Patrick McKenna is an internationally recognized authority on professional service firms, Patrick McKenna has, since 1983, worked with the top management of premier law firms around the globe to discuss, challenge and escalate their thinking on how to manage and compete effectively. Patrick is the author of a pioneering text on law firm marketing, Practice Development: Creating a Marketing Mindset (Butterworths, 1989), recognized by an international journal as being "among the top ten books that any professional services marketer should have."
His subsequent work includes Herding Cats: A Handbook for Managing Partners and Practice Leaders (IBMP, 1995); and Beyond Knowing: 16 Cage-Rattling Questions To Jump-Start Your Practice Team (IBMP, 2000).
A prolific writer on the challenges of firm leadership, his book (co-authored with David Maister) 'First Among Equals: How to Manage a Group of Professionals', (The Free Press, 2002) topped business bestseller lists in the United States, Canada and Australia. It has been translated into nine languages; is currently in its sixth printing; and received an award for being one of the best business books of 2002.
Leaders across various professions like Kenneth LeStrange, Chairman of Aon Risk Services; Douglas McCracken, CEO of Deloitte Consulting; Claudio Fernandez Araoz, Executive with Egon Zehnder and Partners; and Allan Koltin, President of the Practice Development Institute have described the book as 'the essential guide to practice group leadership.'
In 2006, McKenna's e-book First 100 Days: Transitioning A New Managing Partner (NXTBook) earned glowing reviews and has been read by firm leaders in 63 different countries. This publication culminated in Patrick being asked to conduct a one-day master class for new firm leaders currently held at the University of Chicago. Thus far over 60 new firm leaders from major legal, accounting and consulting firms have graduated from the program. According to Hugh Verrier, Chairman of White & Case: "I was struck by the synthesis of the issues you presented. It was amazingly clear and comprehensive given the breadth of the topic and the short time available. I was delighted to attend the event and I learned a lot from it."
According to Of Counsel: "McKenna knows a thing or two about the concerns of managing partners. He has written a book about law firm leadership transition. In addition for the last two years, he has conducted seminars to prepare incoming leaders about their what they should expect of their new roles and how they might best meet those demands." (2008)
The book Management Skills (John Wiley) named McKenna among the leading thinkers in the field of management together with Peter Drucker and Warren Bennis; and in 2008, In The Company of Leaders included his work amongst notable luminaries like Dr. Marshall Goldsmith.
His newest book, Serving At The Pleasure of My Partners (Thomson Reuters) was released in 2011. McKenna's published articles have appeared in over 50 leading professional journals, newsletters, and online sources; and his work has been featured in Fast Company, Business Week, Forbes, The Globe and Mail, The Economist, Investors Business Daily, The Financial Times, LegalBusinessWorld and he is a regular columnist for Of Counsel: The Legal Practice and Management Report.
McKenna has lectured on professional service management and marketing for the Canadian, American and International Bar Associations; the Canadian Tax Foundation, the International Union of Lawyers, the Institute For Law Firm Management, The Institute For International Research, the Society for Marketing Professional Services, Centaur Conferences Europe and the Financial Times Of London.
He is a frequently requested speaker, having appeared in London, Geneva, Vienna, Munich, Marrakech, Istanbul, Singapore, Hong Kong, New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and Toronto for professional conferences and symposiums.
McKenna did his MBA graduate work at the Canadian School of Management, is among the first alumni at Harvards Leadership in Professional Service Firms program. He has served at least one of the top ten largest law firms in each of over a dozen different countries.
His work with North American law firms has evidenced him serving at least 62 of the largest NLJ 250 firms. His consulting expertise was acknowledged in 2008 when he was identified through independent research compiled and published by Lawdragon as one of the most trusted names in legal consulting and his three decades of experience in consulting led to his being the subject of a Harvard Law School Case Study entitled: 'Innovations In Legal Consulting' (2011). McKenna is most often brought in to work with firms on issues associated with setting a strategic direction and meaningful competitive differentiation; initiating change; instilling client service excellence; and developing systems for effective firm governance and leadership succession.