Member Firms Consulting Organizations

Member firm consulting organizations are a particular form of strategic alliances.  They are typically multi-member, independent companies who have chosen to work together in a closely aligned and tightly integrated framework agreement.

Member Firm Consulting OrganizationsSuccessful membership firm models require much closer collaboration than most forms of alliance agreements.  For example, does your alliance framework encourage activities beyond deal-making?  Everyone is on-board and motivated when there is an opportunity to bid together and win a new project but what about all the work upstream to make this process run smoothly and effectively before the fire drill?

The most famous member firm organization in the professional services world is probably Deloitte.  Most people do not realize that Deloitte is simply an umbrella brand under which thousands of consultants in many independent firms throughout the world collaborate.

Member firm consulting organizations have many advantages over the extremes of totally integrated firms and loose associations with only occasional links:

  • For your clients
    • a deeper reservoir of subject matter experts to solve complex issues
    • a broader geographic coverage to provide value wherever it is needed
    • a library of best practices across industries and functions
  • For your consultants
    • an international team of experts to share project experience
    • an environment for cross-training of mulch-functional teams
    • a sense of belonging to s global team of business and academic leaders
  • For your organization
    • centers of excellence shared globally and leveraged locally
    • collaborative interactive marketing solutions
    • true alliance partnerships governed by a neutral third party

A member firm organization for independent companies requires an agreement and governance model which allows its member firms to share as much as possible without ingerences.  Sharing tools and methods can be a good way to start.  This approach requires minimal initial effort and everyone is eager to showcase their best examples of successful project work.

Integrating brand and marketing strategies becomes more complex within most member firm organizations, at least for professional services companies because the member firms are often independent owners and operators of their companies.  They are proud of their home-grown brands and logos.  Their positioning reflects years of hard work in their local markets and there is a strong emotional attachment to the name and reputation.

The member firm model is most successful when its associates can agree to integrate and leverage shared cultures and platforms at an acceptable speed for all its member firms.  We see the complexities inherent in this exercise in political member firm organizations such as the United Nations or the European Union.  Private firms are less visible and the problems are less complex, but they share many of the same difficult choices as they band together in tight alliances and call themselves a member firm organization.

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