Business Leaders Reflect on Lessons Learned in 2020

Glenn Roby provides reflections on how 2020 impacted Kahler Slater’s business and the lessons we learned along the way. In this article from BizTimes, he joins other business leaders in sharing their insights and highlighting what strategies they will be carrying into 2021.

Briefly, how has COVID-19 affected your business this year

Our work in Corporate and Hospitality was hit hard and immediately. We are grateful to see some projects coming back to life. Multifamily residential, and our institutional markets are doing well and we continue to see growth in those areas.

We are focused on opportunities presented by this pandemic, and there is still demand in even the hardest hit sectors. Designing for remote-working affects all our markets. Our subject matter experts are collaborating together more now than ever.

What was the best business decision you made this year?

After critical evaluation, we decided to move our headquarters to a brand-new space in BMO tower. While it may seem unusual to relocate amidst these uncertain times, we used our strategic advisory experts to back up our hunch with the data. The answer was very clear—it was the right time and the perfect opportunity. This analysis led to the creation of a hybrid-work calculation tool, which we are currently using on ourselves and with our clients.

What’s your biggest concern and the biggest opportunity for your business heading into 2021?

Concern- that the pandemic will force good companies to make decisions based on fear and miss opportunities.

Opportunity- Keeping a resilient mindset and adapting the way we work and think. The pandemic clarified that we needed to expedite many strategic goals. This clarity is valued by anyone needing a trusted advisor as they navigate their place decision for 2021 and beyond.

Other lessons you learned this year that could help other business leaders?

Resiliency takes practice. In all businesses there will be times of uncertainty and it requires openness and trust to navigate through as a team. We experienced a devastating loss when our friend and leader, Tom Miller passed away unexpectedly in 2019. Through our grief, we committed to investing in the theme of resiliency firmwide. We had no way to predict the impact of our newly forged resilient mindset, but the pandemic has certainly highlighted the strengths we have gained.

BizTimes is planning to mark its 25th anniversary by exploring big ideas for Milwaukee and southeastern Wisconsin’s future. Looking to the coming decades, do you have specific ideas for ambitious efforts the city and region should tackle? Please briefly describe your idea and BizTimes may contact you to discuss it in more detail.

Kahler Slater is proud to call Milwaukee home and we remain undeterred from our key goal: to enrich lives through the places we design.

We are driven to make Milwaukee the vibrant hub that drives the entire M7 region. Our future Milwaukee embraces all its citizens in all its neighborhoods. We will be firmly confident in our identify as a world class city in which to do business and destination for lovers of culture, architecture, culinary and creative arts.

Want to know more? Connect with Glenn via email or through LinkedIn.