Professional Service Firm Excellence

Preparing to speak to a Professional Service Firm this Friday. Trying to get my arms around their world … which, incidentally, has been my world since “signing on” at McKinsey in 1974. Per my usual trick, I resorted to Listmaking. Hence what follows … The PSF25+:

Work & Legacy

1. Crystal Clear Point of View (Every Practice Group: “If you can’t explain your position in eight words or less, you don’t have a position”—Seth Godin)
2. DRAMATIC DIFFERENCE (“We are the only ones who do what we do”—Jerry Garcia)
3. Stretch Is Routine (“Never bite off less than you can chew”—anon.)
4. Eye-Appetite for Game-changer Projects (Excellence at Assembling “Best Team”—Fast)
5. “Playful” Clients (Adventurous folks who unfailingly Aim to Change the World)
6. Small “Uneconomic” Clients with Big Aims
7. Life Is Too Short to Work with Jerks (Fire lousy clients)
8. Obsessed with LEGACY (Practice Group and Individual: “Dent the Universe”—Steve Jobs)
9. Fire-on-the-spot Anyone Who Says, “Law/Architecture/Consulting/I-banking/ Accounting/PR/Etc. has become a ‘commodity’ “
10. Consistent with #9 above … DO NOT SHY AWAY FROM THE WORD (IDEA) “RADICAL”

People & Leadership

11. TALENT FANATICS (“Best-Coolest place to work”) (PERIOD)
12. Eye for the Peculiar (Hiring: Go beyond “same old, same old”)
13. Early Opportunities (vs. “Wait your turn”)
14. Up or Out (Based on “Legacy”/Mentoring as much as “Billings”/”Rainmaking”)
15. Slide the Old Aside/Make Room for Youth (Find oldsters new roles?)
16. Talent Is Obsessed with Renewal from Day #1 to Day #”R” [R = Retirement]
17. Office/Practice Leaders Evaluated Primarily on Mentoring-Team Building Skills
18. Team Leadership Skills Valued Early
19. Partner with B.I.W. [Best In World] Outsiders as Needed and to Infuse Different Views

The Firm & The Brand

20. EAT-SLEEP-BREATHE-OOZE INTEGRITY (“My life is my message”—Gandhi)
21. Excellence+ in EXECUTION … 100.00% of the Time (No such thing as a “small sins”/World Series Ring to the Batboy!)
22. “Drop everything”/”Swarm” to Support a Harried-On The Verge Team
24. Web (Technology) Obsession
25. BRAND/”Lovemark” Maniacs (Organize Around a Point of View Worth BROADCASTING: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world”—Gandhi)

26. PASSION! ENTHUSIASM! (Passion & Enthusiasm have as much a place at the Head Table in a “PSF” as in a widgets factory: “You can’t behave in a calm, rational manner. You’ve got to be out there on the lunatic fringe”—Jack Welch)

I’ll return to some bits of this in the days to come …

[See “Preview2005”, Tom’s new Special Presentation, which includes The PSF25+.]

Tom Peters posted this on November 10, 2004, in Strategies.
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