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Fielding the Team

Professional athletic teams face an ongoing personnel challenge: they constantly have to decide between two distinct approaches to fielding a talented team. On the one hand, they can hire talented young players, hoping eventually those players will develop into stars. On the other hand, they can recruit proven veterans who are already stars.

Small business owners face a similar quandary: field a young, inexperienced team (less expensive and more risky) or put together a team of proven stars (likely more expensive with the potential for clashing egos). At Bancroft, I have chosen to take a hybrid approach. I am proud to be surrounded by some of the most talented recent graduates from the nation’s top architect and engineering schools as well as some of the world’s trusted thought leaders in health care and laboratory design. In the last several weeks alone, we have added two architects who certainly fall into the latter category.

Jerry Scherrer and Peter Moser have collectively been designing highly-technical spaces in healthcare for more than 75 years. Peter brings international best practices to Bancroft; I recruited him into the company from Switzerland. Jerry is well known for his successful designs of leading domestic healthcare centers, with a focus on research hospitals. The mix of new talent and veteran stars provides certainty– for clients that have a pressing need for their facilities to help their patients heal– while simultaneously giving developing talent the opportunity to learn from the best established minds in the industry.

Frank Lloyd Wright took the same approach with his design studios, relying on trusted veterans to help him identify and develop brilliant young designers. As here in Bancroft’s main design studio, Wright’s mentors worked alongside their pupils in an open room where ideas were freely communicated. Today, the Chicago area is full of noteworthy buildings designed both by Wright and his protégés that attest to the value in having seasoned designers working shoulder-to-shoulder with their rising stars.

Professional sports teams can afford to go through rebuilding years. We can’t. The complexity of the spaces Bancroft designs and engineers are too critical for there ever to be a lapse in talent. For me, the investment we make in recruiting top talent into the firm pays immediate dividends.

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