Building Client Management Capabilities in Professional Service Firms
Thank you for your interest in Executive Education at Harvard Business School. The Building Client Management Capabilities in Professional Service Firms program will not be offered in 2012. Additional information is not available at this time.
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You also may contact our client service specialists at 1-800-427-5577 (outside the U.S., dial +1-617-495-6555) or at email@example.com.
Challenged with leading the client management process in today's competitive landscape, many professional service firms are looking to improve their ability to develop and sustain strategic client relationships. Building Client Management Capabilities in Professional Service Firms provides best practices for improving the capabilities of the professionals who manage the firm's most important client relationships and proven frameworks for embedding the client management process within the entire firm structure.
Because achieving growth depends on building strong and productive client relationships, your firm must have well-defined criteria for selecting clients and projects—and for assembling a client portfolio tailored to expand your management capabilities. This timely program provides the best practices for cultivating external relationships and the proven frameworks for embedding the client management process within the structure of your firm. You will return to your firm with creative strategies that map to organizational strengths—and with the leadership skills to leverage resources that deliver outstanding results.
What You Can Expect
This unique program explores the critical steps required to develop a rigorous and effective client management process and the capabilities needed by individual professionals in charge of these relationships. As a result of your intensive learning experience, you will emerge with the skills, confidence, and knowledge to build a client relationship program that meets organizational growth goals.
Your Course of Study
Featuring case studies, panel discussions, and interactive lectures, this in-depth program explores the issues firms must consider to enhance their client management capabilities. Working with HBS faculty and peers, you will develop an action plan aimed at improving client relationships.
Who Is Right for the Program
This program is designed to meet the needs of company leaders and executives whose firms provide services in areas such as consulting, legal, accounting, architecture and engineering, marketing, venture capital, investment banking, software development, and technology integration.
What You Can Expect
Improving Your Organization's Performance
For professional service firms, client relationships are essential to driving growth in today's highly challenging marketplace. Executives who are charged with managing an organization's external relationships must be adept at nurturing those that are vital to enhancing the firm's capabilities.
Through intensive examination of the client management process, this program helps you integrate best practices for relationship management with your firm's unique structure. You will examine case studies and participate in interactive discussions and lectures as you explore key client management issues and create a plan for improving relationships that are vital to your organization.
Taking Your Skills to the Next Level
This intensive program presents best-in-class practices and contemporary examples of what professional service firms are doing to systematize the client management process worldwide. By gaining critical insights into aligning corporate resources around an integrated client management strategy, you will explore how best to:
- Select the right opportunities and clients to pursue
- Protect and enhance your most valuable client relationships
- Develop creative solutions that optimize profits and satisfy client needs
- Align resources across geographies and practice areas
- Build and lead highly effective teams
- Effect change and drive results across the organization
"This program helped me improve my ability to analyze and approach markets, segment and prioritize opportunities, and align capacity with capability. By engaging with my peers, I gained valuable perspectives that are immensely helpful to me—and to my company—as we address our professional service challenges."
Sebastian Nokes [Director], Aldersgate Partners FZC, United Arab Emirates
Your Course of Study
In addition to understanding a firm's internal strategy, professional service leaders must be able to assess their clients' needs, match capabilities to those needs, and leverage internal expertise to build new capabilities. Building client management capabilities involves identifying and selecting the clients whom you want to serve, mapping your management strategies to different client types, and continually measuring results. Negotiation and personal leadership skills are critical to driving organizational change, creating value, motivating teams, and effectively managing client relationships. By focusing on these key elements, professional service firms can effectively align their internal strategy with external opportunities-and sustain competitive advantage.
HBS faculty have carefully structured the comprehensive curriculum to focus on the knowledge and techniques required to develop and implement a total client management strategy. Through interactive case studies, and lectures, you will gain critical insights into the key areas for companies seeking to improve their client management capabilities. The curriculum includes three modules-each of which builds upon the previous module's themes. They include:
Client Management Process
Managing the firm's most important revenue-producing relationships requires a comprehensive understanding of the client management process.
