Art of Managing Professional Services, The: Insights from Leaders of the World's Top Firms

Financial Times
Maureen Broderick  
Total pages
October 2010
Related Titles

Product detail

Product Price CHF Available  
Art of Managing Professional Services, The: Insights from Leaders of the World's Top Firms
40.70 approx. 7-9 days


Today, millions of professionals work at over one million professional service firms generating over $2 trillion in revenue annually. These firms face unique issues that are not fully understood by management thinkers and consultants. Making matters more complex is that many of these firms stand at a crossroads, searching for new strategies and practices to succeed in a radically new economy. This book is the solution. Maureen Broderick has brought together modern best practices for these and other crucial areas of professional services management:

  • Building, communicating, and maintaining shared vision, values, and culture
  • Recruiting, training, and evaluating people
  • Crafting the right strategies, portfolio, and mix of clients
  • Innovating and sharing knowledge
  • Financial planning, metrics, and reporting
  • Positioning: brand, marketing, and sales
  • Defining effective partnerships: equity, selection, and compensation
  • Ensuring responsibility and accountability
  • Organizational design, structure, governance, and systems
  • Leading effectively, and growing the next generation of leaders
This book reflects Broderick + Co.'s unparalleled research into professional services management, including 200+ executive interviews with leaders and innovators in organizations of all sizes and types.


The only complete, best-practice guide to building, managing, and leading high-performance professional service firms


  • Presents modern best practices for strategy, recruitment, compensation, finance, positioning, portfolios, leadership, vision, innovation, governance, and more.
  • Reflects 200 in-depth leadership interviews, plus exclusive insights from one of the world's top consultancies.
  • Reaches an untapped market: professional services leaders with challenges ignored by other management books.
  • New to this Edition

    This edition will include the powerful Pearson IT Certification Practice Test engine, complete with hundreds of exam-realistic questions. The assessment engine offers you a wealth of customization options and reporting features, laying out a complete assessment of your knowledge to help you focus your study where it is needed most.


