Harvard Law School professor brings “smart collaboration” to Galway

Dr Heidi Gardner

Dr Heidi Gardner

Dr Heidi Gardner, Distinguished Fellow at Harvard Law School, will visit NUI Galway this Tuesday, March 12 to give a keynote presentation on her best-selling book “Smart Collaboration: How Professionals and Their Firms Succeed by Breaking Down Silos” which was published in 2017 by Harvard Business Press and became a Washington Post bestseller.

Professional service firms face a serious challenge. Clients increasingly need them to solve complex problems – everything from regulatory compliance to cyber security, the kind of problems that only teams of multidisciplinary experts can tackle. Yet, most firms have carved up their highly specialised, professional experts into narrowly defined practice areas, and collaborating across these siloes is often messy, risky, and costly.

In Smart Collaboration, Dr 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 boundaries. Dr Gardner, a former McKinsey consultant and Harvard Business School professor, now 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. She also offers powerful prescriptions for how leaders in all types of organisations 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 siloes, and boost their bottom line.

Dr Heidi Gardner has authored more than sixty books, case studies, and articles. The 2nd edition of her book Leadership for Lawyers: Essential Strategies for Law Firm Success will be published in 2019, and she recently released Smart Collaboration for Lateral Hiring: Successful Strategies to Recruit and Integrate Laterals in Law Firms.

She has lived and worked on four continents, including as a Fulbright Fellow, and for McKinsey & Co. and at Procter & Gamble. She earned her BA in Japanese from the University of Pennsylvania, a Master degree from the London School of Economics, and second Masters and PhD from London Business School. She has been awarded an International Research Fellowship by Oxford University’s Said Business School and recently named by Thinkers 50 as a Next Generation Business Guru.

Heidi Gardner noted that she “is excited to share her research on Smart Collaboration in Galway, a city renowned for its creativity and dynamism”.

Dr Heidi Gardner’s keynote presentation, hosted by NUI Galway’s College of Business, Public Policy and Law, is on Tuesday March 12 at 6pm, in NUI Galway’s Human Biology Building. A free event, open to the public and prior registration is required at www.nuigalway.ie/mba


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