provide guidance to professional services firms to help them achieve
excellence in their operations and service delivery.
Professional services firms are often ambivalent about taking guidance
from outside experts, even if they are competent and understand
the business issues facing the firm. Rightly or wrongly, some firms
insist on their advisors having the same credentials as they, lest
their colleagues reject the message from those outside the profession.
We understand this reality. We bring to the table our years of
experience in the practice of law, investment management, and running
advising engagements, offices and firms.
Finding a Balance between Professional Work and Firm Management
Many firm leaders have long loved their work with clients, but
are less interested in firm management. All too often, people ascend
to firm leadership roles because they are successful in their practice,
not because it’s their hearts' desire to relinquish it in
favor of firm management roles.
This is a fundamental dilemma for most firms, and it is an obvious
contributor to their more-than-occasional struggle with structural,
cultural or even staff retention issues.
We deeply understand this, and try to bridge the gap by giving
them the right tools, the right solutions, and the right support
to run great firms yet not lose their connection to the profession.
Examples of Experience with Professional Services Firms
While our initial work in this area includes the bestseller The
Trusted Advisor, which Robert Galford co-authored with David
Maister and Charles Green, our offering has expanded in the intervening
years to include the broader issues of firm management and firm
leadership. Here are some examples of that work:
- Working with the CEO of a global professional services firm
on the structural (and succession) issues facing him and his firm.
It includes frequent one-on-one and executive group sessions,
crafting initiatives and messages, and orchestrating firm meetings.
- Working with the leadership and the partners of a major law
firm on building the requisite skills of practice group leaders
and office managing partners, and conducting sessions with those
- Redesigning the business development approach for one of the
world’s leading investment management firms, and following
through with the delivery of a skills development program worldwide.