Click on each portion of the diagram for more information.
A common outcome of an assessment process, or a stand-alone firm retreat, is the identification of aspects of firm operations that are ripe for improvement or for further study leading to an improvement initiative. While staff workgroups may be formed to address some of these issues, it often falls to the principal(s) and/or senior management team to plan and oversee firm development initiatives.
To do this effectively, the partners or management team will find it useful to have regular coaching sessions with a consultant. Talking with an informed outsider can have the effect of focusing the conversation and facilitating decision-making.
For small firms, sole-proprietors, and firm start-ups, management coaching is especially useful, giving an isolated firm owner access to a trusted and knowledgeable advisor.
What is management coaching best used for?
How does management coaching work?
Management coaching has the advantage of being customized and personalized to the need of the firm and its senior management. It allows access to an objective and knowledgeable advisor on both day-to-day operations and long-term visions.
After an assessment process or a firm retreat it is best to schedule bi-weekly sessions of 1-½ hours, for the first 6 weeks. Thereafter, one meeting per month is advised.
What outcomes can be expected from management coaching?
RM Klein Consulting offers management coaching services to firms of all sizes, including start-ups, on a short-term or on-going basis.
In one of our coaching sessions, a managing partner complained to me that her firm often came in second when competing for “plum” jobs. She would make the short list, give a great presentation, but never get the job. “I don't know what it is,” she said. “We ask for feedback and are always told we were great, they just preferred the other guy for this or that reason. Never the same reason, but always some reason.”
I suggested that the firm embark on a thorough investigation into everything involved in presentations and proposals. Build timelines and process flow charts; role play presentations; analyze feedback more carefully from many different clients; ask clients that do hire the firm why they were given the job; and examine effectiveness of graphic materials. Most importantly, involve everyone in the firm you possibly can, not only the people who usually prepare proposals. Someone who never works on proposals may bring a fresh perspective. You never know where the insight you are looking for may come from.
As a result of this advice, the firm formed a workgroup that examined and eventually revamped the presentation and proposal processes at the firm. The members of the workgroup spanned all the roles in the firm, including both junior and senior staff. This resulted in winning a higher percentage of contracts sought and a doubling of the firm size in the following two years.