Custom Executive Education
Career pathways for senior leaders
The final paper of our series focuses on the career pathways of senior leaders across professional services firms. We explore key career transition points, including the preparation of partners to take on management roles and also the complex issues of career transitioning towards the end of a partner’s career.
Whilst there is often significant L&D investment in preparing individuals for partnership, and in their early years as a partner, managing the transition to a practice management or managing partner role often lacks structured preparation. Moreover, the required skill-sets are quite distinct. Practitioners previously focused solely on fee earning are now expected to lead large groups – or even the whole partnership – with challenges ranging from setting the strategy to building consensus and momentum for its implementation. We examine how to best prepare partners for these complex management challenges. In addition, we consider how L&D has been used to support them over the longer term, considering steps such as their subsequent re-integration into client portfolios once they are no longer holding management roles.
Moving beyond the firm is often a difficult topic to raise, given the sensitive issues of succession, including the handing over of carefully cultivated client relationships. However, we believe open discussion and forward planning is key to unlocking the value that retiring partners bring, and can continue to bring, when they are no longer within the firm. Our paper sets out examples of how L&D has worked with a firm’s Board and senior management to unlock this value and ensure alignment of the firm’s and senior partners’ interests.