In three years we helped Andrew achieve $30MM in revenue and join the leadership committee of his firm by rebuilding the failed innovation practice.
This program was first titled Partner in 3 Years. Then we changed the title to Building an Innovation Practice, then Implementation. Building an Innovation Division and then How to Sell Multi-Million Dollar Strategy / Innovation Engagements. All the titles are correct.
However, we changed the name to make it explicit. This program is about sales. Even if you start in a technical role, you eventually must take some sales role as you become more senior. Through the process of selling, Andrew built an innovation practice, built a team and built the innovation capability at his firm.
We help Andrew, a senior manager at a major international professional services firm, become an equity partner in 3 years by pursuing a highly unconventional path: re-building the firm’s failed innovation practice.
Starting with a total budget of $150K, and signing authority of under $5,000, we take you through every meeting, dinner, coffee chat, obstacle, plan, tactic, pilot, proposal, marital problem, client push-back, strategy, success, failure, etc., to achieve total revenue of greater than $30MM within 3 years.
Before Andrew, no equity partner had ever been elected from an internal role in this firm.
At the start of this program Andrew is a 39-year-old finance specialist serving mid-sized clients in the North-East USA. He recently joined the firm after working at a rival professional services giant for much of his career. He left his prior firm because he was not offered a path to partnership. His career had stalled.
Despite the excitement of joining the new firm, he again fails to make progress and continues to serve mid-size clients, which, given the size of the projects, makes it difficult for him to ever reach the ~$3-4MM/annum hurdle for nomination to the firm’s partnership ranks.
Moreover, Andrew does not know how to sell without selling. He follows a benefits-based sales approach which does not work for leaders. At this point Andrew believes that, at best, he may make partner in 7 to 10 years, but he will likely remain a senior manager. He is considering leaving to join as a partner at a much smaller regional firm.
Andrew is happily married with a wonderful wife and children. Yet, he bears the guilt of knowing he asked his wife to give up her lucrative investment banking job to raise their children.
His wife kept her end of the bargain, but Andrew believes he did not do enough on his side.
In the first phase Andrew ran a series of internal cost reduction pilots at his firm that yielded banked savings of ~$10MM, which brought him to the attention of the senior partners.
We take over Andrew’s career to develop an entirely new career strategy and route to the partnership, and we control the entire implementation. In a bold and daring move, Andrew is asked to forget about the common route to partnership and focus on the non-existent, failing and embarrassing innovation practice that the firm’s management committee is considering shutting down.
It is a cost center and no one in the history of the firm had ever before been elected to the partnership from a cost center.
We work with Andrew to find a route into innovation, positioning him to run the function in a caretaker role, and develop a definition and scalable model for innovation. After a very slow start, September through to December turn out to be important months where a grass-roots innovation campaign is assembled.
Our very carefully planned successes and image management strategy gets Andrew noticed by senior management.
After hitting a major milestone at the end of Year 1, we map out an aggressive but logical plan to shift innovation from its internal focus to external clients. We work with Andrew to continue building out an innovation engine that can scale across the firm. Andrew’s star keeps rising.
We set out, with a detailed strategy, to achieve two highly improbable, but significant, goals.
The year ends with Andrew landing his first multi-million-dollar client engagement. Not done yet, we focus on building out an innovation service for external clients, with a bigger goal in mind than when we started working together two years ago.
We pursue the final ambitious goal: to manage a full innovation program at a major multi-national client, while going head-to-head against BCG and McKinsey. Yet by using a different approach to innovation and in an area where the firm has no prior track record.
This program requires Andrew to find a way to execute a plan of bringing together the firm’s skills in audit, tax, corporate finance, legal, technology and consulting to create new sources of revenue for clients.
We develop a “blocking strategy” which allows Andrew to use the unique assets of the firm, to conduct innovation programs in a way that is different from McKinsey and BCG. In other words, they use McKinsey/BCG thinking to build an innovation practice that leverages the strengths of the firm versus replicating the approach used by BCG and McKinsey.
The program ends with Andrew’s initiatives generating >$30 million in savings + revenue for the firm and an offer to join the equity partnership.
Although the number looks daunting, we will explain to you the exact path taken, how we phased the initiatives, how we built a loyal team around Andrew and how we trained Andrew to become comfortable with sales. The business case and results of each engagement is discussed so you can see how the numbers add up.
We break down each source of revenue + savings into the dollar benefit to the firm, how it was calculated, how it was validated and how you could go about applying the same concept. Significant time is spent explaining the build-up to each pilot, the lessons learned and how the improved process was rolled out across the firm.
“Factory-in-a-Box was one of the most brilliant things FIRMSconsulting developed for us. It
overwhelmingly benefitted clients and was far better than anything offered by our competitors.”