The 2015 Best Firms to Work For: North Highland


11. North Highland

Headquarters: Atlanta
Billable Consultants: 2,600
Client Industries Served: Energy & Utilities; Financial Services; Healthcare; Life Sciences; Manufacturing; Media, Entertainment & Communications; Public Sector; Retail & Consumer Packaged Goods; Transportation, Travel and Leisure
Consulting Service Lines:  Strategy

Since making its Best Firms to Work For debut back in 2007, North Highland’s stayed on the list—that’s nine years running—ever since. Of course, back then North Highland was just 650 employees. Today it’s four times that size and growth is definitely still on the agenda.

With the acquisition of ACME in Portland earlier this year, Dan Reardon, CEO of North Highland, says the firm is excited about growing its presence in the Pacific Northwest. Meanwhile, the merging of the two Seattle offices nearly doubles its size in the market, and having a new Portland office expands the firm’s reach on the West Coast even more.

“Additionally, we now have deeper expertise in supply chain, which opens the door with new and existing clients,” Reardon says. “Our strategy division is seeing tremendous growth and there is more opportunity on the horizon. We’re finding that clients value the advisory offering we bring, and trust us because of our strong track record of successful implementation.”

This year, North Highland also launched a new firm vision and refreshed its firm mission, Reardon says. The vision, Unleashing Potential Together, is about combining North Highland’s strengths, collaborating and always doing the right thing. “Through these actions, we empower our clients, colleagues and communities to reach new heights.”

Reardon says the new vision and mission, combined with the camaraderie that naturally occurs when employees get together, really ignited an excitement for North Highland and energized everyone to go out and do their best work.

Reardon says North Highland also rolled out new career paths and expectations that are now clearly defined and aligned with where the firm is headed. “Our career paths had not been fully updated since we were a $2 million firm, and now that we’re more than $400 million, we realized there was a need to make sure our consultants had a career path in place for advancement and a strong structure of performance management to help them get there.”

As far as being named a Best Firm to Work For, Reardon says it’s a reminder of why we all come to work every day. “We all have different goals, passions and ideas we want to pursue. Harnessing the incredible skillsets and attributes that each individual brings allows us to help each other succeed,” he says.

“It brings a sense of pride in our ability to attract high levels of experienced talent and also those who are newer to management consulting. This is what helps make North Highland unique and Best Firms to Work For is a good reminder to always invest in our values and remember who we are as a firm.”

Q&A: How would you describe morale at your firm and why? 

Dan Reardon, CEO of North Highland, says: “There is an overall spirit of teamwork and collaboration, along with a real sense of excitement about our future. We continue to evolve our culture and define what it means to us, but our values remain as strong as ever and are the foundation for all that we do. There’s also a feeling of immense opportunity, not only within the firm, but outside as well. More and more, North Highland consultants are being hired by our clients to take on in-house roles. While some might find this frustrating, we celebrate this as it’s a huge recognition of the quality of our talent, and I’m immensely proud of this fact.”

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