- Craft a value proposition and integrated communications plan
- Understand the difference between transaction and relationship management
- Improve your negotiation and persuasion skills
- Leverage the organization to capitalize upon cross-selling opportunities
- Develop effective client management systems and structures
- Enhance your ability to increase penetration of existing markets
- Gain better customer insights with which to focus innovation efforts
Decisions about client engagements must be made within the context of the overall strategy and its role in helping the firm achieve its long-term goals.
- Develop a framework for client and project portfolio selection
- Analyze market disruptions and develop an organizational response
- Implement cultural change and create a shared vision of success
- Create an ambidextrous organization that drives innovation
- Assess global market opportunities
- Improve client profitability
Leadership and Personal Effectiveness
Effectively managing teams, coordinating resources, and driving organizational change require a refined ability to lead both yourself and others.
- Garner consensus for organizational change initiatives
- Develop a better understanding of what defines service excellence
- Build productive and effective teams
- Coordinate and manage resources across disparate geographies and business units
- Leverage your skills and competencies to enhance your personal effectiveness
- Cultivate an authentic leadership style
Who Is Right for the Program
Building Client Management Capabilities in Professional Service Firms is specifically designed for company and practice leaders around the world who are responsible for defining and executing company or service-line strategy. As different types of service firms face similar challenges, participants represent a range of industries, including consulting, legal, accounting, architecture and engineering, marketing and advertising, venture capital, investment banking, computer software development, and technology systems integration. Typical titles include:
- Chief executive officer
- Executive vice president
- Managing director
- Office manager
- Practice leader
"Inspiring and energizing, Building Client Management Capabilities in Professional Service Firms is particularly well suited for individuals who are preparing to assume senior client management positions. The carefully structured content was eye opening—providing useful methodologies and frameworks for managing client relationships."
Risto Venermo [Russia-Nordic Desk Leader, Partner], Ernst & Young, Russia
Meet the Program Faculty
Like all Harvard Business School Executive Education programs, Building Client Management Capabilities in Professional Service Firms is developed and taught by a core faculty of HBS professors. Our faculty members are widely recognized as skilled educators, groundbreaking researchers, and award-winning authors.
Through publishing, consulting, and teaching, they leverage their business expertise and field-based research to create new knowledge and enduring concepts that shape the practice of management. The result is a teaching team that exposes participants to multiple perspectives, challenging their thinking and encouraging new practices that result in superior business leadership. For more detailed biographies, click on each faculty name.
Robert G. Eccles, Professor of Management Practice. Member of the Organizational Behavior Unit; faculty cochair of "Innovating for Sustainability" and faculty chair of "Growing and Leading a Professional Service Firm—China."
Ranjay Gulati, Jaime and Josefina Chua Tiampo Professor of Business Administration. Head of the Organizational Behavior Unit; faculty chair of the "Advanced Management Program"; and faculty cochair of "Leading Growth Through Customer Centricity—India."
Ashish Nanda, Robert Braucher Professor of Law from Practice. Faculty chair of Executive Education and Research Director at the Center for Law and Professions at Harvard Law School.
Das Narayandas, James J. Hill Professor of Business Administration. Senior Associate Dean, Executive Education and Publishing; and member of the Marketing Unit.
James K. Sebenius, Gordon Donaldson Professor of Business Administration. Member of the Negotiation, Organizations, and Markets Unit; and faculty cochair of "Strategic Negotiations: Dealmaking for the Long Term."
Scott A. Snook, MBA Class of 1958 Senior Lecturer of Business Administration. Member of the Organizational Behavior Unit.
"The program was of great value. It opened my mind to new, incentive-based management approaches and provided a benchmark of excellence, showing me where we needed to become more sophisticated in managing client engagements. Consultancies cannot afford to depend on one individual to generate new business, and the program helped me transfer important skills to my team and empower them to approach clients more proactively."
