How to Lead a Values-Based Professional Services Firm3 Keys to Unlock Purpose and Profit
We live in a values-driven world. As times change, businesses must evolve. The way that leaders have run companies for generations is no longer relevant.Today -- Purpose wins over products. Values win over features. Stories win over pitches.Everyone everywhere craves fulfillment. You must share the reason why you exist and infuse it into everything you do, in order to thrive. Many leaders see the shift in the market and make an effort to adapt. Companies quickly learn that one-off workshops and off-sites are not enough. Purpose is more than a press release. Your vision and mission statements should live in practice as well as print, and permeate through every aspect of your organization. You must close the gap between the messages you declare and the experiences you deliver. How to Lead a Values-Based Professional Services Firm shares the vital experience and valuable insights that leaders require to evolve their organizations and navigate the values-driven world we live in. • Live your purpose to stay alive and build a faithful following of clients and team members. • Employ your authentic values as your guide through the modern market and drive profitability. • Share meaningful stories that emotionally connect with today's clientele to transform them into tomorrow's brand ambassadors. 3 keys to unlock purpose and profit will enable you to turn the obstacles of the shifting market into your greatest opportunities, soar above your competitors, and grow your revenue beyond your highest projections.
About the Authors xvii Introduction 1 Half a Century of Combined Experience 2 We’re Not in the Business We Think We are 3 Not Just a Logo 5 The Slog 7 Finding the Three Keys 12 Chapter 1 Create Your Three Keys 15 Understand Your Brand Foundation 16 Understand the Three Keys 18 Purpose: The First Key 18 Values: The Second Key 21 Story: The Third Key 25 Apply the Three Keys to Your Business 27 Are You a Values-Based, Purpose-Driven Firm? 28 What Can You Do Now? 29 Chapter 2 Values-Based Culture 31 Three Building Blocks of Culture 33 Innovate and Evolve Culture 42 Create a Culture of YES! 43 Culture and the Three Keys 45 What Can You Do? 46 Chapter 3 Leadership 49 What is Leadership? 50 Leading in the 21st Century 51 What Type of Leader are You? 53 Leadership, Purpose, and the Service-Profit Chain 55 Look to the Three Keys 56 What Can You Do? 60 Chapter 4 Hire Leaders 63 The Hiring Process Has Changed 65 Align Values and People 67 Invest in Your Hiring Process 69 Involve the CEO 71 Interviewing with the Three Keys 72 Link Hiring to Your Bottom Line 76 Plan for Leadership Succession 80 Compensation 83 Leadership, Purpose, and Performance 87 What Can You Do? 88 Chapter 5 The Purposefully Structured Business 91 Design Your Organization 92 Fewer Hands, Lower Risk 101 Is It Time to Change? 103 Infuse Values throughout Your Firm 104 Organizational Design and the Three Keys 106 What Can You Do? 107 Chapter 6 Messages Matter: Marketing and Communications 109 Marketing Today 110 How the Three Keys Affect Marketing 113 How to Market: A Tactical Discussion 118 Data: Opportunity or Overload? 122 The Chief Marketing Officer is Dead, Long Live the CMO 124 What Can You Do? 127 Chapter 7 Clients Matter 129 Purpose before Services 130 Align with Purpose 132 Align at a Higher Level 133 Flip the Funnel 137 How Clients Buy versus Why 139 Learn What Your Clients Need and Solve Their Problem 141 What Can You Do? 147 Chapter 8 Mergers and Acquisitions 149 Spend Time to Align 150 Connect on Beliefs 152 Embrace the Future Together 152 Be Ready to Compromise 158 A Quick Thought on Earn-outs 160 What Can You Do? 162 Chapter 9 Measure Your Purpose 165 Who Owns the Key Purpose Indicators? 167 What to Measure? 168 How Do We Measure These Things? 169 Measurement and Performance 183 What Can You Do? 184 Conclusion: Use the Three Keys 185 Appendix: The Three Keys to a Purposeful Brand Foundation 189 Find Powerful Purpose 190 Identify Values 194 Tell Your Story 196 Acknowledgments 199 Fran’s Acknowledgments 201 Don’s Acknowledgments 203 Index 205
DON SCALES has more than three decades of experience leading professional services firms and has driven exceptional growth by aligning people around core values. He currently serves as Global CEO for Investis Digital, a groundbreaking digital communications firm. Prior to Investis Digital, Don was CEO of iCrossing, a performance marketing company that Don sold to Hearst Corporation for $325 million. Don holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School. FRAN BIDERMAN-GROSS is the CEO and Founder of Advantages, an Inc. 500 global digital branding and marketing agency. A graduate of MIT's Entrepreneurial Master's Program and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program, Fran is a master at helping others translate their vision and values into a consistent and authentic brand experience. Fran is the developer of the Three Keys Workshop and an in-demand speaker and consultant who has empowered countless leaders to form the emotional connections that drive revenue growth.
