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Firm Leadership

Rants, Raves, Rebuttals, Reflections, Revelations & Ruminations


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Post #860 – August 14, 2020

Announcing: Managing Partners’ Forum North America

Larry Stroud, the founder of Korverge, and Patrick J. McKenna are collaborating to establish Managing Partners’ Forum North America.  

 

Larry is a sought-after business development (BD) and management coach for professional services firms, principally accounting and law.  Prior to establishing his advisory firm, Korverge Inc. (www.korverge.com) Larry built his experience in several locations around the globe as a CPA, CA (including in the area of forensic investigations and also heading up a national BD and marketing function).  He achieved partner in EY and lastly at Mazars UK. 

 

Managing Partners’ Forum is a well-established and successful forum and resource in the UK and parts of Europe www.mpfglobal.com.  The purpose of The Forum is to support the growth, productivity and prosperity of the professional services sector.  The Forum brings together professional firm leaders to share ideas on strategic leadership and management excellence with each other.  To qualify to join The Forum members generally have to be Managing Partners, CEOs, COOs of professional firms.  Unlike other forums or associations, the members are from all disciplines of professional services – e.g. accounting, law, engineering, architectural, property advisors etc.

 

Stay tuned for further details on programs and activities.




Post #859 – August 12, 2020


Memo to Firm Leader: Are You Getting Minutes from Group Meetings?

 

Whenever I’ve been called in to work with some firm’s practice or industry group, perhaps some group that needs remedial assistance or one wishing to formulate a strategic direction, my first questions of firm leadership is usually to please send me copies of the groups’ most recent meeting minutes.  The response I almost always elicit is . . . “Minutes? What the hell do you mean by minutes?”  Which tells me everything I need to know!




I have continually found that too many group meetings (if your practice or industry teams are meeting at all – whether in person or now virtually) are simply a convenient excuse to find out what everyone has been up to lately.  Many groups may spend time talking about workloads and about what might be new with a particular client that everybody is familiar with – but few actually engage in collaborating on projects that could advance the group’s ambitions.  

 

Read the complete article –  HERE





Post #858 – August 5, 2020

 

Suffering Obsolescence (Part 2): Are You Fostering a Skill Building Culture?

 

Since your firm sells professional skill, talent, knowledge, and ability, rather than time (hopefully), it makes sense that one should probably think of those as valuable firm assets and have some kind of program to manage and prevent those assets from inevitably becoming obsolete.  The culture you choose to develop can serve to play a critical role in helping everyone build skills for the future.  




It is trivial to observe that most new learning happens while professionals are engaged in their various client matters.  What is not trivial to point out is that far too many firms (and their groups) fail to capture and disseminate much of that knowledge, such that it never gets leveraged and used to the benefit of outperforming competitors. 

 

Read the complete article – HERE





Post #857 – July 29, 2020


Suffering Human Capital Obsolescence: Partners Doing the Same Old Schtick!

In most firms, my observation is that we seriously over-invest in the efficiency (“let’s provide a discount” or “do more for less”) arena and under-invest in having partners working to build their skills – in order to deliver greater recognized value.  

As a general rule, firm leadership needs to help partners understand that they are in competition will millions of other professionals all over the world, capable of doing the same work that they can do, and that the sad news is that: “nobody owes you a career.  To continue to be successful you must continually dedicate yourself to retraining your individual competitive advantage.”


In the long run, superior competitiveness derives from having an ability to build skills faster than competitors, and with the kind of knowledge and skills that germinate new practice niches.  

Read the complete article - HERE






Post #856 – July 22, 2020

 

Is Your Industry Group Monitoring Trends?

 

As I have been attempting to convey in my series of articles on the importance of industry focus, clients don’t see the world along your conventional practice group lines.  For our purposes here, one activity that I have learned that only high-performance industry groups do, is they engage their members in a monthly meeting specifically to review the trends impacting their clients. 



 

Now, one of the challenges that every industry group leader faces is dealing with busy professionals living in a bubble; head down and consumed in solving client issues such that they are not involved in looking outward or knowing anything about what developments may be transpiring that could affect their practices and their future prosperity.  So, one of the important subjects that your group needs to devote some time to focusing on, is in identifying emergent marketplace changes.

