Meet Wade Robertson, our Business Director - Design, who is passionate about leading and motivating our team to excel and create better places and spaces for people. Wade joined Beca in 2011 as a Senior Landscape architect and through the support of the Beca leadership programme he now leads a team of 60+. Read on to find out more about the Design Practice and what’s in the pipeline for the future.
1. What is your professional purpose?
My belief is that I can always be better. Better at providing an environment for people to reach their potential; better at enabling our design team to create and deliver better projects; achieving better business results; and ultimately being better today than I was yesterday.
2. What’s the best thing about your job?
The variety! Leading a team of over 60 people in four different locations in NZ means I’m never short of opportunities to learn what motivates our people. They provide constant opportunities for me to improve my leadership skills, improve the way we do business and ultimately improve the environment I and our senior leaders are responsible for providing for them to excel.
3. How long has the Design Practice been around and what was it set up to achieve?
We formed the Design Practice in 2014 to bring together our creative design disciplines of Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Urban Design, which included teams in Auckland, Tauranga and Christchurch. Our intention was to provide not only a common operational environment for our teams but also a sense of common identity, one that was centred on creative design, exploring the potential in projects and designing places and spaces for people.
4. What has been your proudest moment in the Design Practice?
Every single time one of our people achieves their professional registration/accreditation is a proud moment for me. I don’t think any professional forgets what that achievement takes in terms of effort or what it feels like to be acknowledged by your peers in that way.
5. What gets you out of bed every morning?
The commitments I have made to people to do exactly that! There are days where it might be a little harder for the feet to hit that floor than others, but at the end of the day (or start of the day as the case may be) I am responsible for delivering on the commitments I have made to my team, the leaders at work and my family at home.
6. If you were to choose one Beca value to describe the Design Practice, what would it be?
I see all four of our values, Partnership, Tenacity, Enjoyment and Care, being exhibited by our people every single day but if I were to choose one it would be ‘Care’. We have a team that is deeply committed to the work they do. They genuinely care about their profession, the work they produce, the experience of our clients, the benefits to the community that our projects bring and the experience they have together as a team.
7. What challenges have you faced and how have you embraced and learnt from them?
When I took on the Design Practice Manager role it was my first foray into the world of management and the largest people leadership role I’d ever had.
I think the single biggest challenge has been the need for me to be flexible in my own style and approach to leadership. Honing the art of listening and building an understanding that every person in the team is different and will interpret messages in their own way are lessons you can only learn on the job.
8. What does the future hold for the Design Practice?
The future is bright for the Design Practice. We’ve done a lot of work over the past few years on establishing our own sense of identity and connectedness as a team, and while we’ve made real in roads to becoming integrated with the wider business there remains a huge opportunity to take that to the next level and lead Beca to the market.
I’m excited by the opportunities that the market presents, especially in the urban transformation space, and I know we’ve got the team to make a very strong contribution to the service Beca provides our clients and the communities that we live in.
WHAT BECA VALUE WOULD YOU SAY BEST DESCRIBES THE DESIGN PRACTICE?
If I were to choose one it would be ‘Care’. We have a team that is deeply committed to the work they do. They genuinely care about their profession, the work they produce, the experience of our clients, the benefits to the community that our projects bring and the experience they have together as a team.
Business Director - Design