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  • Xecutive Metrix

Case Study: Who is Going to Succeed Our Firm's Managing Partner?

Updated: Jul 19



Situation

  • This client was a prominent professional services firm, with an international reputation.

  • The prior succession process had become internecine.

  • The firm’s Chairman was inscrutable and kept everyone guessing about his own preferences.

  • The incumbent Managing Partner had not been the strongest candidate, but a favorite of the Chairman.

  • The firm had invested little in grooming its top‐tier candidates.

  • Many of the top candidates had poor relationships with one another.

  • There was an 18‐month window.

Objectives

  • Assess the top seven candidates for their degree of fit with the role of Managing Partner.

  • Construct an action plan with each candidate that would cause them to stretch developmentally over the next 18 months.

  • Advise the Managing Partner on our firm’s view of each candidate’s potential.

  • Advise the Managing Partner on ways to facilitate a smooth transition.

  • Design and conduct a top management team development retreat to help these executives work together more productively.

Solution

  • Build a Leadership Competency Model.

  • Comprehensively assess each of the seven candidates against the competency model.

  • Guide each candidate through their own assessment data and assist them in conducting a gap analysis—i.e., “Where am I at present and where does our firm’s Leadership Competency Model suggest that I’ll need to be?”

  • Assist each candidate in developing a Blueprint for Action that will address identified gaps.

  • Have each candidate present to the Managing Partner an executive summary of their findings.

  • Hold team meetings among the seven, plus the Managing Partner, to better synchronize this team of top contributors and to put old, contentious issues to rest.

Results

  • The assessments brought to light two candidates who were more likely than the other five to be finalists. As a result of all the assessment work, coaching, and team development, the subsequent 18 months were dramatically more constructive than the months prior to our being called in.

  • Ultimately, the best equipped of the seven candidates ascended to Managing Partner and became a breath of fresh air to the firm. His first full year in office was the firm’s best year ever, financially. The firm continued to grow over the next five years of his tenure.



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