co-teaming culture


What I would like to know is how other firms operate - studio based, corporate, co-team, traditional, etc.and your experience? Over the years our firm has transitioned from a more traditional, hierarchical structure (principal > senior architect > project architect/ project manager > job captain > Intern) to a more strength-based, co-teaming model - where there are no titles and people's strengths are recognized & bolstered despite seniority. What I'm finding, despite good intentions, is that the ubiquitous co-teaming model is not any different from a traditional/ corporate structure.

For me, project management, is not a desired strength. Although I can appreciate the role, paper pushing, schedules, or sending e-mails is not the reason I went to architecture school. It is, however, extremely valued by the client and, therefore, the principal as well. From the client's perspective, project managers keep track of their money and supposedly are the ones thinking about their project while staring in the mirror at 7 in the morning.

My question, then (in a co-teaming model), is how do you keep from being pigeon-holed or how to gauge one's value to the team? I tend to think it's still the corporate structure under the guise of co-teaming, everyone's equal model.

Oh, and for clarification, I work in a 13 person+admin. architectural firm.

just curious...

Apr 2, 13 2:36 pm

I don't work for a firm with the structure you described, but I imagine it would work by having the team members each have a particular domain and then sharing their domains every now and then.  The main problem I see is that people are selfish and will take as much domain as possible to gain larger responsibility and be promoted.


I don't think there is a perfect structure, where people are never allowed to be disrespected or undervalued.  Maybe something more democratic would approach that?

Apr 9, 14 4:37 pm

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