Analysis Group CEO Discusses the Growing Importance of Human Capital
From her first day with the Analysis Group consulting firm in Boston 21 years ago, Martha Samuelson YC '76 said, she was groomed for a leadership position. Within two years, Samuelson, now the firm's president and CEO, had been promoted to head of a business unit, she told an audience at Yale SOM on January 22.
Samuelson attributed her success at Analysis Group to the fact that she "really clicked" with the firm's founders, who recognized and mentored her leadership potential—a practice, she said, that is at the heart of the firm's mission today.
Speaking as part of Yale SOM's Leaders Forum lecture series, Samuelson shared her views on corporate culture and the growing importance of valuing human capital.
Dean Edward A. Snyder introduced Samuelson, telling the audience that, under Samuelson, Analysis Group has forgone many standard business practices. Snyder added that the firm does not rely on profit and loss statements as the litmus test for whether it is succeeding, and in fact produces only one annual statement. Instead, the emphasis is placed on high performance and professional development within an environment that advocates mutual respect, teamwork, and constructive feedback.
"They are profoundly important values to me," Samuelson said. Since Samuelson joined the firm, it has grown from 51 to 600 employees and opened multiple offices. Annual revenue has grown from $7.5 million to $260 million, she said.
Samuelson said that Analysis Group's priority on career development is part of a growing emphasis on human capital that she sees in business today. The change, she said, is being fueled by the demand for increasingly better-educated and skilled employees across sectors. Human resources professionals, as a result, play an increasingly vital and complex role in business today, Samuelson said.
After a discussion with Snyder, Samuelson answered student questions on topics including how to establish a mentor relationship, the pros and cons of public and private consulting firms, and the difficulty of establishing a single corporate culture when an organization has multiple offices around the world.
Asked how Analysis Group encourages business growth, Samuelson said the firm does not view growth as a top-down enterprise. Instead, she said, all employees are encouraged to become entrepreneurial champions, fueling growth within their own segments of the organization.