Over the last three months, the CannonDesign Collective focused on knowledge sharing, professional development and relationship building between participating XBE firms and CannonDesign. It was a two-way, active learning experience and an opportunity for all participants to create relationships with kindred spirits, share ideas, think big and sharpen their craft.
Firms joining us in the Collective included: Pathfinder Engineers & Architects; M.E.P. Infrastructure Solutions; David Mason + Associates; Saiful Bouquet Structural Engineers; BranchPattern; FaithGroup; DTLS Landscape Architecture; Second Service Partners; site design group, ltd.; LightWork; Covalus; and ReStl.
More than a year in the making, the CannonDesign Collective was created based on conversations with XBE firm leaders across the country. The term “XBE” encompasses small business enterprises, as well as minority-owned, women-owned, disability-owned and veteran-owned enterprises.
“Very quickly, it became clear most programs don’t have the best interests of XBE firms in mind,” said Cindy Bambini, co-leader of the CannonDesign Collective. “We wanted our program to be radically different, so we focused it on creating deep-rooted relationships that maximize shared opportunities, spark genuine collaboration and provide fulfilling experiences for all involved. Even though our 2020 program has ended, we’ll continue to keep our XBE partners engaged as we explore opportunities to collaborate on projects and grow together.”
Each week of the program was focused on a different, business-related topic — from the future of professional services to strategies for winning new work, ideas for succession planning, and new approaches for social innovation, storytelling and more. The program also brought in speakers and panelists from organizations across the country. A special thanks goes out to all the organizations who participated: MD Anderson, Advocate Aurora Health, Malcolm X College, Richard J. Daley College, Ciminelli Real Estate Corporation, NexCore, Gilbane, LF Driscoll, Sage Presence, Cushman & Wakefield and Washington University School of Medicine.
Looking ahead, the second CannonDesign Collective cohort will kick off in early 2022. To apply as an XBE firm participant, fill out this short application as a first step. If your firm can’t commit to the full 12-week program, we encourage you to sign up for our XBE Directory.
“What’s important about both of these programs is that they exist to provide real value to our XBE partners,” added Maggie Bailey, co-leader of the CannonDesign Collective. “Firms aren’t just added to a ‘list.’ They get invited to events, have opportunities to connect with CannonDesign teammates across the country, and hopefully, we’ll all have opportunities to team up on projects, community initiatives and much more.”