Melbourne Business School News Professors design new program for leaders of professional service firms

Professors design new program for leaders of professional service firms

Melbourne Business School is launching a new program to help leaders of professional service firms navigate widespread changes to the business landscape.

Melbourne Business School Professors Don O Sullivan and Vivek Chaudhri

Designed by professors Don O'Sullivan and Vivek Chaudhri, Leading Professional Service Firms will explore approaches to attracting and retaining talented employees and maximising value for clients in a shifting environment.

"There's no other program in Australia responding to how the changing business landscape is affecting firms dealing extensively with human capital," says Associate Professor Chaudhri.

"Navigating uncertainty is extremely important to leaders within these firms, and what's required to make the linkages across these domains work is what we're going to resolve.

"Coordinating in unstable environments, global case studies based on our research and industry engagement, methods to communicate internationally, strategy, business development and professional and personal leadership will all be explored."

Leading Professional Service Firms is designed for senior leaders at firms that provide services in sectors including law, accounting, engineering, consulting, venture capital, health and technology.

The program will run over five days from February 25 to March 1. As well as looking at external threats and opportunities, participants will enhance their productivity and ability to solve real-world challenges such as getting individual contributors to work together effectively.

"The key to the success of any professional service organisation is the quality of the people, and it's their leaders who will have the greatest influence in the impact this will have," says Professor O'Sullivan.

"Most leaders of professional service firms have a technical background and now find themselves in a role where they're leading client relationships amidst the need to coordinate across disciplines.

"We're going to be working closely with leaders on their challenges around the development and execution of strategy, which is valuable to the acquiring and retaining of high-quality clients and the management of human capital."

As well as professors Chaudhri and O'Sullivan, the program will also feature resilience expert Professor Jill Klein, human capital expert Professor Ian Williamson and former CEO and executive coach Mark Grant.

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