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Seven pillars of collaboration

Collaboration is an essential ingredient for firms seeking to deliver their strategic goals. Studies prove that firms who collaborate better perform better.

Putting teamwork at the heart of your plans help people engage with, and learn from, those who can contribute most towards their objectives and success. Having effective collaboration in your firm will deliver increased revenue, improved business performance, and strengthened customer relationships.

Collaboration is a means toward achieving the penultimate goal of solving complex, interesting problems - and the ultimate goal of giving firms a strategic, sustainable and profitable platform.
Heidi K. Gardner, Author & Distinguished Fellow at Harvard Law School
Smart Collaboration - How professional and their firms succeed by breaking down silos.

At Objective Manager, we live and breathe collaboration. Our experience of working with the world’s largest professional services firms has led us to create the Seven Pillars of Collaboration. Implementing these pillars in your firm can lead to increased revenue, improved business performance and stronger client relationships.

1. Identify cross-practice group opportunities

Identify potential deals that you could collaborate on with other practice areas

Identifying cross-practice opportunities is the cornerstone of collaboration and new revenue. By recognising how other practice areas could work with existing clients, firms can add value while boosting revenues through untapped business development opportunities.

2. Originate deals for others

Identify where you could originate deals for other practice groups in your existing client base

Collaboration means being prepared to originate deals for others. If you spot an opportunity that is outside your area of expertise but would be a perfect fit for another partner in your firm, get the ball rolling on that deal.

3. Make introductions

Introducing colleagues to clients can create new revenue opportunities and show renewed commitment

Introducing other partners to your clients is a powerful way to build new relationships and deepen existing client relationships for the firm. The more varied interactions firms have with clients, the greater intelligence they can gather to better serve them and increase their footprint across that client’s business. The more practices involved in a client, the more likely you are to move from transactional to strategic work.

4. Make referrals

Don’t be precious about sharing your contacts

Referring matters to other partners from your existing or target clients will help the firm grow much faster and will build stronger client relationships for all practice groups. Everyone wins; your client, your colleagues and you. Giving clients access to strong cross-practice expertise is a powerful value proposition and could lead to higher margin work.

5. Joint pitching

Impress prospective clients with the depth of your firm’s expertise

Asking other partners to attend pitches with you, or asking other partners if you can attend their pitches, presents a unified approach to clients and increases the chance of success. Having a broader mix of partners with different skill sets can also help you field questions from clients on the spot rather than having to follow up with answers later.

6. Share knowledge

Keep other partners in the loop about new and ongoing projects

Sharing knowledge about your clients, or work you are doing can help partners identify cross-practice opportunities or may simply trigger an idea which they could implement with their clients. Firms that have greater transparency about what people are working on can get a clearer picture of where potential growth opportunities are.

7. Internal networking

Get to know your colleagues and recognise their strengths

Networking within the firm is immensely powerful for building strong relationships with fellow partners that can lead to more opportunities for collaboration. It can also build trust among colleagues and give confidence around competency levels, helping break down barriers that otherwise hamper collaboration.

By collaborating more closely with colleagues, and sharing information on clients and potential work opportunities, firms can achieve faster growth and be more profitable. To find out more, contact Objective Manager today.

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