At one time or another, all professional firms experience growing pains, dissension, under-performance, or an uncertain future. Our portfolio of consulting, coaching, and facilitation services helps professionals seize opportunities for growth, navigate difficult transitions, resolve conflicts, and overcome obstacles to personal and firm-wide effectiveness. First and foremost, we are a “results company” – the actual mix of services we provide is always determined by the results our clients are after.
We understand that professional firms are unique. We recognize that advice and solutions that work for businesses selling goods and non-professional services are often of limited value to a professional service firm. We know that professional firms are different from other businesses in how they are led, managed, structured. We understand the strategies and metrics they use and the results they’re after.
Our consulting expertise with professional firms centers on the following areas:
- Professional firm management and leadership
- Strategic planning and implementation
- Achieving buy-in and consensus
- Making communication and collaboration easier and more profitable
- Reducing turnover, dissension, and conflict
- Succession planning and leadership development
- Merging the cultures of different firms and practice groups
Our WHAT-4 ℠ approach to consulting divides the consulting process into four easily-understood phases, each based on answering a different question: What, So What, Now What, and What Next?
- “What are the facts, what are the real problems, and what are members of the firm saying, thinking, and feeling?” We start by collecting data from our clients.
- “So what does all this information mean?” We analyze the collected data and provide feedback to our clients.
- “Now what do we do?” We give our clients answers, alternatives, and solutions; and then facilitate discussions to make sure decisions are made, changes implemented, and results achieved.
- “What next needs to be done?” We do follow up surveys and facilitate discussions to make sure that results are sustained and the future is planned for.
The demands of being a professional are different from those of an executive, so why should professionals be “executive” coached? We believe professionals need and deserve coaching that recognizes the unique challenges and opportunities they encounter. Though the professional coaching process is similar to that of executive coaching, the emphasis and goals are often different.
Our coaching engagements with professionals typically center around one or more of the following themes:
- Improving personal performance, effectiveness, and satisfaction
- Managing time and staying organized
- Using communication skills to improve accountability and productivity
- Keeping business development efforts on track
- Persuading, influencing, and achieving consensus
- Becoming conflict competent
- Building strategic relationships inside and outside the firm
- Leading, managing, and motivating others
- Directing and inspiring firm-wide change
- Career direction and strategy
- Promotions, relocations, and other professional career transitions
- Stress, burnout, and other quality of life concerns
New Actions offers assessments that are based on one-on-one interviews or state-of-the-art instruments that capture data in a fast, cost-effective manner. Regardless of which method is used, full confidentiality and anonymity are maintained for all participants.
Assessments are like any tool – you need to pick the right one for the job. New Actions works with its clients to determine which assessment is most appropriate for the number of people participating, the nature of the issues being explored, and the client’s budget. New Actions assessments can be used as a stand-alone service or, as is often the case, in conjunction with our coaching, consulting, and facilitation services.
Firm-wide assessments are used to:
- Assess buy-in and consensus around strategic decisions,
- Predict and proactively deal with issues of morale, turnover, trust and communication,
- Discover personality and culture clashes before hiring and mergers, and
- Identify the impact of leadership practices on a firm’s growth and profitability.
Individual assessments of professionals are used to:
- Evaluate performance, discover problem areas, and strengthen performance,
- Measure emotional intelligence competencies and potential for success,
- Identify high-potential professionals and the best ways to develop them,
- Discern the effects of stress and susceptibility to burn out,
- And as the foundation for coaching and mentoring programs.
Dynamic and smooth functioning committees and project teams are essential for any firm’s success. Through a combination of coaching and facilitation, New Actions builds teams with higher levels of performance, accountability, and cohesion. Group assessments help team members understand their individual differences, and how those differences contribute to overall effectiveness and morale.
Often the most difficult conversations in professional firms are the ones most critical to success – and most in need of facilitation. Professional firms call us when they need to stop spinning their wheels and start using their time and energy effectively.
Our skilled facilitation helps them resolve misunderstandings, reconcile differences, achieve consensus, and make timely decisions. We make sure discussions stay on track, get past obstacles, and remain productive even when there are differing points of view.
Facilitation quickly pays for itself by making meetings shorter and more productive, thus freeing professionals to return to revenue producing work. Many of our clients adopt the meeting preparation and facilitation skills we use. Over time they become more adept at facilitating their own meetings, leading to an even greater return on their investment in facilitation.
Firm and Partner Retreats
Day-to-day pressures and urgent matters make it extremely difficult for professionals to spend sufficient time on the big picture and long-term issues they encounter. New Actions firm retreats provide a distraction free environment to discuss these important topics, while also improving communication and collaboration within the firm or partner group. Firm and partner retreats typically focus on creating a strategic plan, building consensus on important decisions, tackling recurrent problems, making fundamental changes, and resolving internal conflicts. Our retreats are also an excellent opportunity to integrate new members into a firm, help firm members from different offices and practice groups connect, and improve overall firm cohesion, performance, and accountability.
Virtual & Live Programs
Workshops are an excellent way for professional firms to sustain results they’ve achieved through New Actions consulting, coaching, or facilitation engagements. Firms’ needs and objectives dictate the size, frequency, and theme of these programs. Workshops can be singular or serial, and are often held on a quarterly, semiannual, or annual basis. In these programs, skills learned through coaching and facilitation are practiced and applied to professional firms’ immediate problems. Changes in thinking, communicating, and collaborating are reinforced and integrated in a way that is simply not possible with generic, one-shot trainings. As learning deepens – on individual, team, and firm-wide levels – performance and profitability continue to improve.
Webinars & Teleseminars are great for disseminating information and skills to firm members across many different locations. Firm members on separate coasts can be – literally and figuratively – on the same page, which in turns allows them to communicate and collaborate with greater ease and effectiveness. These programs are offered on a private basis (limited to members of a single firm) or public basis (participants come from different firms and professions). Program topics are typically determined by a firm’s current needs and challenges. Click here for a list of past professional webinar and teleseminar topics.
Speeches & Keynotes set the tone for a conference, professional association meeting, or firm retreat. Andrew Elowitt is a frequent speaker and recognized authority on how “soft skills” like building consensus, giving feedback, mentoring others, developing conflict competence, and thinking strategically contribute to firm cohesion and profitability. In speeches liberally sprinkled with humor and arresting graphics, Andrew helps professionals see new and practical ways of working with authority, strength, and emotional intelligence. Click here for a list of Andrew’s past speeches and presentations to professional groups.