21 episodes

Welcome to the Performance Leader podcast. I’m Ray D’Cruz, CEO of Performance Leader, a software and consulting company that helps professional services firms build vibrant feedback cultures.

In this podcast series, I talk to leading thinkers in the professional services industry about how to be a high performance firm and leader.

Performance Leaders Podcast Performance Leader

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 11 Ratings

Welcome to the Performance Leader podcast. I’m Ray D’Cruz, CEO of Performance Leader, a software and consulting company that helps professional services firms build vibrant feedback cultures.

In this podcast series, I talk to leading thinkers in the professional services industry about how to be a high performance firm and leader.

    Dr Rob Millard on Success Drivers in Large Law Firm Mergers

    Dr Rob Millard on Success Drivers in Large Law Firm Mergers

    Our guest on the Performance Leaders podcast is Dr Robert Millard. Rob is a director of the Cambridge Strategy Group, an international advisory firm that helps professional firms build competitive advantage through strategy, mergers and sustainability.
     
    With nearly three decades of experience in strategy and management for law and professional firms, Rob's clients range from elite global firms to leading regional and national firms. 
     
    His recently completed PhD fromthe University of Glasgow focused on understanding the characteristics of successful large law firm mergers. Rob also holds an MBA in strategy from Henley. He chaired the IBA's law firmmanagement committee and the ABA's International Law Practice Management Forum. He's also co authored ten books, so far, on law firm strategy and management. 
     
    Show notes:
     
    (1:38) Why do a PhD on law firm mergers?
     
    (4:39) The characteristics of successful large law firm mergers
     
    (6:14) Types of mergers
     
    (8:56) Most large law firm mergers are successful
     
    (12:27) Analysing merger waves in professional services including the Shearman & Sterling, Allen & Overy merger
     
    (13:59) AI as a merger driver
     
    (15:34) Firms that become good at flexing their merger muscle
     
    (17:12) Behind closed doors conversation that don’t result in mergers
     
    (17:50) Merging a firm with a merit-based partner compensation system with a lockstep firm
     
    (19:27) Moving to a more balanced notion of partner contribution
     
    (20:06) Making collaboration work post-merger
     
    (22:22) How mergers have changed and will keep evolving
     
    (25:20) Why managing partners should always be thinking about mergers

    • 26 min
    Carole O'Neil on Leading a Global Engineering Firm: Change, Culture & Sustainability

    Carole O'Neil on Leading a Global Engineering Firm: Change, Culture & Sustainability

    Our guest on the Performance Leader podcast is Carole O’Neil, ManagingPartner at Cundall, a global multi-disciplinary engineering practice delivering sustainable design projects in the built environment from 26 offices in locations across the UK and Ireland, EMENA and Asia Pacific.
     
    Carole embarked on a career in Human Resources quite by chance, having completed a law degree at Oxford University and decided not to move into practice. Since then, she has worked in a variety of HR roles in professional services firms across the legal and built environment sectors. She spent most of her HR career as a generalist but developed a particular expertise and interest in the development of leadership capability.
     
    In 2022, she was elected Managing Partner at Cundall. She is the first non-engineer to hold the position, and Cundall’s first female Managing Partner.
      Show notes (1m:30s) Carole's path into the MP role
    (3:26) Cundall as a people-focussed firm
    (6:27) How Carole sees high performance, and her high performance life outside work: powerlifting!
    (12:08) Rewarding different contributions and strengths
    (17:40) Maintaining culture through growth
    (19:27) Cundall's Zero Carbon Design 2030 goal
    (23:13) Linking transformational goals to individual contribution
    (24:30) The value of regular 1:1s, and how Cundall is evolving its approach
    (27:15) Carole's advice on having difficult conversations
    (28:50) Fostering collaboration in a diverse, global firm
    (31:57) Legacy at Cundall

