Growing and Leading a Professional Service Firm – China
Encouraged by China's continuing economic growth, leaders of professional service firms and practices are positioning their firms to take advantage of opportunities to expand their businesses. But as the number of players increases, companies must compete more intensely for talent and clients and are under pressure to deliver clear value to both. In this HBS Executive Education program, offered in partnership with the School of Management, Fudan University in Shanghai, firm leaders will enhance their ability to deliver excellent service, lead a growing team, and maintain high levels of profitability as they build a world-class company.
You and a group of accomplished peers will explore the many challenges facing today's professional service firms. While developing new insights and skills that will enable you to better manage the daily demands of running your firm, you will also learn how to design a forward-looking competitive strategy and align your team to execute that strategy in order to grow your firm successfully and profitably.
Taught in a Chinese-English bilingual format, this program draws on the experiences of successful professional service firms around the world. You will discover best practices for juggling the many competing demands you face as a professional service firm leader—motivating staff, maintaining fiscal discipline, nurturing client relationships, and driving your firm's growth.
This leadership training program is designed for senior executives or practice leaders at established professional service firms in diverse industries and at firms that have substantial operations in China. It also is appropriate for leaders of companies providing business-to-business solutions composed of a combination of products and services.
An Integrated Educational Partnership
Applying the principles of academic rigor, diversity, and impactful learning, this powerful educational alliance enables the outstanding faculty team to tailor a senior management program with unique relevance to China and its neighbors.
For more than a century, the mission of Harvard Business School (HBS) has been to educate leaders who make a difference in the world. Renowned for its legacy of innovation, HBS introduced the case method to management education, developed the concept of executive education, and created the world's first MBA program. A global network of seven research centers on four continents extends the School's groundbreaking research efforts to the international marketplace. Founded in 1908, HBS is a longstanding world leader in redefining the nature of management education, shaping the practice of business in every industry, and inventing the future of business.
Founded in 1905, Fudan University is one of the most prestigious institutions of higher learning in China. As an intellectually comprehensive academic institution, Fudan offers degrees in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, technology, management, and medical sciences. Fudan is the first of its kind in China to provide business administration education, and the history of School of Management could be traced back to as early as 1917. The School was one of the first business schools in China to set up MBA program in 1991, and to establish EMBA program in 2002. Rooted in the profound cultural traditions of Fudan University, the School of Management is progressing with its goal to cultivate business leaders and professional managers with international competence, and who fit into the needs of China's economic development as well. In light of the development of China's economy, the School is committed to crystallizing the management experience and thoughts in a Chinese business environment, carrying out innovative research, and sharing its ideas and thoughts with academic and business entities from home and abroad.
What You Can Expect
China's economic growth has created opportunity, but professional service firms in China wanting to take full advantage of this opening confront a unique business environment that can pose obstacles to growth. In this program, you and a group of talented executives will explore the difficult balancing act required for company and practice leaders who must consistently maintain fiscal discipline while exceeding client expectations, motivating staff, and formulating and executing long-term strategy. Encompassing service fundamentals, growth strategy, and day-to-day leadership, this program will prepare you to define your strategy, align your team and its capabilities to execute that strategy, strengthen client relationships, and enhance organizational performance. Specifically, you will improve your ability to:
- Attract, develop, and retain talented professionals—your company's most valuable resource
- Implement decision-making processes and performance metrics that are suited to your firm's unique characteristics and the business environment in China
- Assess competition accurately and differentiate your offerings in a changing marketplace
- Focus your strategy for acquiring new business and balancing business development with ongoing service
- Build a company culture that supports the attitudes and behaviors critical to service excellence and company success, while also encouraging the personal satisfaction of each team member
- Sharpen your team's core competencies as you implement best practices that maximize the value delivered to every client
- Balance your unique responsibilities as a leader with your personal participation in business development and client service
How Will My Organization Benefit?
This program provides examples of the best professional service practices worldwide and guidance on applying them to the unique demands of the Chinese business environment. You will leave the program with a deeper and broader understanding of how to motivate staff, maintain fiscal discipline, nurture client relationships, and drive your firm's growth. Going far beyond the basic transmission of skills and theories, this leadership development program offers applicable lessons and practical takeaways that can be implemented successfully within your organization through a dynamic learning model. You will acquire a fresh perspective on business opportunities within China and beyond from our focused curriculum, world-renowned faculty, and an accomplished group of elite peers from around the world.
