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The Professional Service Firm Leader

Leading Clients, People & Work


The competitive pressures on partners, directors and principals of professional service firms have never been greater.

And as these pressures intensify further in the current economic climate, the temptation of many will be to focus on client-facing work rather than on the more challenging aspects of leadership and management.

How can you strategically differentiate and grow your practice? How can you nurture and develop your associates? How can you find the time to lead and manage your business and people effectively?

This programme will challenge you to explore the answers to these questions.

The approach

The Professional Service Firm Leader programme brings together leading business academics from the University of Cambridge with top consulting professionals with a wealth of experience in providing strategic, leadership and personal advice.

The result is a unique learning event which blends academic and practically based sessions to give you an in-depth understanding of the concepts of professional service firm management, coupled with the skills you need to apply those concepts in your daily working life.

It is our focus on implementation – in turning the concepts and research-based findings into specific actions that improve individual, practice and firm performance – that sets this programme apart. We recognise that firms from different sectors tend to face different issues in different ways at different times.


Programme content will cover key topics critical to the success of any professional service firm:

  • Integrated leadership and the motivational dynamics of professionals
  • Professional service firm strategies: practice segmentation; aligning the firm's practices, people and resources
  • Leadership styles: becoming an effective role model, coach and mentor
  • Client service: making your client teams even more effective
  • Leadership and values: the power of personal example; 
  • Leading and sustaining change in the firm: what really effective firms do to stay at the top


You'll learn from outstanding faculty and associates of Cambridge Judge Business School and experienced practitioners where you will build a network with other professional service firm leaders from firms across Europe and elsewhere in the world. 

  • Understand the practical significance of the elements in the integrated leadership model - setting direction, commitment and execution
  • Understand the strategic execution process
  • Understand more about your own role as a leader
  • Develop an understanding of effective leadership and management of teams
  • Practical case studies to identify principles and reinforce the learning
  • Gain practical concepts and frameworks
  • Translate frameworks into day-day business responsibilities

Who should attend

  • Professional Service Firm (PSF) leaders, directors and principals
  • Managing partners, members of partnership boards and other firm-wide management committees, practice area heads, industry sector heads, and those in line to take up such positions and responsibilities
  • Management consultants, accountants, lawyers, actuaries, engineers, architects, surveyors, physicians, public relations professionals, recruiters and others involved in professional practice
The courses with Cambridge Judge Business School have given new perspectives to our senior people and we have seen a new understanding develop of the skills needed to manage and lead the business more effectively.
David Morley, Senior Partner, Allen & Overy

Faculty & speakers

Mark de Rond

Mark de Rond

Professor of Organisational Ethnography

DPhil (University of Oxford)

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Ben Hardy

Ben Hardy

Fellow (Finance & Accounting)

PhD (University of Cambridge)

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Bill Mitchell

Bill Mitchell

Clinical Psychologist & Consultant, The Mitchell Practice

MA, PhD, Dip Psych

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Lionel Paolella

Lionel Paolella

University Lecturer in Strategy & Organisation

PhD (HEC Paris)

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Fiona Rice

Fiona Rice

Executive Coach

MA (University of Oxford)

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Mark Smith

Senior Advisor

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Philip Stiles

Philip Stiles

University Senior Lecturer in Corporate Governance

PhD (University of London)

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Programme Director

Guy Lewin Smith

Guy Lewin Smith

Fellow (Management Practice)

MA (Oxon), LLM

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Dates & fees

Dates Duration Fees *
1-5 December 2019 Sun eve-Thurs afternoon £5,720 + VAT
17-21 May 2020 Sun eve-Thurs afternoon £5,720 + VAT
29 November-3 December 2020 Sun eve-Thurs afternoon £5,720 + VAT

VAT is charged at the prevailing rate, which is currently 20%; e.g. £5,720 + 20% = £6,864.

* Fees include instruction, materials, welcome dinner at Cambridge Judge Business School, two college dinners and daytime catering. Preferential rates may be available for University of Cambridge alumni and members of the School's Alumni Association. Please note prices pre-registration are subject to change.

Four nights' bed and breakfast accommodation (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday night) is provided as part of the programme fee.

For information regarding payment terms, cancellation rights, transfer policies and fees, please see our terms & conditions documents:

Terms & Conditions for Self-funded Applicants (pdf, 233KB) (updated 31 January 2018)
Terms & Conditions for Organisation-funded Applicants (pdf, 250KB) (updated 31 January 2018)

Registration closes at midday two working days before the programme start date.

Participants are expected to attend the full programme.

If you have any questions or would like to have a chat about this programme and how it could benefit you or your organisation, please get in touch with the Client Relationship Manager:

Stacey Clifford

Client Relationship Manager
Tel: +44 (0)1223 339605



Stacey Clifford

Version 3.1 (4 July 2019)


5 days


1-5 December 2019
17-21 May 2020
29 November-3 December 2020

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