Culture Design for HRC

Culture Design for HRC

This presentation was delivered at SMPS Heartland Regional Conference in April 2024 in Indianapolis, IN.

Presentation Description
Culture isn’t something you have, it’s something you do. Join David Lecours, brand, and culture expert, to learn why Marketing needs to design your firm’s culture. Hint: attracting great clients and talent is just the beginning. Then, David will share how to proactively design a flourishing culture. This will include best practices of A/E/C firms using culture as a compelling differentiator. As Peter Drucker said, “culture eats strategy for breakfast.” YUM!

What is it?
Why does it matter?
Who (in your firm) owns it?

How to Design a Magnetic Culture

Slide Deck
View or download from Slideshare

Digital Culture Tools
Donut – Slack integration for team building and
Bonusly – peer-to-peer recognition and spot bonuses in a public feed
Movespring – a fitness tracker program for firm wellness

Books on Culture
The Culture Code by Daniel Coyle
Culture Built My Brand by Mark Miller & Ted Vaughn
Art’s Principles by Arthur Gensler
Remote by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
The Power of Moments by Chip and Dan Heath
Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull

Books on Story
What Great Salespeople Do: The Science of Selling Through Emotional Connection and the Power of Story by Mike Bosworth, Ben Zoldan
Winning the Story Wars: Why Those Who Tell the Best Stories Will Rule the Future by Jonah Sachs
The Story Factor by Annette Simmons
Tell to Win: Connect, Persuade, and Triumph with the Hidden Power of Story by Peter Guber
resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences by Nancy Duarte
Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Dan and Chip Heath
A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future by Dan Pink

Slide Deck Colophon
Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch M1
Presented using Apple Keynote software
Typography: Adobe Garamond Pro and Trade Gothic Next LT Pro
Royalty-Free Photography:
Wireless Slide Advancer: Keyspan Easy Presenter PR-EZ1

Thank You
All the volunteers for SMPS-HRC 2024
Emily Castillo at LecoursDesign
Gerry Jue at BAMO
Carrol Conway at Hoerr Schaudt
Tim Stone and Keith Kelly at Kelly & Stone Architects
Evan Ross at WSP
Nicole La at Teecom
Andrea Story at R&M
Beth Shimogawa at Coffman
Christy Ryan and Curtis Alling at Ascent
Grant Kirkpatrick, Duan Tran, and Joyce Lopez at KAA

AEC Firm Differentiation

AEC Firm Differentiation

Slide Deck, video and links from David Lecours’ SMPS Pacific Regional Conference closing keyote speech:

Stealing From Surf Brands for A/E/C Firm Differentiation
Surf brands and A/E/C firms compete in crowded markets. Surf brands do a great job carving out distinct brand identities to differentiate their surfboards, board shorts, and wetsuits. David Lecours, surfer and A/E/C branding consultant, will share examples of cutting edge graphic design, iconic people, founding stories, messaging, and archetypes that help surf brands and A/E/C firms stand out from the pack. You’ll return from the conference ready to shred with new techniques. Expect a wave of improvement in your SOQs, proposals, websites, presentation decks, videos and advertising.

Slide Deck

To download the slides, click the LinkedIn logo (“˜in’ square above). Within Slideshare, click “Download” button under the title.


Surf Brands Featured
Town & Country –
Volcom –
Surf Ranch Pro –



A/E/C Firms Featured
Rapt Studio –
Foster & Partners –
Clark Construction –
Arcadis –
Stantec –
LMN Architects –
Array Architects –
Populous –
Murraysmith –
Fanning Howey –
Sellen Construction –
Schmidt Design Group –
Lake | Flato –



Homework: Books & Podcast
Influence by Robert Cialdini
Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard
The Power of Moments by Dan & Chip Heath
PSM Show with David Lecours and Josh Miles –
PSM Show with Ryan Suydam on Client Experience –
PSM Show with Nicole La on Recruitment Marketing –



Videos Shown in Keynote
Patagonia wetsuits from plants –
Lake | Flato Hotel San Jose experience –
Surf Ranch Pro Contest Felipe Toledo –


Watch the Keynote Video

AEC Firm Website Best Practices

AEC Firm Website Best Practices

Resources and links from David Lecours’ SMPS Southwest Regional Conference and SMPS Pacific Regional Conference session on Innovative Websites: A/E/C Best Practices.

Program Description
In 2017 the SMPS Foundation published this study: How A/E/C Clients Use Websites to Find and Vet Services Providers. In 2018, David Lecours published research on best practices of ENR 20 and 20 progressive firm websites. Merging these two studies, David will share data, and what we can learn about the effectiveness of top A/E/C websites. You’ll learn the latest tactics that firms are using to attract and convert great clients and talent.


Slide Deck

To download the slides, click the LinkedIn logo (“˜in’ square above). Within Slideshare, click “Download” button under the title.

ENR 20 Websites


Progressive 20 Websites


Watch the Program


SMPS Foundation Study
Pull Marketing in Action: How A/E/C Clients Use Websites to Find and Vet Service Providers

Other SMPS Foundation Research & White Papers

Featured Websites Designed by LecoursDesign

Website Articles


Infographics for AEC Marketers

Infographics for AEC Marketers

Resources and links from David Lecours’ SMPS Build Business 2017 Program, Visual Content That Wins Business: The Untapped Power of Infographics.

Program Description
A/E/C firms are marketing in the era of big data, but small attention spans. It’s challenging to differentiate your firm from the competition when your prospective client doesn’t have time to listen.

This program unleashes the untapped power of infographics to help your firm stand out. Sure, writing and speaking are the typical ways to demonstrate thought leadership via content marketing. But who wants to be typical? With data visualization in the form of infographics, you can effectively demonstrate your expertise to win new business.


Slide Deck

To download slides, click on LinkedIn (in) icon

Examples & Sources Shown in Program


Watch the Program

Tools for Creating Infographics

Typography Resources Mentioned
Fount – browser plug-in to identify fonts within a browser
What The Font – upload photos of fonts for identification


Books & Classes For Going Further
Good Charts by Scott Berinato
All books by Edward Tufte
Resonate by Nancy Duarte
Slideology by Nancy Duarte


Black Tie Optional
Reward for scrolling all the way to the bottom!
Hot Typography: Igniting Fonts

Hot Typography: Igniting Fonts


Presentation Outline
Why Typography Matters
Choosing Fonts
Setting Type
Type That Persuades

Places To Purchase Fonts

The Type Directors Club – promoting excellence in typography

Recommended Books
Fonts & Logos by Donald Young
In Progress by Jessica Hische
Stop Stealing Sheep & Find Out How Type Works by Erik Spiekermann
A Type Detective Story by Matthew Woodman

Game Show: Beyond the AEC Website

Your Game Show Hosts: David Lecours and Josh Miles

You can click through our slide deck below. To download slides, click on the “view on slideshare” button lower left.

Best Practice A/E/C Websites

Responsive Design for SMPS-SD

Other Sites Shown in Session


Content Marketing Articles For A/E/C Firms
Why AEC Firms Must Use Content Marketing
AEC Content Marketing: How To Get Started

A/E/C Firm Website Articles
5 Symptoms of an Expired Website
Why Your Next AEC Firm Website Will Use Responsive Design
I’m No Longer Scared of Google Analytics
4 Functions AEC Websites Must Serve
SEO for AEC Firms
The Website Development Process
Should You Include People On Your AEC Website?

Other Website Resources

For more about LecoursDesign web & digital services, click here.

* A / E / C = Architecture, Engineering, & Construction (but you already knew that)
© LecoursDesign 2023