    New chapters on Peripherals and Custom Computing as well as Mobile Devices

    Table of Contents

    Foreword by Jay Lorsch   xv

    Acknowledgments   xvii

    About the Author   xxi

    Introduction   1

    Chapter 1: Professional Services   9

    Characteristics, challenges, and leadership model

    Common Characteristics of Successful Firms   10

    It’s Not All Good News   13

    The Broderick PSF Leadership Model   14

    Chapter 2: Shared Vision, Values, and Culture   17

    Building, communicating, and maintaining

    Five Essentials of Vision, Values, and Culture   20

    Embedding Values and Culture   22

    The Reinforcement of Values and Culture Begins with Recruiting   23

    Telling the Firm’s Story Reinforces the Culture   24

    Teams Teach You How to Live and Work in the Firm   24

    Constant Communication Is Critical   25

    Celebrate and Reward Good Behavior   28

    Making Values Stick   28

    Revitalizing Vision, Values, and Culture   31

    Chapter Summary   38

    Chapter 3: People   39

    Recruitment, training, and evaluation

    Seven Essentials of Talent Management   41

    Recruiting: Refreshing the Ranks   43

    Interviewing and Selection: Choosing the Best Candidates   46

    Mapping a Career Path   47

    Training: Fostering Connectedness and Commitment   51

    Mentoring: Providing Personal and Professional Support   55

    Performance Evaluations: Frequent and Thorough Feedback   60

    Diversity Looms Large–and Will Continue to Pose a Major Challenge   62

    Chapter Summary   63

    Chapter 4: Portfolio   65

    Strategy, client mix, and relationship management

    Five Essentials of Client Portfolio Management   67

    Mastering the Client Management Life Cycle   69

    Step One: Strategically Plan and Review the Client Portfolio   70

    Step Two: Onboard New Clients   75

    Step Three: Sustain and Grow Accounts   76

    Step Four: Solicit Client Feedback   88

    Step Five: Review and Measure Results   91

    Chapter Summary   94

    Chapter 5: Services   95

    Strategy, innovation, and knowledge sharing

    Four Essentials of Successful Service Portfolio Management   97

    Follow the Service Strategy Cycle   98

    Step One: Review the Service Portfolio   99

    Step Two: Stimulate and Capture New Ideas   102

    Steps Three and Four: Select the Best Ideas, and Take Them to Market   108

    Step Five: Share Knowledge   111

    Four Essentials of Knowledge Management   112

    Chaper Summary   119

    Chapter 6: Finance   121

    Planning, metrics, and reporting

    How Do the Top Firms Manage Finance?   123

    Financial Planning and Budgeting   124

    Forecasting   126

    Metrics to Monitor the Business   127

    Revenue   129

    Profitability   130

    Utilization   131

    Pricing   132

    Leverage   136

    Performance Efficiency   137

    Early Warning Signs   138

    Reporting   139

    Transparency and Accountability   142

    Chapter Summary   146

    Chapter 7: Positioning   147

    Brand, marketing, and sales

    Five Elements of a Successful Market Strategy   149

    The Power of Brand   151

    Determine the Market and Brand Positioning   151

    Embed and Build the Brand   155

    Keep the Message Clear and Consistent   160

    Regularly Test Brand Strength   160

    Marketing   161

    Sales   162

    Building a Marketing and Business Development Plan   164

    Firm-wide Brand Initiatives   164

    Business Unit Plans   166

    Master Plan, Timeline and Budget, Tracking and Measurement   167

    Thought Leadership: The Most Powerful Way to Grow the Business   170

    The Role of the Marketing Professional   175

    Areas of Focus for the Marketing Department   177

    Chapter Summary   182

    Chapter 8: Partnership   183

    Equity, selection, and compensation

    Six Characteristics of Enduring Partnerships   184

    Selecting an Ownership Structure   186

    Advantages and Disadvantages of Ownership Structures   187

    Public Versus Private   192

    To Sell or Not to Sell   195

    Equity Programs to Attract and Retain the Best   197

    Rewarding the Partners: Dividing the Pie 203

    Distribution Models   203

    Evaluating Performance   205

    Partnership Performance Criteria   208

    Partnership Selection: A Pivotal Decision 211

    Criteria for Promotion to Partnership   212

    Partner Promotion Process   213

    Chapter Summary 216

    Chapter 9: Strategy 219

    Process, responsibility, and accountability

    Why Strategic Planning Matters   221

    Five Essentials for Successful Strategic Planning   223

    Orchestrating the Planning Process   226

    Long-Term Planning   227

    Annual Planning   231

    Review, Monitor, and Update   232

    Accountability   234

    Chapter Summary   236

    Chapter 10: Structure 237

    Design, governance, and style

    Why Getting It Right Is So Challenging   239

    Seven Essentials for a Successful Infrastructure and Governance Model   240

    Organizational Structure: The Scaffolding That Supports the Firm   243

    Board of Directors: Composition and Selection   244

    Chairman: Selection and Role   247

    CEO: Selection, Role, and Succession   248

    Management Committee: Composition and Selection   253

    Business Units: Structure and Seat of Power 254

    Other Functions/Special Initiatives   257

    Administrative Support   257

    Changing the Structure   258

    Governance Style   259

    Chapter Summary   263

    Chapter 11: Style of Leadership 265

    Characteristics, grooming, and advice

    Essential Characteristics of a Successful Leader: Emotional Intelligence and People Skills   267