Dr. Joseph Saba [Chief Executive Officer], Axios International, France
Because a diverse participant mix is an important part of every HBS Executive Education program, we look for candidates who reflect a broad range of industries, functions, countries, and backgrounds to enrich the learning experience.
Fees, Payments, and Cancellations
The program fee covers tuition, books, case materials, accommodations, and most meals.
No payment is necessary until you have been accepted into an HBS Executive Education program. After admission notification, we will send you an invoice via email; payment is due within 30 days of the invoice date. If admission is within 30 days prior to the start of the program, payment is due upon receipt of the invoice. Payment is required prior to the program start date. We accept payment by company check, bank wire transfer, or credit card (American Express, MasterCard, Visa). Details are included on the program invoice.
If you need to cancel or defer participation, you must submit your request in writing more than 30 days before the start of the program to receive a full refund. Due to program demand and the volume of preprogram preparation, cancellations or deferrals received 14 to 30 days prior to the start of the program are subject to a fee of one-half of the program fee. Requests received within 14 days are subject to full payment.
Although there are no formal educational requirements, admission is a selective process based on professional achievement and organizational responsibility. We look for professionals who have demonstrated business talent and leadership potential.
HBS Executive Education programs enrich both participants and their sponsoring organizations, and require full commitment from each party. While participants devote time and intellect to the learning experience, sponsoring organizations agree to relieve individuals of their work responsibilities during the program.
We deliberately design our programs to encourage individual growth and to foster productive interaction among participants. For that reason, proficiency in written and spoken English is essential. If English is your second language, or if you have less than one year's experience working in an English-speaking environment, HBS requires a brief statement documenting proficiency in English-language skills, both conversational and written. This may include a list of the English-language certification programs that you have completed; the degrees you have earned at English-speaking colleges and universities; or the results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam. The Admissions Committee also may request a telephone interview.
This program requires the submission of a separate sponsoring statement. Completed by the sponsoring executive within your company, this statement provides the Admissions Committee with a better understanding of your background, roles, and potential as a leader.
Program participants must be nominated and sponsored by their current employer. The completed application, sponsoring statement, and all required documents must be received in order to prepare the application for review by the Admissions Committee.
To apply, you may use our online form or download an application and a sponsoring statement. Please note that if you apply online, your sponsoring executive will be sent an email that includes a link to the online sponsoring statement form. You also may request a brochure by mail.
If you are submitting your application online, we will promptly acknowledge receipt of your submission via email. In the unlikely event that an email acknowledgment is not received, please contact the Admissions Committee by email: firstname.lastname@example.org, phone: +1-617-495-6226, or fax: +1-617-496-1731.
If you choose to submit a printed application, be sure to type or print legibly and sign your application. Send the application to the address or fax number listed on the form. Mailed or faxed applications are processed and acknowledged promptly upon receipt via email.
Complete Your Application
Please answer all questions thoroughly—the Admissions Committee will only consider completed applications. After reviewing your application and making the necessary edits or corrections, print or copy the application for your records.
Meet the Deadlines
We request applications at least four weeks in advance of the program start date. Early application does not guarantee admission. Programs often fill to capacity, so early application is recommended.
Notification of Acceptance
We acknowledge receipt of all applications and maintain all application information in strict confidentiality.
To optimize the learning experience and maximize the exchange of ideas, the Admissions Committee selects a class that balances each participant's experience, the scope of his or her current responsibilities, and the type of organization.
The Admissions Committee begins reviewing applications four months before the start date, and qualified candidates are admitted on a rolling, space-available basis. Once the review process has begun, applicants are notified within three weeks via email regarding Admissions Committee decisions. If your application is received within three weeks of the program's start date, the Admissions Committee will notify you of their decision as soon as possible.
For further assistance, contact our client service specialists at: 1-800-427-5577 (outside the U.S., dial +1-617-495-6555).