Press Release – The Professional Alternative and theGrogroup Limited Enter Long-Term Strategic Content Partnership

Jun 9, 2023 | News

The Professional Alternative and theGrogroup are pleased to announce they have entered into a strategic content partnership.

theGrogroup will create content and share market intelligence to support the growth of the Professional Alternative platform and to further build on the breadth and quality of its content. This news follows the strategic content partnership with RSGi, the leading legal innovation consultancy, announced last week.


theGrogroup is a consulting firm focused upon the Professional Services sector that provides clarity on what organisations and their teams can do to drive performance, well-being, connection and engagement. The sector is under considerable pressure to manage and retain talent and build a sense of purpose that aligns with their diversity, cultural and resourcing strategy. theGrogroup provides clients with clarity around their alignment of people to strategy, supporting firms with strategic plan execution, culture alignment and development of their people. With unique solutions and insights built over 25 years working with the professions, the three directors (Paul Richmond, Kate Hennig and Alex Shacklock) have all had successful careers in large accounting firms providing clients with effective solutions to their critical cultural and people development challenges.

Their team deliver a range of partner, manager and associate development programmes that engage senior fee earners with others within their own firm to build confidence and the abilities and connections to solve client problems. Business Advisory skills are in short supply and theGrogroup has designed face-to-face and online solutions that enable staff to pick up skills and tools that will assist in how they develop client relationships.

theGrogroup has worked with some of the UK’s largest accounting firms and international networks, as well as many of the world’s largest legal firms, providing them with a range of solutions that cover the three main elements of firm performance:

  • Developing Partner, Manager and Associate performance to manage and engage teams
  • Business Development and Advisory to build stronger client relationships
  • Commercial Awareness and Billing Value

The company remains close to its clients and their markets with strong relationships across Managing Partners, L&D and HR in legal and accounting sectors to help identify challenges and provide solutions at the earliest opportunity.

Kate Hennig and Alex Shacklock have both created award-winning Development Academies for top ten firms in the past and in the current climate more and more firms are looking towards people development as a key element of a staff retention programme. Alex has also written the book Firm Principles: Simple Guidelines for Winning Professional Services Firms that provides Managing Partners and COOs with a toolkit with which to manage their teams and develop their culture in line with strong strategic plans. Paul Richmond has worked with the ICAEW and developed their Managing Partner programme and delivers keynotes to international audiences on a regular basis.

Paul also mentors their team of skilled consultants who have had experience in firms such as PwC, RSM, CapGemini, along with specialists who bring skills from outside the sector in resilience, psychology and project management.

theGrogroup have most recently developed resources to enable firms to more easily assess their culture in a simple and straightforward way so that they can understand what activities drive culture when you’re not in the office, to ensure staff remain motivated and engaged.

The Professional Alternative

The Professional Alternative is a subscription-based business acceleration platform launched by Derek Southall, Sarah Katherine Bagshaw and Steve Parrott – aimed at professional services firm leadership teams, offering business expertise, practical tools and best practice in the business of running a professional services firm.

Firms are under significant pressure to change how they deliver business support, to improve margins and to accelerate innovation – Covid-19 has increased the imperative to change. Simultaneously they face unprecedented technological change and a tsunami of new solutions. The Professional Alternative provides professional services firms with a central, trusted, curated, information resource and support platform that will help them to get things done – faster, cheaper and to the highest standard.

Subscribers will have access to a huge array of applications and resources, customised to their needs, including the latest thought leadership, peer content, market overviews and best-practice guides. Information will be delivered when, where and how users demand, across a variety of media.

The platform has already secured two rounds of investment.

We are delighted to be working with Sarah Katherine, Steve, Derek and their team at the Professional Alternative Group. The industry has never had such a need for cutting edge, short, sharp, tailored content that the platform provides and we are so excited to be part of that service. I believe this will shape the way that firms select and manage many of their back-office functions – and for those responsible for staff engagement and the L&D community this represents real progress in terms of what a firm can offer” said Paul Richmond, MD theGrogroup.


theGrogroup are phenomenal at what they do and we are delighted to be working with them. They have produced some of the very best content for accounting and legal firms and their reputation goes before them. They will add an enormous amount of benefit and value to the users of the platform” said Derek Southall, Co-founder of The Professional Alternative Group.

Notes to Editors: To arrange an interview with Derek Southall, Steve Parrott or Sarah Katherine (SK) Bagshaw or Kate Hennig from theGrogroup, please contact Thelma Spilka at [email protected]

Recent Posts

Lunch & Learn: An Introduction to Negotiation

In this session, we will cover: • What makes the perfect negotiator? • Structure of a negotiation • Where does the power lie? • Questioning skills • Dealing with the “dark side” of negotiating • Making the negotiation work

Time Management Tips for Senior Leaders

Time Management Tips for Senior Leaders

Time is a finite resource, and for senior leaders, it is one of their most valuable assets. It’s all very well seeing motivational quotes about us having “…the same 24 hours in our day as Steve Jobs and Rhianna”, but as the pillars of organisations, senior leaders face unique challenges that demand their utmost attention, often leaving them with limited time for their own strategic goals and personal well-being. Here are our pointers to help you on your way.

Top Tips for Writing ChatGPT Queries

Top Tips for Writing ChatGPT Queries

ChatGPT, and other large language AI platforms, are viewed by many as having miraculous powers of content generation. Yet, as with most things, the answer you get is only as good as the question you ask in the first place. Here are our top tips for writing queries that will deliver the results you want.