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Taking root: Develop effective tools for partner development

Neither the osmosis approach nor traditional training programmes are effective tools for partner development, say Rob Lees, Derek Klyhn and Liz Baltesz

29 May 2013

Professional services is an execution game. This simple statement should make developing the firm's professionals one of the most important activities in any firm. Sadly, that isn't always the case.

Too many firms seem to believe that any learning and development beyond the technical occurs through osmosis. It's the 'when you're dealing with bright people, they just get it' approach. And, in some cases, they do. The problem is that the majority do not. They need help and, when they look for it, it's typically not there or it just doesn't do the job.

Take, for example, the response of the majority of accounting and law firms to the need to enhance their partners' ability to win business in the increasingly competitive environment they were facing. Some firms followed the 'if they're smart, they'll get it' approach and did nothing, while others offered their partners a two or three-day training programme in...

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