    Good Influencer/Builder of Coalitions   268

    Inspirational and Passionate   268

    Visionary   268

    Good Listener   269

    Good Communicator   271

    Understands the Business   274

    To Bill or Not to Bill   274

    Grooming a Global Leadership Corps: Finding and Nurturing Future Leaders   278

    Some Parting Advice for Leaders   284

    Author’s Note   286

    Index   287


    Lessons from Leaders

    Chapter 2: Shared Vision, Values, and Culture

    Teaming at Cravath 26

    Booz Allen Hamilton Core Values   29

    Edelman Revisits Vision and Values   32

    Korn/Ferry Changes Its Vision and Culture   34

    Chapter 3: People

    Recruiting at ghSMART   48

    Career Development at Booz Allen Hamilton   50

    Latham & Watkins Multistage Career Training   53

    Training at Bain & Company   56

    Plante & Moran’s Team-Based Mentoring  59

    Chapter 4: Portfolio

    Grant Thornton Client Experience Program   77

    Black & Veatch Client Portfolio Mix   81

    Account Management at Burson-Marsteller   83

    Client Management at Ernst & Young   87

    Edelman’s Client Feedback Program   90

    Chapter 5: Services

    Deloitte Australia’s Innovation Program   104

    CSC’s Office of Innovation 107

    Knowledge Management at Grant Thornton   116

    Chapter 6: Finance

    Black & Veatch Forecasting Process   128

    Metric Management at Gensler   141

    ghSMART’s Budget, Dashboard, and Review Process   144

    Chapter 7: Positioning

    Brand Management at Skadden, Arps   156

    Euro RSCG Life Culture Scan   158

    Growing an Industry Program at Ernst & Young   168

    Thought Leadership at Booz & Company   174

    Chapter 8: Partnership

    Slater & Gordon Becomes the First Law Firm to Go Public   193

    The Acquisition Process at Baker Robbins & Company   196

    Gensler’s Principal Evaluation Process   207

    Compensation Criteria at Eversheds   210

    Making Partner at Egon Zehnder International   215

    Chapter 9: Strategy

    Planning at Peppercom   225

    Hewitt’s Planning Process   229

    Annual Planning at Ernst & Young   233

    Chapter 10: Structure

    Clifford Chance Offshoring Program   242

    Election Process at Skadden, Arps   250

    A.T. Kearney Revamps Structure and Governance   261

    Chapter 11: Style of Leadership

    Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide: Leading Growth 270

    KPMG: Leading Through a Crisis 272

    Clifford Chance: Leading Through Transition 275

    Cultivating Leadership at O’Melveny & Myers 281

    Emerging Leaders Program at Dewberry   283

    Back Cover

    “High praise for Maureen Broderick…. Her book gives firm leaders a step up in competing on the global landscape.”

    –James Turley, Chairman and CEO, Ernst & Young


    “Anyone involved in the management of a professional service firm will find real value here.”

    –David Childs, Global Managing Partner, Clifford Chance


    “Maureen Broderick brings shape and clarity to the vital, but abstract, essence of professional service firms.”

    –Ralph Shrader, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Booz Allen Hamilton


    “Broderick’s book is filled with best practices that will help all kinds of companies–whether they are professional service firms or not–meet the challenges of doing business in the 21st century.”

    –Ray Kotcher, Senior Partner and Chief Executive Officer, Ketchum


    “Every professional service partner–and aspiring partner–should read this book.”

    –Paul Laudicina, Managing Officer and Chairman, A.T. Kearney


    “This comprehensive overview of best practices from the world’s leading firms will resonate with leaders and managers.”

    –Eric Friedman, Executive Partner, Skadden, Arps


    “The takeaways are fantastic!”

    –Andy Cohen, Co-CEO, Gensler


    “One only needs to read this book to realize that managing a professional service firm is very much an art, if not a science, worthy of its own special study and examination.”

    –Mike Goss, Managing Director and COO, Bain Capital


    Building and managing a professional service firm is very different from running a product-based business. Infrastructure, governance, talent acquisition and retention, and compensation and financial management vary significantly from traditional corporate environments. Conventional management advice doesn’t offer all the answers, and mainstream business gurus rarely address the unique challenges facing professional service firm leaders.


    The Art of Managing Professional Services is one of the most comprehensive, research-based guides to firm management ever written for
    the industry. Based on more than 130 in-depth interviews with leaders of the world’s top firms, the book offers practical, proven, best practices on how to tackle the ten critical areas that firm leaders must monitor to build and maintain a strong organization: vision, values, and culture; people; clients; services; finance; positioning; partnership; strategy; structure; and leadership style.


    Maureen Broderick draws on her 30 years of experience in professional services to explore both the art and science of running a high performance firm. She presents tangible processes and programs—including 40 featured best practices—that readers can tailor to their own organizations and cultures. Inside you will learn:


    >> How to create and maintain a shared vision, values, and culture

    >> Best programs to recruit, train, and retain great people

    >> Strategies to develop and manage a profitable portfolio of clients

    >> What it takes to innovate services and share knowledge

    >> The key metrics to monitor financial health

    >> Insights into effective positioning, marketing, and selling firm services

    >> Proven practices for rewarding and managing the partnership

    >> A guide to both long-term and annual strategic planning

    >> Balancing structure and governance in a consensus-driven organization

    >> Secrets for leading “incredibly smart and independent people”


    Maureen Broderick is founder and CEO of Broderick & Company, one of the few consulting firms that focus exclusively on professional services. Broderick & Company provides strategy, research, and thought leadership services to many of the world’s leading firms. Before founding Broderick & Company in 1996, Maureen spent close to 20 years working in-house for industry leaders ranging from Price Waterhouse and Booz Allen Hamilton to the law firm Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison and the research institute SRI International.