Trusted Advisor Program

Our renowned Trusted Advisor program is a six to nine month field and forum program that helps professional services firms develop their capabilities to build deep rapport with clients. The program provides an approach for assisting your consultants to develop their client stance from “expert” to “advisor”.

“Professional services firms today need to prepare their leaders to serve as trustworthy counselors as well as skilled problem solvers”


We see, as you do, that professional services firms today need to prepare their leaders to serve as trustworthy counselors as well as skilled problem solvers and technical advisors. Our focus in the Trusted Advisor Field and Forum program is on expanding the diagnostic lens consultants use to their client systems and widening the range of discussions being held with clients from providing expert recommendations to more broadly understanding their strategic issues and providing trusted advisor services. In essence transitioning from acting predominantly as “knowledge experts” to acting also as client partners offering wise counsel. In our experience fostering this shift in your consultants also involves a wider culture change within your broader organization.

The core methodology of the program is two column cases to help practitioners look at key client conversations both at the level of the dialogue itself (left hand column) as well as the underlying mindsets, assumptions, and reactions (the inner monologue captured in the right hand column) that shape the external skills they are using to drive the conversation. By working with real cases the entire program remains very applied and focused on key client interactions. At the same time, the use of the two column case methodology allows us a window into the individual and organizational mindsets that need to be addressed in the program.

We are proud to include in the faculty for the Trusted Advisor program some of the most senior practitioners in the field of organizational change and adult development including, but not limited to, Bob Putnam and Phil McArthur, founders of Action Design; Lisa Lahey, Associate Director at Harvard Graduate School of Education, Srini Pillay, Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School; and Erica Ariel Fox, Lecturer at Harvard Law School’s Program on Negotiation and Senior Advisor to McKinsey Leadership Development.

The method of the enterprising is to plan with audacity, and execute with vigor, to sketch out a map of possibilities; and then to treat them as probabilities.

Christian Nevell Bovee