Strategy and growth

I have completed many successful strategy development projects – for entire firms, particular markets or offices, specific service lines and functions. Often, I take the lead on driving analysis, research, consultation, goal-setting and option development processes. At other times, I guide the Board or project team who are directing the process. Sometimes as part of a Steering Group.

My MBA, decades of experience working within and for businesses and my strategic and creative skills are valued by my clients in the strategy development phase. And my psychology and people skills support effective strategy communication and implementation.

Most firms are seeking growth – whether in profits, fees, clients, work or reputation. I help them identify and assess the best sources of growth – in view of their mission and values – and support them in achieving their goals. My book on growth in property partnerships describes some approaches.

Sometimes I am asked to assist in the development of business plans where the strategy has already been identified. I always believe that “the journey is more important than the destination” and that “structure follows strategy”. I also run training workshops on strategy development and strategic thinking and there are many articles on these topics if you use the tag box or search.

Change and challenges

Change is an inevitable part of life. And when there isn’t a global pandemic driving the need to adapt and survive, it can be hard to engage business owners, stakeholders and employees in change management programmes.

I help identify the changes needed and to structure projects to assess and plan them. Drawing on a range of psychology, people and persuasion skills I enable businesses to engage and consult with their people to gain their buy-in and ensure their motivation. Anticipating and dealing with resistance to change is always a part of change programmes.

As businesses, markets and people change there are always new challenges. Leadership teams value an experienced sounding-board and sometimes my role is extended to being a non-executive director.

Leadership and skills development

Technical specialists often receive no formal training in leadership and management. And the trial and error approach can be commercially, professionally, personally and emotionally costly. So I often work with leaders as they develop their leadership capabilities and skills in a variety of new situations.

Many firms ask for help with succession. Here I equip and motivate the next generation of leaders to step up to the challenge. I deploy a variety of training and coaching interventions in what are often long-term relationships with future leaders.

I have written books on business development skills and also on essential soft skills for lawyers.

Business development: Marketing, selling and relationship management

With decades of experience in strategic and operational marketing, many of my projects involve some aspect of business development improvement.

Typical projects include developing new marketing strategies, transforming marketing and BD teams, establishing and improving marketing and relationship processes, enhancing cross-selling and referral management and boosting sales and relationship management skills.

Sometimes I work with teams or individuals to help them develop a business development plan and then coach them through implementation. Sometimes I am asked to assist on critical or major pitches or tenders.

Client listening and Key Account Management (KAM)

Client listening projects are often the foundation of service improvement, satisfaction, loyalty, referral, Key Account Management (KAM) and Account-Based Marketing (ABM) programmes. Clients sometimes want help in designing their client listening programmes and/or in selecting and briefing appropriate researchers.

For some clients, I conduct the client listening programme myself. Ensuring that I am fully briefed, develop real rapport, explore the relevant issues, obtain high quality feedback and add insight and value to the client. I convey the feedback sensitively and use it to develop plans for the firm and individual clients.

Communication and Content development

Many projects involve helping my clients to develop integrated marketing, communications, selling and relationship management campaigns. I have worked on several thought leadership campaigns – a couple have won awards. I use research and insight to come up with “the big idea” and help teams collaborate to produce plans and budgets.

Internal communication and education are frequent requests – primarily to support engagement and buy-in. Often I am asked to help bridge the gap between senior management and marketing/BD or between those who generate fees and those in business services. Training and coaching on content development – whether web sites, articles, blogs, videos, presentations, webinars or copywriting – is a frequent request.

I have written seven books and thousands of articles for externally published media and for my own blog and social media. One book introduces the use of social media in business development and relationship management for reluctant professionals. I provide training courses on a variety of personal and interpersonal communication skills – including persuasive writing and presentation skills.

See some of my client lists or client testimonials.