Attraction and retention of clients, differentiation of key service offerings, and access to the right calibre of specialist personnel are but a few of the usual business issues challenging profitability in the professional services sector. Alongside these day to day matters, leaders must contend with changes in technology, changing requirements of industry regulators, and a more sophisticated buyer willing to test value for money and less interested in the concept of ‘provider for life’. Medium sized firms, in particular, are placed in a delicate position as they seek to rely on internal leadership to carry more corporate accountability – on top of professional responsibilities – in an effort to cap the costs of business. It is to be expected that, at times, more focus will be required on one or the other.
Thornton Mack supports leaders and managers in the professional services sector to achieve their business objectives by leveraging the expertise of executive-level personnel qualified to give both advice and practical support. Professional services firms rely on us to:
- Facilitate leadership discussions on key business issues
- Review organisation structure to improve efficiency
- Develop frameworks for leadership action
- Coach managers to achieve better working relationships
- Investigate personnel issues
- Deliver workshops
- Identify business improvement targets and plans
- Improve team-working
- Assist groups of professionals to build and improve performance
- Develop strategic and business plans
- Design talent management programmes
- Create more effective governance models
- Design communication plans to support key initiatives
Tracking the performance of three offshore service providers
A few years after service provision commenced, management practices had been relaxed and the business was less comfortable that the right things were being measured. Base performance appeared to be OK, but the executive was questioning whether metrics and results were being used to understand the business and drive service improvements.
Business managers responsible for overseeing contract delivery were engaged in a series of activities, aimed at understanding the business behaviours needed for successful management of the outsourced services (building collaborative relationships), providing effective status reporting for their internal clients, and influencing a culture of continuous improvement.
With support, managers and providers openly exchanged information, perceptions and viewpoints, and made undertakings about future ways of working together. A new reporting and management approach to overseeing service provider delivery was agreed and embedded in the business.
"Jacqui is an exceptionally insightful and perceptive coach, who displays that all too rare combination of characteristics - the ability to be an empathetic listener while still being able to effectively (yet kindly) provide advice - even if that advice runs counter to my self-image. I cannot recommend her highly enough."
"I have continued to sing the praises of the fantastic work you did with us to anyone who will listen - both internally & externally. Aside from our much stronger governance position, your work really helped us build those relationships with (the service providers), but also I honestly feel helped (the Executive's) direct report team really form - become a team. A good journey!"