One of MasterThink’s major client groups is professional services: insurance agencies, architecture, attorneys, accounting, engineering, and others. The heads of these firms are highly educated professionals. These professionals are skilled in their area of expertise and have grown their companies in sales and profitability, but often get bogged down in issues of partnership, personality, and management.
Theirs is a “people” business—owners must juggle a team of smart, educated professionals, sales people, and a demanding client base. Their offices are usually filled with incredible talent and skill, but too often lack overall business strategy, with no focus and little accountability.
The largest investment for professional service companies is their people. MasterThink increases their return on that investment by increasing productivity for improved organizational performance.
MasterThink was retained by a professional service organization that is owned by several partners, each of whom have children involved in the business. The company has been quite successful due to the hard work of the owners, but they had two major goals they wanted to achieve over the next ten years:
First was to develop a reproducible business model to make the company less dependent upon the owners, and to allow them more time to enjoy the rewards of their success.
The second was to prepare the children and other key leaders to transition the ownership.
There was also a significant problem that needed to be addressed—the company had a track record of developing great ideas, but a hard time executing them.
In order to accomplish these objectives, several things needed to be done.
- The several entities of this company needed restructuring and consolidation.
- A business plan with structure and an accountability system needed to be designed and put into place.
- A reproducible business model needed to be developed.
- Both the sales team and operation teams needed extensive training and development.
The first step of the MasterThink team was to lead the partners through the development of a ten-year strategic plan to position the company for the options of acquisition, external sale, or transition to the next generation, and to allow the partners more time to enjoy life.
A focus and accountability system was tailored so that ideas could be executed into tangible performance. Disciplines were put into place to keep the company’s largest investment—their people—on track at all times.
Dashboards, carefully designed for all positions in the company, have been put in place and are monitored weekly, monthly, and trimester to keep focus on desired goals and achievement. At the end of each trimester, the successes are celebrated together, and then attention is focused on the overall strategy and goals for the next months.
In this company, individual coaching of key players was essential in order to hone their management abilities and to prepare them to assume more responsibility for future management.
MasterThink has also been working closely with the sales and operations team, coaching and developing them, improving their performance and positioning them to handle the high growth opportunities of this company’s future.
We are now in the third year of executing this company’s ten-year strategic plan. The organizational structure is firmly established, and people development and coaching is ongoing.
Sales and profitability have dramatically improved. Systems, processes and procedures have assured the consistent performance of the team. Key people are assuming more day-to-day responsibilities in running the company.
We are finalizing the consolidation of the individual companies and devising varying exit strategies for each partner. We are also helping these partners evaluate new acquisitions to help drive the future growth and value of the company.