Thoughts on ways to improve the management of professional services firms

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Patrick McKenna - the first 100 days as Managing Partner

It is taking me longer than expected to create the post on recruitment and induction, the next item in the people management in professional services series. As a consequence it is now quite some time since my last post. So I thought that I should resume posts on matters of more general interest while I am completing material.

I am grateful to Bruce MacEwen for drawing Patrick McKenna's new e-book, The First 100 Days: Transitioning a New Managing Partner, to my attention. The book, available for free download, is short but interesting. The key steps are defined as:

1. Begin Before The Handoff (during the countdown before you officially take office)

  • Position yourself as a leader who is eager to listen to the opinions of your peers
  • Build a working relationship with the departing Managing Partner
  • Create constructive dialogue with key thought leaders and power brokers within your firm
  • Tie up loose ends with key clients
  • Try to deal with sensitive problems before you take office.

2. Plug Your Gaps

  • Figure out what you need to know and learn it as rapidly as you can
  • Establish your advice network.

3. Establish Performance Standards

  • Negotiate your specific metrics for success.

4. Seize Your Day

  • Pay attention to personal habits
  • Make symbolic gestures
  • Convey basic information.

5. Set Your Agenda

  • Identify your one burning imperative
  • Get critical partner buy-in
  • Develop an action plan to implement your initiative
  • Launch a pilot project.

6. Exploit Early Successes

  • Identify something that would not have happened had it not been for your burning imperative.

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