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Some firms do. Some don't. beaton wonders why.

Some firms do. Some don't. In which category did this managing principal's firm fall? We asked ourselves this question this week when we received an email from the managing principal of a prominent firm: "We've decided to enter the Client Choice Awards for the first time, and we're hoping to at least be a finalist on the big night....".

She was, of course, referring to the Client Choice Awards dinner on 7 March 2017 in Sydney. Clearly, this firm believes in long-range planning, but I asked myself whether there was a deeper intent behind the aspiration?

Every year at this time preparation for the Client Choice Awards generates a great deal of interest amongst the larger professional service firms of Australia and New Zealand. Last year there were 43 finalists from amongst some 130 firms measured by beaton.

Amidst the preparation, this email set us talking in the office. About how the leaders, owners and staff of firms beaton measures feel about knowing the reasons why some firms win consistently, why some appear sporadically and why others never even make it into the finalist lists. The reasons for winning (and failing to win) are explained in the beatonbenchmarks, our reports that inform the relative performance of firms. We see generally several kinds of firm. As with all generalisations, there are exceptions, but we believe there are insights in these categories of firm:

  1. Better performers who want to know the reasons why. These firms subscribe to beatonbenchmarks and use the insights to drive their performance and positioning to even greater heights. Some of these firms win multiple Awards each year.

  2. Lower performers who want to know the reasons why. These firms subscribe to beatonbenchmarks and use the reports to drive improvement initiatives. And some succeed to the point of winning an Award.

  3. Better performers who we assume do not want to know because they don't subscribe to beatonbenchmarks. Yet we know the strategic plans of some of the firms in this category strangely include the aim of winning an Award. Just how, is not as clear as their aspiration.

Lower performers who, like those in the third category, do not want to know the reasons why.

Our aim is to be helpful and provide our clients with insights that drive the improvement of their business performance. We have the data to generate the insights that help. At times organisational psyches are puzzling. In the months leading up to the Client Choice Awards ceremony we're puzzled.

It's just that some firms do. And some firms don't.

beaton's analysis of the performance of finalists and winners points to firms that know why the reach these levels being more likely o out-perform f firms that don't know why. QED



The photograph features members of Tonkin & Taylor, winners of three Client Choice Awards in 2016.

Contributed by George Beaton.

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