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Articles

Engagement in professional services

Getting and keeping the right quality professional staff is an increasing challenge for advisory, accounting and legal firms of all sizes. Not only is a skill shortage putting pressure on existing professionals, it takes time to recruit the right people…

hybrid agenda-based coaching

There has been a lot of interest over the past few years into the idea of coaching to an explicit agenda, one that combines the needs of the client, the needs of their organisation with a particular set of ideas…

Transformation is not a linear process

This joint-venture organisation had won some major infrastructure planning projects; and there was potential for more such assignments in the near future. As a branch of the government, their clients needed to ensure ‘value for money’ and wished to see…

Anticipating storms

On 14 Aug – 12:42:36, Musandam-Oman Sail, a MOD70 trimaran crossed the finish line of the 2014 Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race off the Royal Yacht Squadron, Cowes. Their course time of 3 days, 3 hours, 32 minutes, 36…

Changing the atmosphere

You can frequently tell what it is like to work in an organisation, for example by observing how people interact, how they communicate, how offices are arranged & the ambience of the reception area. However, it is not always easy…

Engagement statistics

“Improving engagement correlates with improving performance”. This is the overriding message & the evidence seems too strong to be ignored. The statistics speak for themselves…

Hierarchy vs polyarchy – a video

Organisations are always on the lookout for fresh ideas & we have recently come across Illustra.TV who publish short video interviews with influential management & leadership thinkers. They have published a video interview with Nick Obolensky, author of ‘Complex Adaptive…

In praise of the off-site

A rapidly growing client had promoted a number of their more experienced professionals into ‘Managing’ roles. The plan was for this group to assume more responsibilities so freeing the principals to focus on strategic growth & further strengthening relationships with…

Agenda-based coaching

Key members of the international finance department in a large London-based services group needed to adopt new ways of thinking & working. The group was seen as dysfunctional & coaching was the lever selected to address this. However, from a…

Leadership for a complex & changing world

A study of the characteristics of chaos & complexity science suggests ways in which leadership could be made even more effective & potentially less stressful. It is an interesting & potentially far-reaching proposition. There is little doubt that the climate…

Cross-selling communities

The logic for cross-selling in professional services is compelling. Large clients and accounts that buy one service – say intellectual property advice or transactional support – frequently face challenges in a variety of areas in which the incumbent has real…

‘Kicking the tyres’

It is an old saw that it can be ‘lonely at the top’, yet a client - an influential Board member - made just such a remark recently. When asked how a coaching assignment had contributed to his work, among…

Maximising the benefit of business coaching

It is a measure of how far coaching has entered the mainstream that it is now a critical element of the part-funded UK government ‘Solutions for Business’ scheme. It is a powerful tool in the change and performance armoury and…

Business Partnering in legal services

A short while ago we carried out a research project to identify the characteristics of truly effective business services professionals in the legal sector. It was initially focused on Human Resources delivering their services to internal clients but as the…