David Maister, guru of professional services, poses a challenge in a recent blog post about the Fortune Magazine list of the 100 best places to work. He lists the professional services firms listed in the top 100, and then goes on to list the characteristics that would make a firm great to work for. This is his wish list:
David Maister's Characteristics of a Great Place to do Great Work
What would make a firm a great place to do great work? Here are some of my hypotheses:
- A high percentage of smart, energetic colleagues (no dummies.)
- A disproportionately high percentage of top-end assignments. (Only bring in challenging work.)
- An A client list. (Refuse to work for the rest.)
- Real mutual support and collaboration among partners (Get rid of the cowboys.)
- Practicing with others who share mutual interests. (Base teams around individual enthusiasms, not dry analytics.)
- Lots of help around (Real coaching from peers and group leaders)
- A willingness by the firm to provide the tools and support needed. (Avoid excessive cost-cutting)
- High standards, enforced with help and discipline. (Acting according to what we preach.)
- A clearly articulated set of values that everyone believes in. (A firm driven by principle, not expediency)
well, all of this would create a firm-wide reputation, not dependent on
individuals, that would help each person succeed in the marketplace in
attracting and executing the best possible, most challenging work.
I take that as a call to action. Is there any reason why Forte Financial should not be such a firm? Sounds great to me, and since I'm the boss, let's see what can be done about it!