All posts by John Monks

Trust me – I’m not a salesman

Every managing partner of every professional firm we know wants his / her people to do more cross-selling. But few professionals want to follow in the footsteps of bank managers who were once seen as trusted business advisers but are now regarded by many as peddlers of financial products. Read more here

When should you make your move?

When should you make your move? When you have been trying to develop, or ‘court’, a new client for some time (building the relationship, getting to know the client, perhaps meeting a number of people, but not yet winning any work), how do you know when to start ‘selling’? If you move too quickly the client could see you as pushy with only one thing on your mind, which could destroy all of the positive feelings you have built up so far. If you move too slowly (or not at all) you may miss real opportunities, both for you and the client, and you could still be courting this client many years from now – to everyone’s frustration. Download your copy of When should you make your move? here

Win more work through innovation

Clients want solutions that deliver as many benefits or as much value as possible, typically for the lowest cost (as many of us might often incorrectly believe, although this is a separate issue). Our ability to develop ideal solutions that offer benefits/value over and above those which are currently available elsewhere, may hold the key to winning more work. Download your copy of Win more work through innovation here

Meetings – The ugly truth and what to do about it

Meetings seem to have become an embedded part of our business culture. The comments I frequently hear most certainly point to them being a huge drain on resources and often a significant barrier to people getting on with their day jobs. If meetings are necessary and we are to spend a significant proportion of our working lives attending them then perhaps considerably more emphasis should be placed upon making them more efficient, productive, satisfying and enjoyable. If you decide to improve your meetings we very much hope this article will provide you with some understanding of where your efforts may be best placed. Download your copy of Meetings – The ugly truth here

It’s all about collaboration – Part 1

We hear about the lack of collaboration in professional services firms a lot. Pretty much every day of the week we hear stories of a ‘silo mentality’ or a ‘protective’ approach to client relationships, which keeps colleagues as far away from clients as possible and a lid on (potential) growth. Firms talk a lot about the need to focus on broadening services to clients of a firm, and it’s all well-intentioned. But in the end, the old phrase “actions speak louder than words” holds true. There are exceptions. And the benefits those firms reap from well planned, action-based collaboration are eye-watering, both in absolute terms, but especially in relative terms when compared to firms who lack the will and/or skills to foster collaboration. Download your copy of It’s all about collaboration (Part 1) here

Bid-Pitching Healthcheck

Clients more than ever demand value from their professional advisers. They know there are no shortages of firms out there who are keen to win their business and will continue to apply challenging procurement processes to help them find the best providers. More than ever this means that firms have to work harder to make both their written submissions and pitches stand out from the competition. Why not take a few moments to complete our healthcheck designed to help identify the strengths in your approach and perhaps highlight areas for improvement that will help to further increase your win rate! Download your copy of the Bid-Pitching Healthcheck here

Innovation Workshop

Programme leader: Tim Rusling – Lead PACE Consultant and thought leader in innovation. Author of the book ‘Systematic Innovation’ (first published 2013). Introduction: This stimulating and exciting two-day workshop delivers a unique set of essential skills that will enable individuals and groups to efficiently generate high volumes of ideas and concepts on demand, identify solutions to the toughest of problems and deliver real innovation.  Based upon 25 years of research and development in understanding individual and group thinking behaviours, the workshop promises to deliver a practical set of systematic thinking tools and processes with guaranteed results. Contents: Introduction and aims – setting the scene and creating an open and participative environment and managing expectations for the two days. Behavioural Science – developing an understanding of the individual and group behaviours that will help or hinder idea generation, the development of solutions and innovation.  During this session we will also identify psychological suppressants and explore ways to effectively overcome them. Systematic innovation process – an overview of the eight-stage innovation process and why each part of the process is so essential. Problem or design definition – methods and approaches to ensure that we have fully understood the problem and that we are dealing with it at source and using problem statements to stimulate fresh thinking.  In design terms, we will emphasise the importance of ensuring that we have a very clear focus for our thinking. Generic tools and processes – introducing a set of proven systematic thinking tools and processes that are easy to grasp and apply that will enable the generation of high volumes of ideas and concepts against an agreed focus. Advanced tools and processes – systematic tools and processes that are more specifically focussed on achieving particular outcomes.  For example, making efficient use of resources, simplifying systems by removing components but retaining the useful functions and solving difficult technical problems. Selection and prioritisation – methods by which we can make the ‘right’ selection and prioritisation decisions, this includes developing the best criteria to use that will lead us to the appropriate conclusions. Implementation – during this session we will explore the essential ingredients that will ensure that our selected ideas, concepts or solutions are successfully implemented.  We will also identify any potential barriers to implementation and what can be done to overcome them. Leadership and management of innovation – a discussion and exploration of the implications of leadership and management when it comes to encouraging and harnessing the undoubted benefits of creating a more innovative culture. Action planning – a closing session for participants to identify actions and changes in behaviours that they feel will have a positive impact going forward based upon their experiences of the two days. Application: The applications for the systematic approaches contained within the workshop are all encompassing and can touch absolutely any part of the business. This means that the workshop is suitable for all employees at any level of the organisation.  We often find it valuable to have a real mix of people with varying experience and seniority. Please note: If your organisation is facing particular challenges, we also run workshops specifically designed to resolve those challenges using our unique systematic tools and processes. In this regard, we have a 100% track record of success. Download your copy of the Innovation Workshop synopsis here PACE-Innovation Workshop

It’s ALL about collaboration (Part 2)

How do I collaborate?

Part I of It’s all about collaboration focused on the compelling reasons for creating an environment of collaboration in a professional services firm and what that means.  The two key conclusions are:
  • It’s extremely worthwhile
  • It’s difficult!
Read more here

Are you really going to win that business?

Time is valuable.   PACE have created a tool to help you make a clear evaluation of your chances of winning a Major Bid before you even begin. Please download your copy here