This conversation is part of the series 'Conversation about Growth', an initiative of 4Future where we talk to business service providers about growth: what is their vision, what are the challenges, how do they deal with this, and what are their priorities for the future?
Growth to be able to do impactful assignments
Frank: “The morning has a strong growth ambition: our goal is to triple the turnover and number of employees within ten years. A third partner joined in 2016 to further shape the growth process. Important to note: growth is important, but not an end in itself. It is an important tool in the further development of the organization.
After all, it is our ambition to implement changes that have an impact on our customers, so help customers implement important organizational changes. These are often larger assignments for which scale is important. We have already seen in recent years that we are increasingly doing cool and impactful assignments. I still see enormous growth opportunities there.
So we think that content is more important than the simple fact that you triple your turnover. Actually, this tripling is a means to achieve our goal. ”
Morgens is a consultancy that gives organizations progressive power, so that they can continuously adapt to the changing requirements of the environment and are ready for the future. In the morning teams and organizations, in particular in the healthcare, government and education sectors, assist with, for example, Lean transitions, continuous improvement, increasing agility and digitization.
Biggest Challenges: Marketing and People
“Our challenge in achieving that growth is twofold: on the one hand, marketing and profiling is important in order to build brand awareness in the various markets in which we operate. Decision makers need to know who we are; we must be on the radar.
On the other hand, especially with the current economic growth in the Netherlands, it is increasingly challenging to attract good people to carry out assignments. At the moment we do not lack assignments, but we do have people to carry them out. ”
Recruitment and selection
“We are doing a good job in attracting people to us in a structural way and we see a constant stream of applicants coming our way. I think this has to do with our appearance. For example, if you look at our website, you will see that we are not a standard consultancy. I think people see and appreciate that. We are also quite active on Facebook and we use film a lot. ”
“But the market is starting to get tight, especially at senior level. I think we cannot avoid actively recruiting people through recruiters. In addition, we tend to recruit people from the sectors we focus on. For example by recruiting healthcare specialists from healthcare organizations.
We can teach people the substantive side of the profession, but the knowledge that people take with them, for example from government or healthcare, is something that you often need a little longer for. We therefore prefer to provide our people with intensive guidance on professional aspects, while they already have market and organizational knowledge.
We have a lot to offer people. We have excellent terms of employment, a nice team and with us you work for several clients, you look in multiple kitchens. The consultancy is very attractive for people who like variety.
We believe that our own employees can also play an important role in recruitment and selection. They have their own networks and come across all kinds of people at clients, so we encourage and motivate them to interest people to work at Morgens. ”
Intensive guidance and training
“We naturally train our people to achieve substantive growth. For example with our Morgens Academy and by intensively guiding our people on projects. Where necessary, we supplement this with external training. The starting point is that our people continue to grow and develop.
The strategic changes we have made should lead to some of our senior people continuing to grow, possibly as partners. In any case, they must play an important role in the further development of the company. As your organization grows, you also have to adjust the management. That is why we are also shifting things like customer ownership and managing - and guiding - our people. As partners, we can no longer do all three at a time. ”
Marketing and relationships crucial to growth
“Marketing, profiling, making yourself known in the market is really crucial. We are much more emphatic than before about specializing in markets. We also adapt our organization to those markets to further improve our visibility and expertise in these markets.
For us it is essential: how do you get to know people and how do you build relationships with people at decision-maker level?
We started organizing a number of events. For example, a customer journey we made with healthcare drivers to a specialized hospital in Hamburg. These are very good initiatives to get to know each other well and to build relationships. "
"A lesson we learned: Marketing is quite complicated. The question 'how can you best reach your target group' is and remains a difficult one. And once we know the people, we manage very well to maintain that network and maintain the relationship The big question is: how do you make the network grow?
My advice is: don't invent that wheel yourself. Marketing is a profession. If you outsource things to specialists, things will be easier. This also applies to recruitment and selection: specialists already have a network and know that profession. As a result, they will have to invest less time and effort, making it easier - and ultimately cheaper. ”
“To achieve our growth goals, we need to do a number of things. The most important thing is the market: we cannot grow if there are no assignments, so in the markets in which we operate, we must work on name recognition and profiling.
In addition, the team must grow and we must ensure that our people are very good at what they do. So we must continue to train and take them with us, so that they also grow in content.
We do a lot for our customers in the field of continuous improvement. We want to ensure that this continuous improvement concept is also completely in our own genes. That is a continuous process that we have been working on for a few years now and continue with. ”
Commercial approach as a joint focus
“In order to achieve our growth goals, our people must be commercially active. That actually applies to everyone from junior level. "
At the same time, we don't really believe in the hard side. That is why we have abolished all our sales bonuses in recent years, because everything you do in that area leads to side effects. With a sales bonus, people will realize their personal goals instead of the Morgens goals, while we find the latter much more important.
We do have a general profit distribution, but we do not reward our people for individual sales. What we find much more important is how people work together, that we realize goals together, that those goals are also visible to everyone, and that we also think together about how we can achieve those goals.
This works very well, but it does not detract from the fact that we do of course encourage our people to be commercially active and to take steps in that direction. And also take ownership for customers who work with us. That's key. ”
About 'Conversation about Growth'
The growth of business services organizations is on the rise again after a difficult period. Nevertheless, growth remains high on the agenda. For example, because the growth is not going fast enough or not in the desired areas, or because it proves difficult to attract (and retain) good people to man the growth. Or because professionals lack the commercial skills and drive to make the most of growth opportunities. In addition, the sector is faced with many new developments in areas such as technology and revenue models, shortages on the labor market and changing wishes of 'millennials'.
'Conversation about Growth' is an initiative of 4Future in which we talk to accountancy and law firms and consultancies about growth: what is their vision, what are the challenges, how do they deal with this, and what are their priorities for the future?