Your business case for partnership: Don’t get over fixated on your technical ability

Most partnerships require their potential partners to write a business case for admittance to partnership. (See what do you need to put in your personal and business case for partnership)

When I interviewed Darryn Hedges, Global Finance Director for Marks and Clerks,  recently, he explained the most common mistake that potential partners make with their business case is that they get over-fixated on technical content and technical ability. The whole interview is captured on a 35 minute podcast ‘creating a winning business case for partnership‘ – which is available to download.

The most common one is over-fixation on technical content and technical ability

In Darryn’s view (and he has now been heavily involved in the partnership promotions process for three firms), he believes that you need to focus more on your ability to lead, win work, work collaboratively with others, and delivery of excellent client service:

In my view the ability to manage and work with a team, the ability to work collaboratively, is as important because it speaks not just to the delivery of service and the winning of work but also to the manner in which it is done.

As Darryn explained in his interview,

If you are over-fixated or over-focussed on your technical ability you tend to forget about the client relationship and the business development stuff as well.

In professional services, the terms ‘finding, minding and grinding‘ are often spoken about. This is normally relating to:

Grinding: Doing the work

Minding: Managing the work you have today and the people you work with

Finding: Winning the new work

What you need to show in your personal and business case for partnership

If you are to have a winning personal and business case for partnership, regardless of whether you are a lawyer, accountant, consultant or architect, Darryn suggests that you show in your business case how you get do all three, i.e. finding, minding and grinding, with a proven track record. I.e. not just showing that you can ‘Grind’ – after all, a competent associate, manager or director could do that.

You have to get all three (finding, minding and grinding) into the business case. The specifics of your firm, your department, the opportunity will determine which of those three is a priority, but you have to get all three in.

FREE step-by-step guide to writing your business case for partnership

business-case-original-3D-250pxDownload our free step-by-step guide to writing a persuasive business case for partnership to save you time and become a "sure bet" for partnership.

Download NOW 

What to read/listen to now to help you create a cast-iron business case for partnership?

Author Credit:
Written by Heather Townsend, who helps professionals become the The Go-To Expert. 

Heather is the author of the  award winning and best-selling book on business networking, the FT Guide To Business Networking, co-author of How to make partner and still have a life, and The Go-To Expert
 To find out whether Heather can help your career progress, read 'is this you?' 
 Connect with Heather on LinkedIn and Twitter

"This book is like a secret weapon. No one tells you the how people are made partner and so this book is essential reading if you're aiming to join the partner club. I wish I'd read it right at the start of my career but it's a case of much better late than never. I know someone who relied heavily on the book in presenting a (successful) pitch for partnership." Amazon review Buy from amazon

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Differentiating yourself from your peers is the challenge that every professional faces. This book gives you the clarity, process and confidence to make yourself stand out in a crowded market place."Toni Hunter, Partner George Hay Chartered Accountants. Buy from amazon
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  1. […] When you become a partner you get a P45 (in the UK you receive a P45 when you stop being an employee of a company) and become an owner of the firm. As a result, it is no longer about your technical ability, it’s about your ability to grow the firm, build & lead a team, win clients and bring something extra to the partnership. (For more details, read ‘Your personal business case for partnership: Don’t become fixated on your technical ability) […]

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