Accelerating Development

Professional services firm’s success depends on junior consultants. Engaging and retaining this low-cost high-value workforce is crucial for sustainable success.

The Challenge

Associate-level staff working with high-status partners experience daily difficulty in asserting themselves in decision making, influencing and for career development, due to the constant contrast to their more experienced seniors.

Simply training senior staff in leadership only addresses part of the problem. Training junior staff allows firm-wide policy to be communicated in a top down way.

When existing development programmes do not make a tangible difference, participation rates drop, compounding the problem.

Professional Services
Professional Services


Junior staff hold back real views because senior peers don’t seem to listen, act or take some views seriously.

Lack Of Tangible Career Progression

Because they are high-value low-cost, senior staff are reluctant to proactively assist associate-level staff in moving roles.

Avoidance Of Challenge Upwards

Associates play it safe with regards to tackling any root issues and hold back from expressing what they really want. It’s easier to go for a new job in a different firm.

  • Improving Performance
  • Increasing Engagement
  • Business Growth
  • Leadership Growth
  • Accelerating Development
  • Commercial Innovation
  • Optimising Effectiveness
  • Catalysing Change

How we helped

Analysis of the client’s existing development programme for the target audience revealed:

Low impact in catalysing change

We discovered through split A/B testing that the optimum group size for the cohort is 30 people. This provided sufficient diversity of people and experiences and allowed stronger group bonds to form.

Uninspiring 12-person, 1-facilitator course format

We maintained the participant:facilitator ratio at 10:1, allowing the intervention to be led by a small group of experts. By adjusting the team size we could include a more diverse team in terms of age and gender. This helped the participant group to connect with the experts.

Too theoretical

Networking skills are a key area for the target audience to find their next role internally. We built specific networking and influencing labs where individuals could attempt new strategies and receive real-time improvement feedback.

The Results

Individual Outcomes

“This programme has enabled me to challenge upwards. As a result I have negotiated an immediate change in role.”

“This programme has changed the trajectory of my career.”

“I sleep with the course magazine next to my bed.”

Project Outcomes

330% increase in programme participation

Participant satisfaction increased from 61% to 92%

Business outcomes improved significantly yet with a lower cost per head

Participation Rate Increase

330% increase in participation.

Attendee Satisfaction

50% increase in participant satisfaction.

Find out more about how your organisation can benefit from working with us