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Our Points of View articles bridge the gap between the latest development thinking - evidence-based and founded on rigorous research – and the real world of your firm’s work.

We like to think and talk about how theory becomes practice, and how academic research can produce real-world results. Moreover, we like to be open about our thinking — which is why we’re sharing our ‘Points of View’ with you here.

Everything we write comes with recommendations and actionable ideas based on our long experience in the professional services sector. You can search our articles by four professional services functions: Lead, Consult, Manage and Build.

October 2019 What law firms can learn from consulting firms If a firm could combine the best of a law firms ‘IQ’ (content) with that of a consulting firms ‘EQ’ (or, ability to truly understand a client’s context), that firm would be unstoppable.
October 2019 The Pelorus – October 2019 A selection of handpicked content and research by leading authorities to expand your horizons, to provide fresh insight and to challenge the way you think, act and work.
August 2019 The Pelorus – August/September 2019 A selection of handpicked content and research by leading authorities to expand your horizons, to provide fresh insight and to challenge the way you think, act and work.
July 2019 The Pelorus – July 2019 A selection of handpicked content and research by leading authorities to expand your horizons, to provide fresh insight and to challenge the way you think, act and work.
July 2019 Why your organisation is not ready to train and develop your sales force Embrace a new approach to maximise the impact of your sales training
June 2019 The Pelorus – June 2019 A selection of handpicked content and research by leading authorities to expand your horizons, to provide fresh insight and to challenge the way you think, act and work.
June 2019 Learning from a terrible DJ about the perils of the predetermined solution How consultants and advisors can offer solutions to their clients without making them feel inferior, forced into a box and just the same as everyone else.
May 2019 The Pelorus – May 2019 A selection of handpicked content and research by leading authorities to expand your horizons, to provide fresh insight and to challenge the way you think, act and work.
May 2019 What buyers of professional services are really looking for Senior buyers reveal the hidden and previously unspoken factors that motivate their final purchasing decision
April 2019 The Pelorus – April 2019 A selection of handpicked content and research by leading authorities to expand your horizons, to provide fresh insight and to challenge the way you think, act and work.
April 2019 The billable hour kills your firm’s values – what are the alternatives? Metrics have a critical influence on behaviour. So what gets measured, matters.
March 2019 The Pelorus – March 2019 This month's selection of handpicked content by leading authorities to expand your horizons, provide you with fresh insight and challenge the way you think, the way you act and the way you work.
February 2019 Tales of the Unexpected: Rethinking Differentiation The significant impact of being 'deliberately different' on your brand and reputation - with illustrative case studies
January 2019 Beyond the Cusp of Disruption in Consulting Three key industry trends confronting consulting and professional services firms in 2019 and some possible responses
December 2018 Posters from IBM’s ‘Quest for Quality’ Exhibition, 1985 Openside's Advent Calendar 2018
November 2018 Proposals: How to make them a point of difference, not a point of reference Four changes you should make to your written proposals now - or else don't respond
October 2018 The Professional Services Procurement Conundrum Why you should view your clients' procurement function as a potential advocate, not an adversary
September 2018 Reverence or Regicide? Why ‘Client First’ should not mean ‘Client is King’ in professional services
August 2018 The Paradox of the Poisonous Performer What to do if a top performer creates a toxic team
July 2018 How organisations can overcome big data’s two biggest obstacles Still haven’t found what you’re looking for?
June 2018 Cognitive and Behavioural Skills Development – is eLearning the answer?
May 2018 What do award-winning consulting firms do better than the rest? Openside quoted in The Times - 24th May 2018
April 2018 Time’s up for the billable hour: Focusing on value is now the only option Technology and competition mean the billable hour is on borrowed time. But can value-based pricing work in practice?
March 2018 How creative agencies can take on consulting firms at their own game – and win The key skills and behaviours agencies must develop to enter the world of strategic consulting
February 2018 Our Top 10 Most Read Articles of All Time Why we've been shortlisted for an MPF Award 2018 for "Best provision of knowledge to clients"
February 2018 The Partnership Trap What is it, and how can you avoid it?
February 2018 The ‘Enquiry Strategy Remote Control’ for Consultants A simple tool to help you undertake effective questioning in critical client conversations
January 2018 Why are there so few women at the top of Professional Services Firms? And what can be done about it?
December 2017 The Impact of Emotion on Loyalty and Buying Decisions The implications for professional services firms
November 2017 Introducing The Openside Group You will have known us before as PSfPS
October 2017 Define your metrics or they will define you A word of caution for professional services firms
September 2017 Learning to catch a ball and learning leadership Exploring three critical areas of leadership behaviour successful Partners exhibit
