To Bid or Not To Bid? Four Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Prepare a Proposal

The days when clients would engage you to conduct an assessment as part of a ‘paid selling opportunity’ are long over. Instead, clients want you to spend your own time to understand their problem and propose how to solve it. Further, preparing a competitive RFP response requires senior practitioners to spend hours gathering information, responding … Read more To Bid or Not To Bid? Four Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Prepare a Proposal

Gretzky vs. Bezos: Responding to Change With Resilience and Adaptability

Whenever I have a conversation about strategy, it’s one of the most common quotes that comes up.  Firm leaders want to be like Wayne Gretzky and “Skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been.”  But in business, there isn’t just one puck, and rather than following a straight trajectory, it’s bouncing … Read more Gretzky vs. Bezos: Responding to Change With Resilience and Adaptability

Handling Complexity: The Checklist Manifesto for Professional Services

I just finished reading Atul Gawande’s The Checklist Manifesto – a book that has been sitting on my kindle for an embarrassing amount of time, but which I put off because I thought reading the New Yorker article was enough.  I was wrong: this is one of the most important books I’ve read for thinking … Read more Handling Complexity: The Checklist Manifesto for Professional Services

Managing the Captive Research and Analytics Firm

Last year, we undertook a research project to examine an under-explored type of professional services firm: research and analytics firms that are tightly held and closely aligned with a parent company like a PR, advertising, or media agency. We call these captive agencies because they’re much more tightly integrated with their parent firm than a … Read more Managing the Captive Research and Analytics Firm

The New Hunters and Farmers: Compensation is about Risk, Not Incentives

Famer

One of the most common tropes when thinking about business developers is the dichotomy between “hunters” and “farmers”. It tends to crop up when looking at business development styles: hunters going out and finding new business, then quickly move on. Farmers cultivating relationships over the long term. David Maister used a similar distinction to describe … Read more The New Hunters and Farmers: Compensation is about Risk, Not Incentives