In a recent white paper on How to Identify a Niche Champion published by PKF North America, I was impressed by the list of competencies that they listed as critical criteria. As such, I thought you might want to consider this list of characteristics when you go about identifing the leader of your firm niches:
1. Has a team orientation - forming relationships and working well within the firm
2. Has a client focus - gaining good insights and feedback from clients to help shape the firm's niche strategy
3. Has influencing skills - able to to convince and inspire others on the team
4. Has the ability to build strategic relationships - the champion should be able to work strategically with clients, staff, and also with other centers of influence, outside of the firm, who also work within the niche
It was interesting to note that niche (specialty) expertise was not one of the key traits - but I think that is because it is inherent that the team leader have niche credibility, a passion for the niche, and a willingness to lead a niche team, focusing on niche training and education.
Selecting the rght champion has a significant impact on the future success of the niche. Good luck!
I will be away on vacation starting today and returning right after Labor Day, so let me take this opportunity to wish you all a wonderful, restful holiday week-end. When you return, though, get ready to buckle down and do some serious marketing and branding for your firm!