'On Becoming Extraordinary - Star Professional Service Firms' reveals the strategy of the world's best professional service firms (PSFs). The book is based on a 5-year research study and takes the reader deep inside the workings of the peak of the pyramid. It is a contemporary classic of managing PSFs. 'On Becoming Extraordinary' is a close-up, real-life look at the art of managing and leading professional service firms. Why do some PSFs prosper in extraordinary fashion, while others fail to do so? What do these 'special' firms do that makes them excellent? What makes them really tick? In developing my perspective on PSF excellence, I drew on the following sources of information and analysis: 1] interviews with senior officials of PSFs, 2] interviews with senior officials of client organizations, primarily members of management, advisory, and supervisory boards, 3] secondary research and archiving material, and 4] interviews, email exchanges, and telephone conversations with knowledgeable outsiders. 'Star', 'elite' or 'peak of the pyramid' PSFs are those firms that 1] categorized themselves as leaders in their industries. Furthermore, in each of the eight areas targeted in the study, I identified those firms that had consistently outperformed their competitors according to 2] client executives as well as 3] peers. Based on these criteria, my analyses led to the selection of 116 star PSFs categories in alphabetical order]: 7 accounting firms; 17 advertising agencies, market research firms, public relations/marketing communication firms; 5 executive search/assessment/leadership consulting firms; 4 HR consulting firms; 22 investment banks, investment advisory services firms, investment management services firms, M&A boutique firms; 18 investment firms, private equity firms; 10 IT consulting firms; 18 law firms; 15 management consulting firms. To establish a comprehensive database, I surveyed the 116 firms in-depth and built detailed case histories of success stories. The practices of the peak of the pyramid are streets ahead of other firms. Star PSFs outperform most manufacturing and other service firms in everything that truly counts: reputation and presence, profits and total fee level, prominence and influence. 'On Becoming Extraordinary' describes the ways in which 116 of the world's best-known PSFs win. Success principles aren't just one aspect of the game; they are the game.
Pieter Klaas Jagersma is an entrepreneur, supervisory/advisory board member, and [guest/visiting] professor of business administration. After earning his Ph.D, in the early 1990s, he worked at McKinsey & Co., before accepting an offer to join Nyenrode as a senior faculty member. At age 29, he became the youngest full business administration professor in Dutch history [Professor of International Entrepreneurship]. He joined the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam faculty in 2000 [Professor of Strategy]. He is also a [visiting] professor at other Dutch and foreign universities and business schools. Prof. Jagersma is the author of various books and articles published in scientific journals, management magazines, and newspapers. His books have sold more than one million copies worldwide. He participates in many private and public sector initiatives, such as Tros Aktua Export [a Dutch TV show on export management], the Dutch Export Award [chaired by the Minister of Economic Affairs], and Holland's Young Captain Award [Holland's most reputable award for outliers in management]. He is supervisory/advisory board member at various companies such as Ricoh Netherlands, Rijk Zwaan, Egeria Investments, NRC Media Groep, Mirror Controls International [MCi], 3a Global Risk Management, CCIC, and ISA International. As the leading professor of international entrepreneurship and export management in the Netherlands, he also serves as a counselor to the Dutch government. He is featured in Marquis 'Who's Who in the World' as one of the world's leading achievers in his field. Pieter Klaas Jagersma received his B.S and M.Sc degrees from Groningen University [summa cum laude] and his Ph.D in economics from Tilburg University.