BY ADAM CUMMINS
Being a part of a winning team is often considered a base- line objective for individuals
in the professional world. In general, people feel a sense of belonging, purpose and camaraderie as the
result of being a part of a team.
In particular, individuals find that
they are able to experience these
values when their membership on
a team is recognized and valued.
And while many perceptions of the
concept of “team” are thought of in
the context of the sporting world,
for most, these same perspectives
and principles hold true in the
world of consulting.
Being an equally valued team-member / contributor in a consulting firm can be challenging to
realize due to firm dynamics, personalities and competing individual
priorities. Finding a consulting firm where individual
voice and perspectives are not only heard but also
considered and incorporated can be difficult—but it
is not an impossible task.
Champion-level consulting firms are able to balance
their approach in this area and, in turn, offer their team
members a strong sense of connectedness and empowerment that helps drive employee satisfaction and retention as well as powerful client successes.
Consulting firms that strive to create a team-driven culture should absolutley consider the following
guiding principles and tenets to successfully foster
such an environment:
ROLL UP YOUR SLEEVES
Firms that structure their teams so that all mem-
bers, from the senior partner to the junior analyst,
are expected to contribute their intellectual capital,
experience and “sweat equity” on an equal basis are
taking a solid first step. Taking such an approach
generally means that all members of the team are
expected to work hard, put in the required time and
do the tasks necessary for the firm to succeed, re-
gardless of title or level.
To borrow a metaphor from the sports world, teams
where the star player, the journeyman position play-
er, the rookie and everyone in-between comes to all
practices, spends hours studying film of opponents
and spends extra time in the weight room developing
strength and endurance, are the teams that typically are
the most competitive and succeed together.
In the consulting world, organizations that can cultivate a similar mentality and approach find that there is
no perception of separate classes of team members because in performing consulting work, there are no different classes—each team member has a critical role
to play in ensuring the team’s success and, ultimately,
notching a win for the client.