Making Work More Human - A Q&A with ex-KPMG Partners 11/6

A Q&A with Maggie Brereton and Ina Kjaer, ex-Big 4 Partners, shaking things up.

I have been told that “you are in consulting” when asked for a workday that is <10 hrs. But, consulting pay and benefits aren’t an anamoly anymore and it’s the norm. Do leaders recognize that?

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From my experience, I have noticed that there are teams notorious for employee burnout due to their demanding culture. Should those teams (higher management) be held accountable for the bad culture?

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I recently moved to industry because I felt I couldn’t sustain a consulting lifestyle and be the parent I want to be (contd)

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The interpersonal relationships I have built with clients have been key to success in some tricky projects. But it also demands great on-site presence, which damages home life. How do we balance the 2

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The only thing preventing higher attrition rates is being able to put the Big Four on your resume. How can we induce the firms to compete more for employees rather than work them to the bone?

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Could the Big Four's finances handle hiring more workers so that hours aren't as long, especially during busy season? If so, are the long hours just to make the partners more profit?

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Do you think that the work-driven culture in our industry is driven due to firms’ performance metrics centering around time rather than output? If so, how could you address this?

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I love this! I read about your new firm in the news and thought it was such an admirable idea. What made you decide to start your own consultancy rather than just leave for industry?

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Has being a woman hold you back in any way on your journey to partner? If so, how and how did you overcome it?

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Do you have plans or thoughts on work flexible working arrangements for consultants (e.g. less travel or more remote opportunities)?

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Would public accounting hours ever consider reducing non-busy season hours from 40 to maybe 30hrs to balance out the heavy busy season hours?

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How will you ensure your firm has diverse experiences and backgrounds melding into one firm culture without the birth of inter firm cliques and clubs? Curious about work life balance as well

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Any plans for a Canada team? :)

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What freedoms are you hoping to be able to provide your employees that Big 4 currently don't in your PoV? Does this look more like a flexible work schedule, competitive pay, better training, etc?

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Would love to work for you guys!

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Do you think it's feasible for firms to nix busy season hours and instead have a 40 hour work week with more temp hires? Any other recommendations of how to make that work?

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Why do consulting firms in particular seem to think it’s important to create a “culture” in the workplace? It seems so invasive and (forgive the obvious parallel) “cult-like?”

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Any ideas on how we can create change within our large firms?

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Does your culture-first approach factor into how you sell yourself to clients at all? Just trying to understand how that works for you from a business perspective.

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Is starting your own consulting firm really only something you can do after many years as a partner? I really like what I do, but not sure if I can do the lifestyle for the long haul.

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