of its successful business—client-centered design services. Discussions on the importance of healthy company culture and managing burnout highlight the human aspect of the architectural industry.

Key Takeaways:

  • Diversification and client-centered services have been vital to Maugel DeStefano Architects' resilience in the face of economic downturns.
  • The ownership transition process within the firm is a testament to the balance of growth aspirations and preserving core company values.
  • Active business development and marketing strategies keep the firm's engine running, fueling constant growth.
  • Acknowledging the importance of culture, Kunz emphasizes the organic development of a team-focused environment.
  • Effective remote work management has been achieved by balancing in-office collaboration benefits and at-home flexibility.

Thank you so much for listening and thank you for joining the Design Development community. Don't forget to subscribe to hear about the latest episodes dropping every Wednesday. If this episode resonated with you, share it with a friend.

Our goal is to help people in the industry identify opportunities for growth by sharing the journey of top performers. There is no one path. Success isn't a straight line. There is something to learn from everyone's story. Let's go!

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