My first baseball mitt was a poorly stitched together hunk of black and maroon pleather. My parents picked it up at some discount store, oblivious to the proper size glove a 12-year-old should deploy, and tossed it under the Christmas tree. 

The mitt lacked a pocket and had no padding throughout. It was much too large for my pubescent palm, and my fingers were much too weak to firmly pinch its floppy sides together. Not only would the arriving ball sting my hand, but I couldn’t hold it in place either. 

On the plus side, it donned a holographic signature from legendary New York Yankee Don Mattingly, who instantly became my favorite player. 
I’ve since moved on, shelving the old workhorse in favor of a Mizuno-brand glove that boasts bio-soft leather, roll welting, a para shock palm pad, etc. The advances in technology are astounding — my left hand will attest.   


Building a Better World, Inside and Out 

Technology changes quickly – right before our very eyes. How many of you still have DVDs, CDs, or (gasp) even VHS tapes laying around? Are still utilizing hard drives? When is the last time you upgraded your legacy computing system? How about the comfort system within your own buildings? When was the last time your facilities were commissioned? Are you aware of the potential savings a new rooftop unit would provide?

Much like an effective baseball team, a successful AEC firm relies on the efficient and connected efforts of numerous players. From the field productivity, safety monitoring, and quality control of on-site operations to the design, contract, document, and performance management involved in digital collaboration and the accounting, finance, and human resources operating within the back office,  every individual must operate at his or her best to attain peak performance. 

Seattle-based McKinstry is one firm that’s taken a giant leap beyond the antiquated, ineffective approaches that bog down many firms. 

The company recently signed on to the Climate Pledge. Accordingly, the firm aspires to reduce its annual carbon emissions to net zero by 2030 — but no later than 2040 — and help clients reduce their climate impacts, empower its employees to take action, form partnerships with organizations addressing the climate crisis, and advance innovations that drive lasting change in the built environment. 

McKinstry intends to reduce its net greenhouse gas emissions 50% by 2025 and reach net-zero carbon by 2030, actions that demonstrate to clients that this firm practices what it preaches. If net-zero is your goal, why not pursue a partner that’s principled in its own actions?  

Is your firm still catching balls with decrepit, floppy, Mattingly mitts? What message does this send to employees and clients? Perhaps now is the time to evaluate your operations and reinvent your value proposition in the name of future success. Such a move could turn a minor-league operation into a hall-of-fame venture.