The 2016 Best Small Firms to Work For: Acquis Consulting Group

Sara Kerens, Acquis, 20134. Acquis Consulting Group

Following a one-year hiatus and a couple of No. 13 Best Small Firms to Work For finishes in 2014 and 2012, New York-based Acquis Consulting Group is back this year with a vengeance—climbing to No. 4 on this year’s survey.

Doug Locke, a Partner at Acquis says the positive team environment is paying dividends and it comes from Acquis’ ‘People First’ mantra, interesting projects, performance transparency, and a commitment from the entire team to create a great work environment.  “I am so proud of our incredible Leadership Team and our colleagues. People First thinking is deeply ingrained into each of us at this point. When we receive external acknowledgments, we believe them to be outcomes of the vigil we maintain improving our culture.”

Speaking of external acknowledgment, it’s been a pretty good run for Acquis. Earlier this year, they were also named one of Consulting magazine’s Seven Small Jewels.

As an example of People First, Locke points to a recent firm-wide trip to Bermuda to celebrate the firm’s growth. “We believe if you lead with good practices, good outcomes will bear out,” Locke says.

It’s that commitment to people that’s creating tremendous outcomes, he says. “We think about our people and clients in everything we do. While it’s easy to assume that good people will drive positive outcomes via good intentions, we think the real trick is to create adaptive structures that distribute ownership.

The firm’s efforts to drive partnership and ownership through creative client work drive these outcomes, he says.  “Our theory is if we are creative in the market and drive meaningful work that our clients find compelling, it stands to reason our client partners are going to be engaged and our colleagues will benefit from the experience,” Locke says. “Add some emerging growth areas being curated for the future leaders of Acquis, and we feel like we have a winning recipe.”

That growth includes expanding the office in New York and targeting important milestones in London and San Francisco. New partnerships and adjacent companies supported by Acquis leaders are also on the horizon, Locke says. “It’s going to be a busy time and it will test our constitution, he says. “We have become more nimble than we were in the past, which allows us to capitalize on market needs and support clients in innovative ways.”

For example, Locke says Acquis is finding ways to create digital assets and new tools to help clients with longstanding problems. “We have to deliver more than successful projects to compete, we are working to drive lasting outcomes.”

Q&A: What impact do you think being a Best Small Firm to Work For has on the firm? Employees? Clients? 

Locke: “The Best Firms recognition serves as a validation of success in our closely held leadership and teaming efforts. Starting with the most important nuances, it signifies to all colleagues that we are collectively fighting each day to make Acquis a better place to learn and grow. It validates to client partners, prospective clients, and recruits that we are attentive to needs and good business practices. It is a source of pride and affirmation.”

Stats Headquarters: New York Billable Consultants: 85 Client Industries Served: Healthcare, Communications and Media, Energy, Financial Services, High Tech, Manufacturing, Packaged Goods, Retail, Utilities     Consulting Service Lines: Strategy, Operations Management, IT



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