Blog – Catapult Growth Partners

CFO Sentiment ’17 – Canary in the Coal Mine

Catapult and The CFO Alliance held a review today that covered the annual CFO Sentiment study.  This national survey benchmarked over 500 CFO’s from the Alliance’s 6,000 members to understand the mood of businesses across a wide spectrum of industries, geographies and sizes.  It also focused on the role CFO’s play to impact key

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CRM Programs: Overcoming Common Obstacles

In organizations with traditional sales forces, CRM tools can be a powerful way to share information across a company to develop institutional relationships with clients. But in professional services companies, the model is different: rather than having an entire team dedicated to generating leads and closing business, the players have a dual function as

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New Roles in Professional Services Firms

The role of CMO, particularly in professional services, has evolved rapidly over the past decade. We’ve seen new, value-driven positions cropping up as opportunities for career growth, as well as greater potential for strategic mobility not just within sectors, but for leaps across them. As legal, accounting, and consulting firms grow in sophistication and

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A Case Study on Industry Focus

Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt—known as Schwabe— was at an inflection point in its history when Managing Partner Mark Long reached out in 2015 to Catapult Growth Partners. The law firm, based in the Pacific Northwest, was grappling with several major concurrent issues: a new strategic plan, management succession, and a rebranding effort complete with

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Seven Attributes of Going Private

This month thousands of high value public sector leaders will make the sometimes scary, always exciting transition to private practice.  Their experience is potentially valuable and timely – some luminaries will enter private law firm practice, others will join the Big Four or important strategy firms seeking to guide their most important clients with

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How to Hire the Right Business Development Professional

In terms of sophistication in lead generation and closing on new clients, professional services firms run the gamut from no formal processes to large teams and thoughtful budget allocation. What sets the most effective apart from the haphazard is choosing the right person to organize and lead the effort. Not always a marketer. To

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It’s All About Revenue

The fallout for professional services firms from the 2008 credit crisis had several distinct phases. In 2009, a free fall in demand precipitated knee-jerk cost cutting. By 2010, firm leadership surveys gave Chief Marketing Officers a clear message that business development and revenue growth were the top priority. And a year later, many of

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How Do I Hold Partners Accountable?

More and more of my meetings with managing partners start like this:  We have a strategic plan with specific goals and action items for our shareholders.  But how do I hold partners accountable?   How can I get everyone pulling together in the same direction, with the same enthusiasm and sense of urgency? Here’s what

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What is Your Firm’s Conflict Style?

The answer to this question gets more important as time goes on. An increasingly competitive legal industry is forcing firms to deal with critical issues around compensation, client credit, succession, and other hot button issues. Some firms have management committee and/or partnership meetings where important and challenging issues are raised. These are discussed thoroughly,

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Great Leadership: Character and Courage

I feel my client’s pain when we talk about making strategic decisions. The conversation will start with their asking:  How do I balance the need for speed in decision making with my partners’ desire to be cautious and always right? Contrast the law firm environment with corporation culture.  When I ran new product development

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How Pricing Experts Elevate Practice Management and Client Service

The professional services field is typically a late adopter of practice management innovation, but over the past five years, many larger providers have established a new role within the firm: pricing czar. These individuals tend to have MBAs, and are highly analytical, extremely comfortable with spreadsheets, and focused on pricing and profitability rather than

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Decision Time

Although lawyers are trained to make arguments, when it comes to management most avoid conflict like the plague. A typical thought process among partners is, “we don’t agree on that issue, so why bother talking about it again?” A managing partner can get away with avoiding decisions on tough issues when lawyers have plenty

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