Aligning the Stars : How to Succeed When Professionals Drive Results

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2002-04-01
  • Publisher: Perseus Distribution Services
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Every company relies on talent to succeed, but none so much as professional service firms. Within this rapidly expanding, trillion-dollar sector, people are more than "valuable assets"; they are the source of competitive advantage. Indeed, success is determined more by the people these firms pay than by the people who pay them. What separates the best professional firms from their less-successful competitors? And what lessons do their experiences hold for other talent-driven businesses? In this comprehensive book, respected academic Jay W. Lorsch and accomplished practitioner Thomas J. Tierney draw from rigorous research and decades of experience to provide a practical perspective on how to win in professional services. Their work is based on an analysis of industry leaders in fields as diverse as law, accounting, investment banking, advertising, information technology, executive search, and management consulting. Aligning the Stars argues that strategic success is achieved by building an organization of executive-level stars whose day-to-day performance reinforces and ultimately achieves the goals of the business. Outstanding firms align stars across business lines, geographies, and even generations. Through compelling real-world examples, Lorsch and Tierney show how successful firms create and sustain alignment via: Strategy: Determining which elements of strategy are most important and why-and how effective implementation incorporates organizational realities. People Systems: Converting talent into stars, while nurturing "firm first" behaviors. Structure and Governance: Organizing around partnership principles-even in a corporate environment. Culture: Actively managing the culture to guide-and control-individual behavior. Leadership: Exercising effective leadership when the power to control "partner-peers" is limited. Careers: Aligning individual stars by helping professionals build a life, not just a resume. By showing how to integrate strategy, organization, and the needs of individual stars, this book offers valuable lessons for the current and future leaders of every talent-driven business.AUTHORBIO:Jay W. Lorsch is the Louis Kirstein Professor of Human Relations at the Harvard Business School. Thomas J. Tierney is the former Chief Executive of Bain & Company, and currently serves as Chairman of The Bridgespan Group, Bain's nonprofit affiliate.

Author Biography

Jay W. Lorsch is the Louis Kirstein Professor of Human Relations at the Harvard Business School.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi
A Reader's Guide
Impact and Influence
The World of Professional Services
Necessary but Not Sufficient
Turning Talent into Stars
The Enduring Edge
Guiding Your Brightest Stars
The Three-Hat Challenge
Aligning Stars and Strategy
A Force for Alignment
Leadership without Control
The Power to Persuade
Aligning Your Star
Build a Life, Not a Resume
Appendix: Firms Represented in the Study 217(2)
Notes 219(4)
Index 223(10)
About the Authors 233

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