 

Staying on top of industry-related market information can be achieved, in the following 10 ways. 

Read the complete article - HERE




Post #855 – July 15, 2020

The Equity Crowdfunding Micro-Niche

For some time now I have been writing a series of articles (https://www.legalexecutiveinstitute.com/author/patrick-j-mckenna/) on what I’ve categorized as lucrative (and most often, unrecognized) “micro-niche” practices – everything from esports and synthetic biology to digital transformation and last week’s social-media influencers.


While Covid-19 may be decimating many businesses, it is already creating scores of new ones and serving as a catalyst for improved sources of “alternative financing” – and one notable micro-niche within alternative financing is equity crowdfunding (or Reg CF).  By way of a small example, take a look on LinkedIn at #crowdfunding to see that there are already 86,350 followers.  On July 10 I noticed a posting from Jose Montero, a California-based CEO, announcing the official close of “our crowdfunding campaign” after maxing out early with 3800+ investors reaching his funding goal of $1.7 million (the regulated cap) to finance Blue, a smart business card and mobile app.

Read the complete article - HERE



Post #854 – July 8, 2020

The Social Media Influencer Micro-Niche

For some time now I have been writing a series of articles on what I’ve categorized as lucrative (and most often, unrecognized) “micro-niche” practices – everything from esports and synthetic biology to digital transformation and anti-aging medicine.

Among a number of micro-niches that I have been monitoring is one that received high-profile attention on June 30th by way of the forming of their own lobbying group.  Apparently, a collection of “TikTok tastemakers and IG mavens banded together to launch a trade group, the American Influencer Council.”  Part of their stated goal is to legitimize influencing as an industry, fund market research into the influencer economy, and build a mentoring program for rising stars.


What is that all about, you ask?  Social Media Influencers!

Read the complete article – HERE



Post #853 – July 1, 2020

Embrace Thought Leadership as Your Industry Group’s Strategy for Growth

Successful thought leadership does not arrive by virtue of having a published idea linked to a hope that someone will recognize brilliance and sweep your industry team from obscurity into prominence.  Thought leadership only matters if you address a specific audience and can present new ideas that improve their life or work.  

The best thought leadership, therefore, helps people in an industry do something better or gain insight that helps them better understand their market or their problems.  For your strategic purposes it should help start a new client relationship where none exists, and it should give existing clients comfort that they have made the best choice in selecting your team. 

To that end, here are 12 recommended actions for how you and your group might develop a position of being recognized industry thought leaders.

Read the complete article - HERE



Post #852 – June 24, 2020

Get Your Industry Focus In Sync

Surveying 700 in-house and law firm attorneys across the US and EU, the 2020 Future Ready Lawyer Survey: Performance Drivers provides some compelling information. 


When exploring what factors clients use to select their preferred firms, three criteria were tops: Specialization (are you doing something that we cannot just get everywhere else?); Technology (are you using technology to improve your productivity and collaboration?); and Ability to Understand Client Needs (which sounds a lot like the commonly phrased – do you understand our business / industry?) 

This article provides some prescriptive guidance on how what label you attach to your industry group actually matters; how you need to be very specific about the sub-industry you are targeting; how there are areas of lucrative opportunity that may defy simple industry categorization; and why industry sector expertise is THE differentiator.

Read the complete article – HERE



Post #851 – June 17, 2020

Enough with The Visionary Leadership BS

Last week I came across another article by another supposed best practices researcher that claimed to have surveyed more than 1800 law firm partners on “what they really want from their leaders.”  This author informs us that they “asked partners to describe, in their own words, what they saw as the key strengths of their leaders.”

Survey Says . . . “being a Visionary” is at the top of their list.  Can you just imagine?


While many books on leadership suggests that a leader needs to have a vision (with some 627 books currently listed under Visionary Leadership on Amazon) I think it is all very nice in theory, sounds profoundly intelligent as a concept, but is absolute BS in its application for you leading a team of highly talented professionals.

Let me tell you about some of the garbage that gets spouted about what leadership is all about and what does work.

Read the complete article - HERE


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