Confronting the Conflict Between Creativity and Business with Jeff Akerman


Let’s Talk Business Podcast Episode 182: Confronting the Conflict Between Creativity and Business with Jeff Akerman

Jeff Akerman is a visionary, creative force, architect, and designer – and as the founder of RISE Architecture and numerous other design firms, he knows as well as anyone the conflict between the creative and business sides of a company. In this episode of Let’s Talk Business, Meny, and Jeff dig deeply into the question of how to bridge the inevitable gap between the number crunchers and the creative dreamers. They discuss the importance of giving your employees room to do things for themselves even as they work within your creative vision, the most important factors to consider when choosing a partner, how to engender loyalty among your staff, the benefits of profit sharing (and, perhaps even more, giving your workers a piece of the company), the ways that business and improving the world can go hand-in-hand, and much more.

Starting out from his basement in Brooklyn, Jeff Akerman founded BizDesignes, now called RISE Architecture, in 2010, and since then established a number of other large architecture and design firms as well. A licensed Architect in New York and 11 other states, Jeff directed the firm as it experienced exponential growth with a wide range of projects from major interior renovations of single-family residential buildings to commercial, mixed-use, industrial, and institutional new buildings. His most recent project is the development of a new city for religious Jews in Florida.

[00:01 – 08:00] The Genesis of Creative Ambition

Jeff’s unconventional entry into architecture
The realization that business understanding is crucial for creative success
The importance of a supportive figure in finding one’s path

[08:01 – 16:00] Expanding Beyond the Blueprint

The transition from small projects to major developments
The role of rebranding and business evolution in growth
Learning the balance between design and practical business considerations

[16:01 – 24:00] Cultivating a Creative Team

Building a team that shares your vision and dedication
The challenge of maintaining creativity while focusing on business growth
Strategies for nurturing and retaining talent in a competitive industry

[24:01 – 32:00] Blueprints for Success: From Vision to Reality

The intricacies of starting and scaling multiple businesses
Implementing effective partnership and profit-sharing models
Overcoming obstacles and leveraging opportunities for expansion

[32:01 – 39:55] Designing Communities: A Visionary Project in Florida

The ambitious project of building a new city in Florida
The drive and philosophy behind creating lasting impact through architecture
Balancing financial goals with the mission of community building and affordable living

Key Quotes:

“Being good at architecture does not mean you’re good at running a business.” – Jeff Ackerman

“The biggest challenge in growing a creative agency is not losing the spark of creativity while managing the business side.” – Jeff Ackerman

Source: YouTube (Embedded).
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