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Key Idea: Use A Team Approach

Rather than sell an individual star performer to their clients, Ron Altoon and Jim Porter sell the idea that the customer's project always takes center stage.

Key Question:


Build a team and it will build the business.  A team environment fosters creativity and innovation within the business. Each person takes responsibility beyond his or her own role to achieve  the overall objectives of the business.

Q: How do you share the glory in your business; how do you reward employees for special contributions?

A:  Many businesses have an "employee of the month" recognized with a prominently displayed plaque, a special parking space, or in some other fashion. The important thing to remember is that sharing the glory means recognizing the valuable contribution of the valued employee publicly, both within the business and externally.

Q:  Do employees really care about recognition or can you accomplish the same thing with an increase in salary and a bonus?

A:  Money is important, no doubt. But industrial psychologists have long told us that money is not the primary determinant when employees evaluate their job satisfaction. We spend a significant percentage of our waking hours at work, and we look to our work as a source of personal satisfaction and gratification, not just financial reward. Business owners who recognize this fact and reward their employees for a job well done will themselves be rewarded with a higher level of employee loyalty, more productivity from their workforce, and a higher retention of valued employees.

Think about it

Do you use a team appraoch?  Do you look for team players when you hire?
Is your role in the company too big?  Do you encourage the person closest to the problem to figure out a way to solve it? 

Clip from: Architects Altoon + Porter

Los Angeles, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Amsterdam : They worked for Frank Gehry and found that it had limits. So, architects Ron Altoon and Jim Porter started their own firm and today they are quite literally changing the world.

They do not try to cultivate "star power" but brain power. The result? This professional practice went global virtually overnight. Brain power translates into  extraordinary product power in any language!

Every customer and every architect is a star. Keep your egos in check.  Focus on customers and  growing your team. The result?  This firm now has ongoing work in 16 countries with more international work on the drawing boards for the future.

Like so many of our businesses that go global, they have proving that the world does want American products and services!

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Altoon Partners

Ron Altoon, Senior Partners

617 W 7th St #400
Los Angeles, CA 90017

Visit our web site:

Office: 2132251900

Business Classification:

Year Founded: 1984

Use A Team Approach

HATTIE: (Voiceover) Partner Bill Sebring leads a team meeting.

RONALD: What you're seeing is a group of people discussing the project. This happens to be in Australia.

RONALD: And what we tend to do is we tend to cover the walls with concepts and ideas, and we use those to breed other ideas.


RONALD: And we work cohesively and actually challenging each other, as a team.

HATTIE: So someone walks by and says, `Ahh,' and they take a marker and add something to it.

RONALD: Well, it's very interesting. You see some drawings like those. Those are very, very, very rough drawings. Those are trying to get ideas out of your mind onto paper that can build. And you can see the transition from this drawing here on the left, down to this one down to the finished picture over there, where it begins to mature itself and grow.

HATTIE: (Voiceover) Ronald Altoon and Jim Porter built their own business on the theory that product power is better than star power.

JIM: Because first of all, we set up a business that wasn't relying on one sort of hero or design guru or one business whiz-bang, as many of the firms in all kinds of businesses are founded on.

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