If your firm is arranging a partner gathering in 2023, what should be top of the agenda? Here James Stringer of The Results Consultancy outlines four themes to energise your firm’s partners
Whether an offsite retreat, away day or town hall meeting, you will no doubt want partners to feel the time they’ve invested is worthwhile. They also need to come away feeling energised and motivated to support the points covered.
These are meetings that matter, and it goes without saying that it is important everyone is up for discussing the key strategic topics and themes.
Four key themes for 2023
Here are four ideas for professional firms’ senior team agendas:
- Responding to competitors by harnessing technology and new ways of working;
- Winning the war for talent; and
- Progressing the ESG agenda.
Growth is essential if your firm wants to make room for your up-and-coming talent.
We know many firms are currently questioning where growth is going to come from in 2023. In a recent survey by HSBC and Briefing Magazine, 70% of C-Suite respondents of leading law firms expected merger and acquisition activity among law firms to increase in the year ahead. Is your firm looking to be an acquirer or a target?
M&A is appealing, but there is often organic growth to be had closer to home. It just needs a focus on areas which could unlock new revenue. For example:
- Are your firm’s partners working together to grow client relationships or collaborating to create new services?
- Are your lateral hires supported and is your partnership helping them succeed?
- Are your partners equipped with the skills necessary to convert prospects to loyal clients?
These all represent good themes for discussion and partner development in your senior team.
Competitors, new ways of working and embracing technology
New entrants are joining professional services’ markets all the time. Examples include the Big Four accountancy firms becoming serious players in the legal market and private equity circling the accountancy sector. This means doing the same old, same old could be a highly risky option.
The adoption of new ways of working and technology is setting some firms apart and improving profit margins. As uncomfortable as it might be, this has been the response of most other service industries. So what are your firm’s plans when it comes to competing?
Winning the war for talent and progressing the ESG agenda
Topics three and four from our list are interconnected. Managing your people in the new hybrid age, while salaries overheat in a number of professional services sectors, are twin challenges that make excellent people management essential if your firm is to navigate a smooth path ahead.
The current economic landscape is also forcing firms to re-consider salaries in relation to rising costs faced by their employees and also across the organisation’s operations. Then there’s the smaller talent pool which many firms are experiencing as they recruit to meet the rising demands for their services.
For the fourth topic, there continues to be an expectation from both clients and staff that the ESG agenda is at the heart of a firm’s strategy. It means that for many leaders, people and purpose remain priority number one. For example, have you got a response if your key rival firm makes the changes necessary to steal a march?
In this respect, why not invite some of your people to talk to the partnership so that they hear it from the coal face and therefor allow your people to become part of the solution.
2023 promises to be another interesting year for professional firms’ strategic agendas. We are helping a number of them organise and facilitate the senior conversations they need to further their firm’s goals. In doing so, we ensure the discussion event is engaging and viewed as a worthwhile time investment by all concerned.
James Stringer is an Associate Director at The Results Consultancy.