Most partnerships require their potential partners to write a business case for admittance to partnership. (See what do you need to put in your personal and business case for partnership) When I interviewed Darryn Hedges, Global Finance Director for Marks and Clerks, recently, he explained the most common mistake that potential partners make with their business case is that they get over-fixated on technical content and technical ability. The whole interview is captured on a 35 minute podcast ‘creating a winning business case for partnership‘ – which is available to download.
The most common one is over-fixation on technical content and technical ability
In Darryn’s view (and he has now been heavily involved in the partnership promotions process for three firms), he believes that you need to focus more on your ability to lead, win work, work collaboratively with others, and delivery of excellent client service:
In my view the ability to manage and work with a team, the ability to work collaboratively, is as important because it speaks not just to the delivery of service and the winning of work but also to the manner in which it is done.
As Darryn explained in his interview,
If you are over-fixated or over-focussed on your technical ability you tend to forget about the client relationship and the business development stuff as well.
In professional services, the terms ‘finding, minding and grinding‘ are often spoken about. This is normally relating to: Grinding: Doing the work Minding: Managing the work you have today and the people you work with Finding: Winning the new work
What you need to show in your personal and business case for partnership
If you are to have a winning personal and business case for partnership, regardless of whether you are a lawyer, accountant, consultant or architect, Darryn suggests that you show in your business case how you get do all three, i.e. finding, minding and grinding, with a proven track record. I.e. not just showing that you can ‘Grind’ – after all, a competent associate, manager or director could do that.
You have to get all three (finding, minding and grinding) into the business case. The specifics of your firm, your department, the opportunity will determine which of those three is a priority, but you have to get all three in.
What to read/listen to now to help you create a cast-iron business case for partnership?
- To stop making some of the common mistakes others in your situation do when going for partnership read now 5 common mistakes aspiring partners make when going for partnership
- To make sure you get through the all-important partnership vote then find out what is the emotional part of your business case for partnership?
- Listen to the whole interview with Darryn Hedges on a 35 minute podcast ‘creating a winning business case for partnership‘