On Becoming Extraordinary – Star Professional Service Firms
Management consultancy firms are growing in number and scale, with different business verticals having specialized firms now instead of specialists from larger, more general, consulting firms like McKinsey (where this author worked), Bain, and Accenture. For the uninitiated, management consultants are individuals or firms that go into other companies or organizations to help them analyze their current business systems and help create new strategies to meet business goals. Author Pieter Jagersma undertook a years’ long research project to see why some professional service firm (PSFs) excel at the job and which ones are real leaders in their specialty. Jagersma’s criteria for “excellence” is subjective, but is based on his experiences and extensive interviews with the firms’ executives, clients, industry professionals, and academics. The end result is a great list of PSFs from nine different consultancy fields, from health care to accountancy and human resources to legal.
With more than 100 PSFs that made the final cut, On Becoming Extraordinary gets into what those firms have in common that other PSFs can learn from. Jagersma provides many actionable suggestions, lists, and practices that can be applied, not only within the firm but also with current and prospective clients, that can add that “extraordinary” level of service to other firms looking to up their game. Suggestions include developing alumni networks, mentoring, and pro bono work for the PSF, and developing clients from initial interviews, client project teams, effective client feedback, and multi-client conferences.
For any PSF, On Becoming Extraordinary has a wealth of ideas and examples to move you from being a good firm to a great one. Additionally, other types of service businesses will find those same ideas helpful in creating a culture of excellence for their existing client base or develop a new one.
Pieter Klaas Jagersma