Combining perspectives of "a doer and a teacher" with experiences of two dozen professional service firms representing the ups and downs of the Old and New economies, Aligning the Stars
offers detailed analysis of such firms today--and specific suggestions for their future success. Jay W. Lorsch, professor of human relations at Harvard Business School, and Thomas J. Tierney, former chief executive of Bain & Company (and now chairman of its nonprofit affiliate), interviewed principals at successful and struggling law firms, ad agencies, investment banks, and similar institutions to determine the practices that have helped the best thrive. Their conclusion: "Outstanding firms are consistently able to identify, attract, and retain star performers; to get stars committed to their firm's strategy; to manage stars across geographic distance, business lines, and generations; to govern and lead so that both the organization and its stars prosper and feel rewarded." Their book subsequently provides specific ways these "stars" (key performances critical to organizational success) can be "aligned" (via practices and structures that match their needs with those of the business). Lorsch and Tierney progress logically through client-centered strategies, development- and motivation-oriented people systems, corporate structure and governance, organizational culture, and leadership. A final section aims to help readers succeed in these newly shaped environments. --Howard Rothman
From Publishers Weekly
Focusing on the sector of professional service firms (including ad agencies, law firms, executive search firms, tech service providers, strategy consultants and more), Harvard Business School professor Lorsch and consultant Tierney explain how to manage talent for success. The authors examine 18 organizations, from Goldman Sachs to Ogilvy & Mather, to show readers how "alignment" (organizing a firm's talent) results from leadership and its implementation. Professional service firms are a major component of business today, making the market for Lorsch and Tierney's book a substantial one. Their suggestions are timely and specific.