Every year KPFF brings our leadership together to share ideas, discuss current trends and collaborate on innovations. In August, 155 Associates and 49 Principals converged on Downtown LA, and we asked 3 of our newly named associates to share their experience…
Being new to the Principals and Associates meeting, an overwhelming theme was personal relationships. We talked about being a relationship based consulting firm, but seeing it in action and hearing about the history of various offices and how they are interwoven based on touchstone connections between individuals was striking. It is very powerful to be able to meet people face to face that you’ve been collaborating with in the past to strengthen those bonds and get to know them on a personal level.
It was also staggering to see the breadth of capabilities, which KPFF has in aggregate between all of the various reporting centers. While we all share the same core values, this diversity creates an impressive interconnected web of technical expertise. By strengthening the personal relationships and understanding the various capabilities of the many reporting centers we create the ability to leverage our people to maximize our engineering capacity.
Devlin Thomas, Los Angeles
The most exciting part of attending the Principals and Associates Meeting as a newly minted associate was actually meeting everyone face to face. We are all aware of the other offices and the names of some of the people who work in them. An engineer will likely get the opportunity to work with other KPFF offices during their career, either to collaborate on a project, or to help with workload. While it is common to speak on the phone with the engineers from the other offices, it is less common in my experience to actually meet them and get to know them. The Principals and Associates meeting changed that.
Throughout the 2 day event, we found multiple chances to meet colleagues from the other offices. While spending a few minutes with John-Michael Wong from the San Francisco office, we discovered we were both currently working for the same client on different projects and we were able to quickly brainstorm some ideas of how that client could be better served.
The theme of personal relationships was present throughout the meeting. The fruits of which were evident in the way offices and teams work together. It’s clear to me now that the personal relationships that will continue the success of KPFF's interoffice working relationship are likely first started at the Principals and Associates Meeting.
Erik Kabusreiter, Portland
Attending the Principals and Associates meeting gave me an opportunity to build on old and new friendships. I have been in touch with engineers from various different offices, and meeting them in-person strengthened those connections and will make it easier to collaborate in the future. The sessions taught me more about new ideas and innovations being developed in the other offices and explained the history of relationships that formed each KPFF office.
The presentations from the different offices were a big highlight of the Principals and Associates Meeting. On the first day, we had a series of “Out-of-the-Box” 5-minute talks given to the entire group highlighting innovations and creativity happening throughout KPFF. On the second day, the P2P presentation + discussion sessions provided more time to go in-depth on particular topics in smaller groups. The ideas included novel structural systems for seismic resistance, arranging practice groups to handle non-project issues in the office, laser scanning, city modeling, in-house professional development, educational outreach, open-source software implementation, wellness programs, and information access tools. Presenting the San Francisco office’s “Out-of-the-Box” presentation opened up opportunities for me to meet people as a new associate, and even won us a “Best Implementation” prize jack-in-the-box!
John-Michael Wong, San Francisco
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