Those of us who lead professional services firms may think we sell billable hours. We don't. Not anymore. The traditional way of doing business no longer suffices for today's clients, who crave a sense of meaning and purpose in every transaction. To survive in this unprecedented environment, we need to start selling stories—ideas and narratives that guide our everyday operations and will inspire those we work with to trust us over the long haul. How to Lead a Values-Based Professional Services Firm makes the case for building purposeful brands and guides readers through a series of steps to transform their organizations and inspire stakeholders. The Three Keys—Purpose, Values, and Story—form the lens through which readers will come to view every aspect of the brands they lead. This simple yet powerful framework is a guide to remaking the foundation of your brand. Executives who have undertaken this process agree that a strong sense of collective purpose improves customer loyalty, facilitates change, and motivates employee satisfaction. These proven outcomes will inspire readers to undertake the transformative shift to a values-based culture, with the help of the insights, examples, and key tactics in this book. But making that culture shift won't quite be enough. After you've identified your brand's core identity, you'll need to build that identity into your organization's culture. This is easier said than done, as it requires bold leadership and the strength to model authentic commitment. Therein lies the real value of How to Lead a Values-Based Professional Services Firm. The authors developed the Three Keys framework in action and have led their own business to market dominance and brand success. They provide their tested takeaways on how to: Link leadership to purpose and profit in the 21st century Hire leaders who will carry the torch of values and purpose Infuse your Purpose, Values, and Story into all communications Strategically align mergers and acquisitions around core beliefs Measure the bottom-line impact of a values-based culture The brands that endure over the coming decades will be those that clearly understand and adhere to the Three Keys to brand identity. This book is for leaders who are ready to commit to the Purpose, Values, and Story that will propel their firms into the future.
Praise for HOW TO LEAD A VALUES-BASED PROFESSIONAL SERVICES FIRM "Don and Fran have mastered the art of leading with purpose, values, and story. . . and now they're giving you the playbook." —Larry Weber, Chairman and CEO of Racepoint Global and Founder of Weber Shandwick "This important book is a must-read for every leader striving to build a successful values-based organization." —Doug Fletcher, Co-Author of How Clients Buy "It's no longer enough to just define your purpose; your customers need to experience it. Ensuring that it's communicated through every interaction has proven to be a challenge. This book provides an excellent roadmap for you to become a purpose-driven organization." —Deborah Leff, IBM CTO 4; Data and AI "Travel is complex. Every day, Delta transports millions of travelers across the globe. The only way to make that happen is to align people around our purpose, values, and story. This book will guide you to uncover your Three Keys." —Henry Kuykendall, Senior Vice President, Delta "For over two decades, Gallup has studied how individual strengths impact organizations. In this book, Don and Fran explain the three critical organizational strengths that impact your company and the world. The Three Keys form a strong foundation for any organization to thrive." —Maika Leibbrandt, Senior Executive, Gallup "This book intelligently outlines a cardinal truth I've discovered myself, over my ample experience in leadership positions at top companies. Purpose is absolutely necessary to produce profit in the current market. Your business will thrive if you can successfully infuse meaning and values into everything you do, and this book discloses how." —David Grigson, Chairman, Investis Digital "Twenty years ago, David Maister taught us how to manage a professional services firm. Now, it's all about leadership. Leading with purpose, values, and story will change everything. This book will show you how." —Cliff Farrah, CEO and President, The Beacon Group
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