Kimble Applications Launches “PS Insights” Podcast Series - Secrets of Success in the Consulting Business

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Business leaders share their "secret sauce" for success through the series

Kimble Applications presents a series of 20-to-25 minute fireside chats with consulting industry leaders. Five of these, each offering some of the subject’s “secret sauce,” are available to download from the Kimble website immediately and more will follow.

“This is genuine thought leadership. These are fascinating podcasts which offer valuable insights from people who have achieved great things in our industry. They are also in an easily accessible format for listening to on the move.” said Rob Bruce, VP of Marketing at Kimble.

Serial entrepreneurs such as Dom Moorhouse, Steve Anderson and David Bailey share their wisdom and their hands-on experiences of challenges such as leading a business in the right direction; designing a consulting business to be attractive to a potential acquirer, and creating a world-beating team.

High-performance Teams

Award-winning entrepreneur and business writer Dom Moorhouse kicks off the PS Insights series by discussing his belief that the single most important factor in creating a world-beating enterprise is having a great team.

“The nub is not the strategy, not the plan, but have you got the team?” A former Royal Marine, Moorhouse says that having “the right stuff” on the proverbial bus is what helped him to build a multi-million business from scratch.

Moorhouse found in a survey of professionals in the consulting industry that feeling part of a high-performing team and doing intellectually stimulating work are more important than salary in attracting the best people. Listen.

Measuring the Health of Consulting Businesses

Investor Steve Anderson, who has successfully built and sold two IT services companies, and advises many others, lays out the steps he takes to assess and improve the performance of professional services businesses. He goes into specifics about his process and explains why companies often underperform.

For him, a big ingredient in the secret sauce is for the management team to make sure that they have time to step back and look at where the company is headed.

“A company needs to have goals, it needs to have a strategy and it needs to measure how it is doing against that.”
Being totally focused on solving today’s problems is likely to lead to a business not fulfilling its potential. “The management team need to delegate so they can focus on driving the business forward.” Listen.

What Acquirers Look for in a Consulting Firm

Next up is management consulting guru David Bailey, who founded and grew the consulting firm Impact Plus which was acquired by Hitachi. Later, he went on to acquire other businesses for a range of companies including KPMG. Bailey discusses what makes a business attractive to an acquisitive bigger firm.

For Bailey, the most important drivers of value for a consulting business are its strength and competence in a particular area of the market, its profitability and its probity. A ‘clean’ business with clear and referenceable financial data at its fingertips and which is not encumbered by too many areas of difficulty - such as legal disputes or non-profitable offices - will be more attractive to acquirers. “You don’t want anything hanging off the side,” he said. Listen.

Creating a Process-Centric Organization

Operations Director Graham Underwood set up GFT in the UK, growing the turnover from 0 to £50 million in ten years. In the three years to 2015, he took the firm from 1,300 to 4,000 staff. He talks to Steve Brooks about the importance of creating “a process-centric organization”. For Underwood, making sure the processes are right is a first step.

He pays particular attention to those that run across the business, the lead-to-order process, the order-to-delivery process and the month-end close. The key to successful change is senior champions, Underwood explains. Listen.

Industry-Leading Resourcing Practices

For managing partner Marc Lacroix of resource management consultants RTM, one of the biggest challenges facing the companies he works with is the rapidity of technological change. Being able to deal with that and to see opportunities within it depends on optimum management of the human resources of the business.

Interviewed by technology journalist Ian Murphy, Lacroix argues that too many firms are in reactive mode, scrambling to see who is going to the engagements next week. This mode leads to poor decisions. But looking further ahead - what is the picture in three months time - enables firms to meet challenges better.

Having a reliable source of data which is shared across the business, and making timely decisions based on it are among the secrets of better resource management which Marc discusses. Listen.

These five 20 to 25 minute podcasts are available here.

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Kerin Norton
Kimble Applications
+1 617-779-1800
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