    • 34 min
    Lewis Iwu on Purpose in Professional Services Firms

    Lewis Iwu on Purpose in Professional Services Firms

    Our guest on the Performance Leader’s podcast is Lewis Iwu, co-founder and CEO of Purpose Union, a social purpose strategy firm united by the belief that the world is better off when companies and organisations think, act and communicate with a defined social purpose.
    Lewis advises organisations on how to devise and execute winning arguments and campaigns on social and environmental issues. Over the past 15 years he has worked with some of the world’s most influential organisations and individuals, and led campaigns and coalitions on issues such as racial injustice, climate change and education access. He is the author of Words that Win, a book about how to win arguments on social and environmental issues. 
    Lewis was previously the founding Director of the Fair Education Alliance, a national advocacy coalition of almost 100 non-profits and businesses. Lewis has also worked at leading global corporate reputation agencies, Finsbury and Brunswick.
    In this podcast we discuss:
    The work of Purpose Union The historical link between the professions and social purpose, including how firms can resolve purpose conflicts such as which clients to represent The connection between social purpose, organisational purpose and individual purpose Building purpose into the employee value proposition And The role of leaders in advancing purpose  
    I hope you enjoy this conversation with Lewis Iwu.

    • 31 min
    Neville Eisenberg on Leadership, Strategy & High Performing Firms

    Neville Eisenberg on Leadership, Strategy & High Performing Firms

    Our guest on the Performance Leader podcast is Neville Eisenberg. Neville grew up in South Africa, where he qualified as a lawyer. After gaining his Masters in Law from the LSE, je joined the London Corporate Finance Department at Berwin Leighton in 1989.
    He was made partner in 1995, joined the board in 1996 and was elected managing partner in 1999. Neville oversaw Berwin Leighton's successful merger with Paisner & Co, to become Berwin Leighton Paisner. During his 15 years as managing partner, the firm grew its revenue by more than five times, more than tripled its profit per partner, and grew from two offices to 14 offices in 11 countries. In that time, BLP became known for pioneering innovation in legal services.
    After stepping down as managing partner in 2015, Neville became senior partner until the firm's US merger with Bryan Cave in 2018. His final act at BCLP was to set up and run BCLP Cubed, a platform for delivering routine legal services at scale.
    In this podcast, Neville talks about his time as a leader. We discuss his interest in strategy and the value of democratizing strategy in firms. We delve into what made BLP innovative, including how Lawyers On Demand was born. We cover high performance firms, building a feedback culture and having difficult conversations. I hope you enjoy listening to a professional services leader who really understands the power of strategy and culture.

    • 31 min
    Dr Heidi Gardner on Smarter Collaboration, Performance & Reward

    Dr Heidi Gardner on Smarter Collaboration, Performance & Reward

    Our guest on the Performance Leader's podcast is Dr. Heidi K. Gardner, author of the best selling book Smart Collaboration, and the newly released Smarter Collaboration: A New Approach to Breaking Down Barriers and Transforming Work.
    Dr. Gardner is a distinguished fellow at Harvard Law School and previously a professor at Harvard Business School.
    Named by Thinkers50 as Next Generation Business Guru, Dr. Gardner is a sought after advisor, keynote speaker and facilitator globally.
    With her team at Gardner & Co., she works extensively with boards, executive teams and other senior leaders to boost performance by embedding the principles and practices of smarter, agile, cross silo collaboration.
    Her work results in concrete, quantifiable performance improvements. Dr. Gardner has lived and worked on four continents, including as a Fulbright Fellow and for McKinsey & Co and Procter and Gamble.
    In this podcast, we discuss Dr. Gardner's new book, Smarter Collaboration. We cover a wide range of topics from firms that do a great job of collaboration to leadership and change.
    We go into depth on compensation models, performance systems and metrics that enable or inhibit collaboration.
    We also talk about purpose and feedback, and we even touch on Chat GPT.
    I hope you enjoy this podcast with the most influential thought leader in the professional services sector today.

    • 42 min
    David Patient, Reflections on Leading a Law Firm

    David Patient, Reflections on Leading a Law Firm

    My guest on S3 Ep 3 of the Performance Leaders podcast is David Patient from Travers Smith.
    David trained at Travers Smith and became a partner in 1999, specialising in UK and international M&A. He established the firm’s Paris office in the same year. 
    In this episode David reflects on his time as Managing Partner, building a talented leadership team, the firm’s strategic goals and change agenda, and leading a high-performance firm.
    We touch on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), legacy, managing partner peer support, the unique Travers Smith office set up, and more.
    We hope you enjoy this episode.

    • 35 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
11 Ratings

11 Ratings

Prof Services Consultant ,

I implemented after action review immediately

I enjoyed this podcast with Ron Baker. It made me reflect on my own consulting business and how each project presents an opportunity to learn and improve my business processes and client outcomes. As a result, I've implemented after-action reviews. I'm looking forward to the next episode.

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