After a two-year hiatus, Monitor returns to Consulting
’s Best Firms to Work For in 2011. Monitor used those two years to invest in a firm-wide initiative to reclaim its sense of purpose—to actively engage the entire Monitor community to assert each individual’s role and our commitment as a group of individuals—to make a meaningful difference in the world, says Stephen Jennings, Managing Partner of Monitor.
“This Purpose project was a very powerful exercise and helped us keep our bearings,” he says. “We have come through the difficult economic times as a stronger and thriving firm, with significant increases in our revenues and an expanding employee base.
“When you come under pressure, it is either going to force cracks to appear, or force a kind of convergence and integration to occur. In our case, we have emerged as a more coherent global community. The sense is as strong as I have seen it. There is a sense of clarity about our purpose and how we want to conduct ourselves,” he says.
Jennings says the most important decision Monitor made the last few years was to make its primary focus understanding how the global recession and financial crisis affected its clients so the firm could better help them deal with the specific challenges and problems they were facing.
“We worked with them to simultaneously consider the present—what they needed to do to survive in the short term—and what actions they needed to take to gain the capabilities to thrive in the future, to find opportunities and to take advantage of these tumultuous times,” Jennings says. “We want to shape the future, help our clients create more value, address their most profound challenges, and seize their most remarkable opportunities.”
To that end, Jennings says the firm has three big priorities going forward: The first priority is to continue delivering on its stated purpose. “We exist to have a profound impact globally through our clients, and through them, to create new value in a dynamic world.” The second priority is to continue to attract and develop the best people. “We want our people to have opportunities to make a difference in the world by serving clients in extraordinary ways.” The third, he says, “is to accelerate our firm’s growth as we continue to do exceptional work for our clients around the world.”
As far as the Best Firm award, Jennings says it is an affirmation of something Monitor has always known: “Our people are remarkable and the client work they do is high-impact,” he says. “This recognition, coming from our own employees, validates our recent increased investment in their professional training and personal growth—an investment we plan to continue.” Q&AOn the Best Firms to Work For survey, Monitor scored highest in the areas of Culture, Client Engagement and Firm Leadership.
Consulting asked Stephen Jennings, Managing Partner for Monitor, why the firm excelled in these areas. His response follows.Culture
“There is a basic humanity about Monitor. We don’t tend to bracket or categorize people. We do treat people as individuals. It is in our DNA. We have a culture that assumes everyone has some potential greatness in them, and we try to enable people to discover their greatness. We also have a culture that is based on an extraordinarily high level of openness, honesty, and feedback. People tend not to be surprised by their performance evaluations because we
systematically give honest feedback.” Client Engagement
“We have a foundation of deep devotion to our clients. We develop a deep empathy for what our clients are facing. One of our clients recently told us we were different because we joined him on a journey, rather than wishing him well on a voyage. We never lose sight of the fact that the work we do is the client’s work, not ours. And we know that when we do fantastic work, we are not the hero, but rather catalysts and enablers. The client is the hero.”Leadership
“Our leadership made two important commitments to our colleagues throughout the firm in the past few years. The first was to increase our investment in our people through the Human Assets Initiative, which provides enhanced training, world-class mentorship, and meaningful, accelerated career paths. The second was our Purpose project, a firm-wide program we launched to rededicate our global professional community to shaping the future by helping clients create new value in a dynamic world.”—J.K.