Participant Story

Jonathan Scofield

Jonathan Scofield

Driving Change in Professional Services

  • Role

    Vice President, CORTAC Group
  • Industry

    • Consulting

We brought our experiences to the table and gathered input from successful, educated people in a relaxed environment.

Along with serving as an officer in the U.S. Air Force Reserves, Jonathan Scofield is vice president at CORTAC Group, a consulting firm that offers services including management consulting, business capture, program planning and controls, and technology solutions. To build on his varied background and take CORTAC to the next level, Scofield came to the Leading Professional Service Firms (LPSF) program at Harvard Business School Executive Education. Here, he describes the value of this learning experience.

Why did you decide to attend this program?

In the last five years, we have grown the Seattle office of CORTAC Group from 2 people to 45 people. We've also seen 50 percent annual growth across the company over the last three years. That kind of growth puts your leadership team in a very challenging position and creates some growing pains. This led me to research resources that would help improve upon the amazing work we have done and take us to the next level. I knew that the right next step was to attend a program where I could learn from both academic and industry experts.

Which insights from the program resonated with you the most?

I appreciated the program's holistic perspective and emphasis on practical application. We discussed how, in professional service firms, it's all about the people. This lesson became especially vivid during one case study discussion. After we finished the discussion, the professor told us about his involvement in the story and called individuals to the front of the room to talk through their thoughts and reactions. It was amazing!

How are you implementing what you learned?

As CORTAC Group has grown its services and expanded across different geographies and industries, it's been tempting to apply the same approach to every scenario, whether in terms of how we support our people or how we structure a client delivery. But much of what we discussed in LPSF challenged how I approach these challenges. It helped me recognize that we can't do the same thing over and over again.

How did your living group influence your experience?

My living group was amazing. It gave me the opportunity to connect at a professional and personal level with a group of eight people from five countries. We were able to review our lessons from the day, hear each person's perspectives, and challenge each other to apply these lessons within our own lives. We were able to bring our own experiences to the table and have the opportunity to gather input from successful, educated people in a relaxed environment. We also built deeper friendships in these small groups. We took a trip to Boston's North End one night for dinner, dessert, and a walk around some of America's historic sites. I have no doubt these relationships will deepen in the years to come.

Can you sum up the value of this program for executives?

In hypercompetitive industries, it's critical for executives to expand their abilities, education, and experiences. Much of an individual's success is determined by the people who surround them. The participants in the program came from more than 34 countries and represented a wide range of industries. Connecting with these classmates and the amazing professors was profoundly beneficial to breaking through the limitations of my own world. I've had the blessings of surrounding myself with some amazing people in my 21 years in the military and over 10 years in my industry. This program afforded me the opportunity to challenge my life lessons for the first time since exiting active duty military service.

Featured Program

Leading Professional Service Firms