We recently worked in partnership with the Financial Times on a project to develop a comprehensive new framework for understanding ‘commerciality’.

This important skill is vital in many sectors but this particular piece of work was on behalf of a global professional services firm; where understanding the client, their strategy and objectives and the context in which they operate enables advisors to provide the best possible service.

And commerciality is something that clients want to see too, with 75 percent* requiring their professional advisors to know their organisation’s strategy and plans.  But how can this skill of commerciality be defined in a way that enables it to be both effectively assessed and developed?

The first step was for us to recognise what commerciality is and so we devised a Commerciality Framework that enables organisations to define and develop commercial awareness.  This goes beyond the traditional knowledge based criteria and incorporates the skills and behaviours critical to being able to apply and deliver that knowledge to good commercial effect.


This deeper understanding of the contributing factors to commerciality could be a useful additional to existing competency frameworks for appraisals or even a measure that is incorporated into the selection process. The more effective organisations can be in measuring and developing the commerciality of their advisors, the more successful they could be in achieving broader business objectives.

Our longer term goal is to be able to identify a way to measure the nature of commerciality at different levels in professional services firms. For graduates, for example, that core trait of intellectual capacity – the knowledge already acquired and the ability to acquire new information – is important; but by partner level the emphasis is more on the traits that allow a person to apply that knowledge.

Dr Máire Kerrin from WPG, said: “This was a fascinating piece of work, that really sought to understand what commerciality is and how it manifests itself in the workplace.  The outcomes have the potential to positively impact an organisations success at winning new business and client engagement and retention.  We are actively seeking to engage with organisations to further understand how commerciality could be effectively incorporated into existing selection and development processes”

Please click on the link below to learn more about how WPG collaborated with the Financial Times.

FT Commerciality Framework

*‘Effective Client-Adviser Relationships 2012’ was a piece of work commissioned by the FT in collaboration with Meridian West