We each must decide what we can do, individually and collectively, to drive the kind of change we need.
This has been an excruciating week. Just when we thought the events of the last few months were taxing on this country – taking a toll on us physically, mentally, and emotionally – the senseless killing of George Floyd and the aftermath reminds us of a centuries long disease called racism. Our lack of unity around this continues today and although some might say we’ve come a long way, the events of the past week shout that we’ve got a long way to go.
Lack of unity is what halts progress in anything – your family, your firm, or our country. As an advisor and hub of information, our role at Zweig Group often comes down to helping firms achieve unity. Whether it is around a strategic plan, an initiative to grow, a new market to tackle, our team recognizes the power of unity. Several years ago, we sought a greater purpose and to transcend beyond simply being a seller of products and services. That is where we found our new sense of mission – to “Elevate the Industry” – where we exist to advance the AEC profession. Two very important tenets of our mission are to “Diversify” and to drive “Change.” Both rely upon our ability to unify around important causes or initiatives.
With the events of the past week, if we are to live our mission, we have to be prepared to stand for anti-racism. Being inspired by such a mandate, we can drive change through engaging in conversations about race and the role that race plays in holding the industry back. While many have been yearning for a return to normalcy, I submit that a new normal must be better than how life was in February. We each must decide what we can do, individually and collectively, to drive the kind of change needed in our households, in this industry, our country, and the world.
This message is not enough. We ourselves have work to do to stand in solidarity with the black community in the fight against systemic racism. Our first step was to close last Friday afternoon so that our colleagues could use the time to commit to a better future through exercising their rights as citizens, through education, or simply to recharge. This is just a start, but it is the start of a commitment to designing a more just and equitable world. Will you unite with us in effecting real change in order to elevate our industry? If so, please call or email me and let’s go.
Chad Clinehens is Zweig Group’s president and CEO. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.