Your Course of Study
You and a diverse group of senior executives will dive into the unique challenges facing today's professional service firm leaders in China. Through in-depth case analysis of firms around the world, you will explore the diverse ways other leaders have approached common challenges, gaining a new perspective on the task of developing the best strategy for your firm and driving the execution of that strategy. At the same time, you will have the opportunity to assess your own performance as a leader and discover new ways to improve your performance and increase your overall value to your business. Curriculum topics include:
Addressing Service Industry Challenges
- Recognizing how the service sector has grown and evolved, both generally and in China, and what these changes mean for company leaders
- Defining service excellence and value, and understanding how client perceptions do and do not vary across borders and cultures
- Communicating service value throughout the organization
Creating an Exceptional Professional Staff and Corporate Culture
- Hiring, developing, and motivating a highly skilled professional staff
- Rewarding star performers on service delivery or management tracks
- Creating the right staff incentives to ensure the effective execution of your strategy
- Operating as one company across offices, divisions, service lines, and geographies
- Fixing broken or suboptimal cultures in teams, groups, or companies
- Maintaining consistently high service quality during periods of strong growth or contraction
- Measuring and improving performance
Controlling the Destiny of Your Firm or Practice
- Responding to market shifts with innovative services
- Leading change in your industry and your company to maintain your competitive edge
- Aligning your team to execute a winning strategy
- Implementing models for scaling successful services and managing mergers and acquisitions
Clarifying the Leader's Role
- Establishing best practices for corporate governance, including frameworks for formulating and adjusting strategy and making informed strategic decisions
- Understanding your unique responsibilities as a leader and balancing both short- and long-term demands on your time
Who Is Right for the Program
This program is intended for senior executives or practice leaders in established professional service companies in China. It also is appropriate for leaders of business-to-business service groups in companies offering solutions composed of both products and services. Companies can include private or state-owned firms operating in China and looking to expand, as well as multinational or global firms that want to increase their presence in China.
Because different types of service firms face similar challenges, the program is appropriate for participants in a range of industries, such as consulting, legal, accounting, financial, architecture and engineering, marketing and advertising, public relations, venture capital, investment banking, computer software development, technology systems integration, telecommunications, and others. Typical participant titles include, but are not limited to:
- Chief executive officer
- Executive vice president
- Managing director
- Country, division, or regional manager
- Practice leader
This program meets the needs of individuals or teams. When multiple executives from one company attend, the management team can more quickly take advantage of shared concepts and frameworks to implement strategies and disseminate best practices throughout the organization.
To ensure the most comprehensive learning experience, this program is taught in both English and Chinese with translation. Participants will preselect either Chinese or English for their classroom materials. When forming discussion groups, program administrators consider each executive's language capabilities to ensure optimal exchange of ideas within the group.
Past Participants Represented:
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Meet the Program Faculty
Growing and Leading a Professional Service Firm—China is taught by renowned faculty members from Harvard Business School and Fudan University. They are distinguished academicians, skilled educators, groundbreaking researchers, award-winning authors, and experienced entrepreneurs in their respective fields. Representing various disciplines, these faculty members remain close to practice through relationships with business and industry leaders and through personal involvement as board members and consultants for top companies around the world. By leveraging their business expertise and field-based research, they create new knowledge and enduring concepts that shape the practice of management. 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."
Heidi K. Gardner, Assistant Professor of Business Administration. Member of the Organizational Behavior Unit.
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.
Cheng-Hua Tzeng, Assistant Professor of Strategy, School of Management at Fudan University. Member of the Strategic Management faculty for MBA and EMBA programs.
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, this program is taught in both English and Chinese with translation. Participants will preselect either Chinese or English for their classroom materials. When forming discussion groups, program administrators consider each executive's language capabilities to ensure optimal exchange of ideas within the group.
Program participants must be sponsored by their current employer. The Admissions Committee must receive your application and all required documents in order to review the application.
If you submit 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).