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The Beatles Principles: Lessons in Innovation and Client Loyalty from the Most Successful Band in History

Andrew Sobel New Headshot 2014

By Andrew Sobel, Big4 Guest Blogger

The Beatles sold over one billion records and forever changed the face of pop music. As a team, they were able to create a whole that was greater than the sum of the parts. Together, they composed better music than they ever could have or did as solo artists. What did they do to accomplish this, [...]

Specialists Do Better Than Generalists. But Deep Generalists Do Even Better.

Andrew Sobel New Headshot 2014

By Andrew Sobel, Big4 Guest Blogger

The new wisdom is: Become a visible expert in a niche. If you do you’ll command high fees and be sought after. You’ll get noticed. You’ll out-compete generalists.

All true.

But even more true is this: Add some breadth to your depth, and then you’ll really shine. I call it the deep generalist. (Actually, someone else suggested [...]

What consultants fear most about getting healthy

Shelley Churchill

If you are a career consultant with a large firm you know that work-life balance doesn’t really describe the situation.

Your context is much more complex, it’s something I call work-work-life balance. As a consultant you really have two jobs: your client work, which always takes top priority, and your company duties, which take priority on demand from the company – at [...]

Six Rules for Evoking Curiosity

Andrew Sobel

By Andrew Sobel, Big4 Guest Blogger

In the 1987 movie Wall Street, Charlie Sheen plays a young, ambitious broker named Bud Fox. He goes to see Gordon Gekko, a renowned financier–played by Michael Douglas—to pitch him stock ideas. At every turn, Gekko rebuffs him, telling him his ideas are either old news or just plain bad. Rejecting his final idea, Gekko [...]

EY reports strongest 1Q for aggregate deal value in 14 years at US$66.6b.

Joe Steger

By Rob Starr,, Content Manager

EY’s Global technology M&A update: January– March 2014, highlights the sector’s still accelerating pace of change in which multiple big-ticket deals and one megadeal reinforced long term strategic bets in Q1 2014. Joe Steger, Global Technology Industry – Transaction Advisory Services Leader at EY, took the time to respond to some written questions and shed [...]

Eight Client Listening Strategies You Can Implement Today

Andrew Sobel

By Andrew Sobel, Big4 Guest Blogger

Many executives tell me, “Of course we listen to our clients—we see them every week!” But those day-to-day interactions, while important, do not yield the kinds of in-depth information and feedback you need about your clients’ evolving needs and their perceptions of your relationship.

Here are eight ways you can start listening more systematically and deeply [...]

MoneyTree report sees Q1 dollars in software companies reaching $4 billion for the first time since Q4 2000

Mark McCaffrey

By Rob Starr, Content Manager

Mark McCaffrey, global software leader and technology partner at PwC, walks us through  the MoneyTree™ Report from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) and the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA), based on data provided by Thomson Reuters.

1. What’s behind the great numbers for the software industry?

The Software industry continued to get the most funding with $4 billion [...]

Seven Ways to Connect With Someone Older Than You

Andrew Sobel

By Andrew Sobel, Big4 Guest Blogger

It’s not uncommon to find yourself working with a client who is quite a bit older than you. You might be a 35 year-old woman, for example, who needs to build a relationship with a 60 year-old chief financial officer who is male. It may seem, on the surface at least, that you have very [...]

The Final and Most Important Step in any Relationship

Andrew Sobel New Headshot 2014

By Andrew Sobel, Big4 Guest Blogger

In December, my father went to bed and did not get back out. He was 96—about to turn 97. He was in fairly good health and of sound mind. No, better than that: His mind was still razor sharp. He was a decorated WWII combat physician and a noted pioneer in 20th century psychiatry, his [...]

This Move Can Transform a Client Relationship

Andrew Sobel

By Andrew Sobel, big 4 Guest Blogger

On November 26, 2008, Citigroup executive James Bardrick was having dinner with the CEO of a major client at the Royal Oberoi Hotel in Mumbai, India. At the time, Bardrick, an old client of mine, was one of the heads of Citi’s European and Middle Eastern banking business. He and the CEO had traveled [...]

The Seven Deadly Sins of Client Advisors

Andrew Sobel

By Andrew Sobel, Big 4 Guest Blogger

Executives tell me it’s not easy to find an advisor with the right balance of experience, expertise, relationship skills, and client orientation. That’s not surprising. It’s a difficult role to pull off well. There are also lots of bad habits that professionals fall into when it comes to serving clients.

Here are seven types [...]

Should You Trust First Impressions?

Andrew Sobel New Headshot 2014

By Andrew Sobel, Big 4 Guest Blogger

A large body of research shows that when we meet someone for the first time, we make judgments about their trustworthiness and competence in a fraction of a second. We do this based on a variety of clues, including physical appearance, facial characteristics, posture, gestures, and so [...]

The Ten Habits of Terrible Listeners

Executive on phone

By Andrew Sobel, Big 4 Guest Blogger

You’re probably not as good a listener as you think you are.

In fact, most people are poor listeners. What’s worse, as we get older and more experienced, it actually gets harder to listen. In any area you may work in, there are a limited set of problems that you will encounter. Once you’ve [...]

“Materiality: What Is It Costing You?”

busniess #5

Beth Berk

By Beth A. Berk, CPA, CGMA, Independent Recruiter

For those of us who were trained while working for a public accounting firm (and for those still in public accounting), does the word “materiality” ring a bell? Is it just me or are YOU also experiencing the same in terms of the materiality of mistakes that are made these [...]