Price: $13.99
(as of Dec 13,2019 11:13:44 UTC – Details)


A Washington Post Bestseller

Not all collaboration is smart. Make sure you do it right.

Professional service firms face a serious challenge. Their clients increasingly need them to solve complex problems―everything from regulatory compliance to cybersecurity, the kinds of problems that only teams of multidisciplinary experts can tackle.

Yet most firms have carved up their highly specialized, professional experts into narrowly defined practice areas, and collaborating across these silos is often messy, risky, and expensive. Unless you know why you’re collaborating and how to do it effectively, it may not be smart at all. That’s especially true for partners who have built their reputations and client rosters independently, not by working with peers.

In Smart Collaboration, Heidi K. Gardner shows that firms earn higher margins, inspire greater client loyalty, attract and retain the best talent, and gain a competitive edge when specialists collaborate across functional boundaries. Gardner, a former McKinsey consultant and Harvard Business School professor now lecturing at Harvard Law School, has spent over a decade conducting in-depth studies of numerous global professional service firms. Her research with clients and the empirical results of her studies demonstrate clearly and convincingly that collaboration pays, for both professionals and their firms.

But Gardner also offers powerful prescriptions for how leaders can foster collaboration, move to higher-margin work, increase client satisfaction, improve lateral hiring, decrease enterprise risk, engage workers to contribute their utmost, break down silos, and boost their bottom line.

With case studies and real-world insights, Smart Collaboration delivers an authoritative case for the value of collaboration to today’s professionals, their firms, and their clients and shows you exactly how to achieve it.



“[Gardner’s research] shows, unequivocally, the business and people benefits of collaboration…Far from being an added cost that clients will not pay for, it is the firms and individuals who do not address collaboration who are at the greatest risk of failing to grow, or even going out of business altogether.” — Journal of the Knowledge and Information Management Group (CILIP)
“This may be the best professional service marketing book for 20 years.” — Professional Marketer“[Gardner] explains that in the modern world clients increasingly demand a highly sophisticated service when seeking solutions to complex problems. Such issues demand interdisciplinary teams.” ― Forbes
“The book is persuasive and thorough… a good guide on collaboration and how to overcome the resistance of the solo player.” ― Financial Times
“[Gardner proposes] clear methods to help leaders promote collaboration in and between their teams, to improve the client experience and to attract and retain talent…. always with a view to ensuring that collaboration remains a useful tool and does not become an end in itself.” ― Business Digest (France)
“Gardner’s insights offer valuable guidance for any knowledge-based organization that needs to bring teams of people together to innovate, create, and implement complex business solutions… She also offers practical advice on issues such as creating the right compensation systems, knowledge sharing and collaborative technology platforms.” ― Developing Leaders
“a practical, research-grounded, book on collaboration.” ― CHOICE, the publication of the American Library Association
“… valuable material to those of us who recognise that incremental change is, in reality, more sustainable and valuable. And that getting better at this is not a nice-to-have, it is vital.” ― Legal Business magazine
ADVANCE PRAISE for Smart Collaboration:
Scott McDonald, President and CEO, Oliver Wyman Group―
“Drawing on deep analysis and case studies across organizations, Gardner has turned a tricky topic―how to collaborate and why―into a set of clear prescriptions.”
Jami McKeon, Chair, Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP―
Smart Collaboration makes a bulletproof case for why collaborating provides the best results for clients and just makes good business sense.”
Richard Susskind, coauthor, The Future of the Professions
“A remarkable blend of theory and practice, Gardner’s work on collaboration is at once rigorous and actionable. Backed by extensive empirical research, her book offers crucial guidance for professionals who want to deepen their relationships with clients, improve the service they provide, and increase their profitability―and that should be all professionals.”
J. Michael McGuire, CEO, Grant Thornton LLP―
“In Smart Collaboration, Gardner uses relevant case studies, sharp analysis, and straightforward writing to make this important point: well-structured collaboration among a firm’s professionals is the path to a more interesting, satisfying, and profitable future for those talented people.”
Matthew Layton, Global Managing Partner, Clifford Chance LLP―
“Gardner’s extensive and robust research, coupled with her trademark humor and warmth, make for a compelling insight into the myths surrounding collaboration while also offering some very tangible solutions to how collaboration can and should be embraced to most powerfully serve clients.”

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