August 2017 Rethinking Value in Consulting: What distinguishes the top performing firms from the rest? Including analysis of the MCA Awards Winners 2017
June 2017 Answer the question! Why politicians’ prevarication is unequivocally unacceptable in professional services How to answer clients' difficult questions
May 2017 Why now is the time for your consulting firm to revisit its professional development strategy The MCA Consulting Excellence Academy and Guide
March 2017 Intuition bias: Why practice doesn’t always make perfect How to develop critical thinking skills in your firm
February 2017 Challenging your clients: Get “That’s fair enough” not “That’s far enough” How to offer a Point of View that challenges the client
February 2017 The Scourge of Procrustean Solutions in Consulting Why consultants shouldn't force a client to fit their pre-determined solution
January 2017 What Strategic Thinking Really Means for Talent Management An interview with Head of Global Talent Supply Chain Strategy at KellyOCG
December 2016 What ringtone would your clients have for you? A light-hearted way to get into the mind of your clients
November 2016 The great differentiation paradox for law firms Including a word cloud analysis of the world's largest law firms
November 2016 Why jumping to conclusions can make things worse Using the Structured Analytical Thinking Approach
September 2016 Overcoming the gender leadership gap and women only development programmes Why women-only development programmes are important but not the complete answer
August 2016 Microwave Beds, The Great British Bake Off and Behavioural Change Programmes Don’t expect to see effective “Microwave Behavioural Training" soon
August 2016 From ‘Agents’ to ‘Advisors’ – Differentiating your property / real estate firm
August 2016 10 unique dynamics of professional services firms that hinder change efforts And what Partners can do about it
July 2016 Consulting Excellence: The Implications for Professional Development
July 2016 The great professional services differentiation paradox Includes a word cloud analysis of the top 10 global consulting firms
July 2016 Rethinking the parable of the old man, the hammer and the broken engine Why this parable is as relevant for consultants today as ever before
July 2016 Biased views? Have you considered all the evidence? Using a structured analytical thinking approach
May 2016 Secrets of Great Salespeople: 50 Ways to Sell Business-To-Business A new book by Jeremy Raymond
April 2016 Thinking different… Why discomfort and risk are the necessary costs of effective consulting How to move from 'Kiss-ass' to 'Kick-ass'
April 2016 Lessons and inspiration for your firm from the life of Johan Cruyff A five step blueprint your own firm
March 2016 Billable hours – why it’s time for firms to slaughter this sacred cow
January 2016 Why ‘Earned right’ is very different to ‘Entitlement’ A word of warning for consultants
January 2016 Why Practising and Failing is Better than Failing in Practice Overcoming the “Amygdala Hijack”
August 2015 The Consultant’s Achilles Heel: Saying “I understand” Too Quickly Managing Critical Conversations
August 2015 Internal Consultants – Organisational Adrenaline or Decaffeinated Consultants? Advantages and disadvantages of using internal consultants
July 2015 Should you use Internal or External Consultants? What you need to consider Ask 'When?' and 'Why?' before 'How much?' and 'Who?'
July 2015 Why the best teams don’t need to cheat A deep-rooted value set drives all behaviours
June 2015 Benchmark your business development process A checklist for professional services firms
June 2015 How to differentiate your professional services firm It doesn't matter why you think you're different..
June 2015 The impact of a cringeworthy LinkedIn profile on you and your firm Do you run towards fires?
June 2015 Moving from Products to Services – Why? So What? and How? It's all about the client...
June 2015 White-line Fever: The great affliction of professional services firms? Determining the Go/No-Go (or Stop-Go) Decision
May 2015 Managing difficult negotiations – how to develop a negotiation framework The top strategies to get an acceptable outcome
May 2015 Applying the Analytical Thinking Process – a sporting case study How data could be the saviour of English cricket
May 2015 The Winners’ Formula: Learning from the winning firms of the MPF Awards Lessons from leading firms
May 2015 How to avoid being deselected: Moments of Truth and Chance Encounters Using business exhibitions as a case study
May 2015 Why we resist change and the implications on your firm’s behaviour 10 reasons why the UK General Election proves we are resistant to change
May 2015 General Elections, Gym Memberships and Critical Client Conversations What you can learn for your own business development behaviour
March 2015 Request for Proposal – 10 tips to maximise success when the odds are stacked against you The dilemma of Request for Proposals (RFPs)
March 2015 Be honest. Would you buy from you? What questions might clients have on their minds before they buy from you?
March 2015 The new rules of professional services procurement and why firms must adapt – or quit? Is there any point in submitting a tender or proposal any more?
February 2014 The dilemma of being a principal in consulting Why consultancies need to invest in the capabilities of their future partners much earlier
June 2012 How Manchester City won the Premiership in 2012 What we can learn about metrics in professional services
April 2011 What is leadership? Leadership is unselfish - it is about providing direction and opportunity for others
March 2011 Networking and cold calling: touting for business or making a contribution? For business development in professional services you should think 'contribution' not 'promotion'
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Read the full article by Lucy Hirst, Openside Tutor: