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The Art of Managing Professional Services: Insights from Leaders of the World's Top Firms [Kindle Edition]

Maureen Broderick
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Today, millions of people 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. In The Art of Managing Professional Services, Maureen Broderick offers the solution.


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.


Editorial Reviews


"Packed with specific takeaways, [this book] should help you bring the same level of professionalism to managing your firm as you do to serving your clients." --Accounting Today


From the Inside Flap

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"

Product Details

  • File Size: 2373 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: FT Press; 1 edition (October 24, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004GKN91M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #353,900 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful ideas for professional service providers December 30, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Professional service firms have very few places where they can turn for advice and best practices on how to run their businesses, according to Maureen Broderick in this book. The book aims to help rectify this by providing insights derived from more than 130 in-depth interviews with leaders of professional service firms in the fields of accounting, advertising, engineering, consulting, executive search, financial services and law.

Although the book presents some survey data, the survey process does not seem to have been particularly scientific. The firms were selected on the basis of being "acknowledged and respected by their peers", being amongst "the top-rated firms", and being cited by trade associations, rating companies and publications. Thus the content is better approached as a useful compilation of ideas, rather than as a rigorous analysis of industry best practices.

The book contains chapters on organizational values and culture, human resources, client relationship management, service offerings, financial management, marketing and sales, partnership and ownership structures, strategic planning, governance, and leadership style. Different professional services firms do things in vastly different ways, and I suspect that the author had difficulty in formulating a clear consensus on many of these issues.

Many of the firm managers interviewed described their professionals as "highly intelligent" and "extremely smart". Perhaps that is what you tell an outsider when asked about your firm, but the privately held views of those experienced in professional services firm management are rarely so effusive. This leads to a suspicion that there may be some systematic bias in the responses.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read for any PS leader April 17, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have read dozens and dozens of business books in my life, but only a few of them come close to this one. The author succeeds in sharing philosophies from a multitude of highly respected leaders in the Professional Services Industry. After reading her book I feel that I have gained incredibly valuable insights.. not from one person, but from many. I found the book to be an easy read. With my short attention span I often quit reading after chapter two, however with this book I just kept on reading till the end. In my opinion there are only two books on Professional Services management that's worth reading. This one, and David Maister's Managing the Professional Services Firm. I suggest you read both, however if you have time for one book only, start with this one. It's more up-to-date and it's easier to read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Value packed & actionable. January 24, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
What a fantastic read and an invaluable tool for anyone in the professional services arena and for those that are focused on helping professional services grow and compete more effectively. Beyond most books that touch upon this market (which there are few that truly do) Maureen and team not only provide ideas but also outline steps to take and real testimonials/case studies of ideas in action and practice. Certainly any US law firm should be making this book required reading as this market is experiencing change and increased competitive forces from all directions. While the title uses the term "art" the information in this book is more "science" in that it details methods and practices that are measurable and executed through deliberate planning and action. In short, managing professional services must be a goal that any firm is dedicated to and committed to achieving - compared with merely existing upon business-as-usual and status quo. This book belongs on the same bookshelf and collection as Richard Susskind's "The End of Lawyers?" and Gary Hammel's "The Future of Management."
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A snapshot of what the big service firms are doing complied from an extensive survey . It describes best practice as detailed through numerous case studies. And it confirms that these companies are:

still slow to change,
focused on the short term, and
still totally clueless about marketing

None of the above will change. If you were expecting some priceless insights or new practice models you will be disappointed. A compilation of best practice is by nature not innovative. This book does not displace the great work done by David Maister, it goes to show that these companies are not even implementing his ideas.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Compilation of the Best Leadership Practices February 27, 2011
Maureen Broderick does an outstanding job of synthesizing and interpreting fact-based research from leading professional services firms; many of the best practices discussed in this book can only be learned through years of experience. Anyone who is in a leadership role with a professional services firm should read this book - it will enhance what you may already know about leadership and provide valuable new insight into areas that you may not be as familiar with. I would highly recommend it.
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More About the Author

Maureen Broderick is founder and CEO of Broderick & Company, one of the few consulting firms that focuses exclusively on professional services. She has spent 30 years directing strategic marketing programs for many of the world's leading professional service firms.

Before launching Broderick & Company in 1996, Maureen spent close to 20 years working in-house for industry leaders ranging from Booz Allen Hamilton and Price Waterhouse to the law firm Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison and the research institute SRI International.

Maureen has spoken at professional service industry forums and client firm-wide meetings and retreats, and has published numerous articles on the topics of strategy and marketing in professional services.

She lives in Tiburon, California with her husband of 27 years and their three children.


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