Jay Laabs Huron Consulting Group Excellence in Leadership
Huron’s Jay Laabs’ approach to work and firm culture was ingrained in him from the time he was a child. His late father, who also worked in professional services during his career, once told him that he did his job because he wanted to make people’s lives better. It’s a memory that has stuck with Laabs throughout his life and shapes his career to this day.
Laabs founded and leads Huron’s Enterprise Performance Management & Analytics (EPM&A) practice, which, with 42 percent year-over-year revenue growth in 2015, was Huron’s fastest-growing practice last year. In a testament to Laabs’ leadership philosophy, the EPM&A practice has the lowest turnover rate company-wide and the highest employee engagement score, both across Huron as well as compared to other companies.
Laabs says the success of the practice, particularly its evolution over the last year, is one of his proudest achievements. “The EPM&A practice has transformed into a much broader technology practice over the last 12 months. We have expanded our capabilities, both organically and through acquisition, to better serve our clients who are migrating to the Cloud or with their comprehensive technology and analytics needs. Today, we are driving greater innovation in our solutions, operating in new countries and expanding our technology partnerships,” he says.
He also cites the successful integration of his former company, Blue Stone International, into Huron in a 2013 acquisition as a major point of pride. “Most entrepreneurs focus on the sale of their company, but I, along with the Blue Stone leadership team, stayed focused on the integration and how, with the support and resources of Huron, we could accelerate the execution of our strategic plan,” he says.
Seeing personal and career growth for Huron’s consultants and the subsequent impact on their families and communities is a strong motivating force, says Laabs. “I have been working with some of my colleagues for the past 20 years, and I have had the pleasure to participate in many facets of their personal and professional lives. It is inspiring to watch our team grow as our business expands as the business growth offers more development opportunities and career paths, driving deeper excitement and engagement amongst our team.”
Laabs calls winning the Top 25 Consultants award confirmation that Huron consultants are doing right by their clients and their people. “We are consistently delivering value to our clients in a rapidly evolving world, and our offerings are evolving in order for us to provide the best solutions to our clients. Our consultants are growing their skills and careers, and we are building an amazing company that the best talent in the industry wants to be a part of. And, on top of it all, we are still having a lot of fun doing it.
What do you enjoy most about the consulting profession?
“The continuous education. We have an incredibly intelligent team as well as the opportunity to work with many innovative CFOs and CIOs and their teams. With the pace of change occurring in and around technology, surrounding yourself with the right people is paramount for continued success. I look forward to being challenged by my team and our clients on a daily basis to push the limits of what is possible.”