September 19

The Importance of Shared Services in Building a Strong Firm

One of the lessons I’ve learned as an entrepreneur is pretty simple.

When you are building firms, you can unlock your potential if you are surrounded by people better than you.

This logic applies to shared services, which includes finance, human resources, information technology, legal, tax, real estate and more. Too often, entrepreneurs wait longer than they should to invest in this important function. But, it is this “delay” that can actually decrease your effectiveness and slow down your growth.

We want no part of that, of course, which is why we are pleased to announce that we are in the process of creating an A+ team in shared services.

Here is a description of our announcement from our news release:

The team, led by Chief Operating Officer Michael Gehb, consists of leaders in finance, human resources and information technology. The team provides expertise that also includes tax, real estate, legal and business operations.

“This isn’t our first rodeo, so we know the importance of building a services team that matches the acumen and experience of our founders early in our growth,” said Bob Pearson, Chair of The Next Practices Group. “A great shared services team unlocks value for our founders and, ultimately, for our clients.”

Gehb is responsible for all shared services activities throughout the Group. He was Vice President of finance, operations and enterprise initiatives for Omnicom’s Diversified Agency Services (DAS) team, as well as Chief Financial Officer for Porter Novelli.

Dina Kizhner, Global Director of Human Resources, is responsible for talent retention and recruitment within the Group. Kizhner has experience working with service-based firms in the financial industry, including High Bridge Capital Management.

John Morea, who was most recently Global Managing Director of IT for Real Chemistry, has joined as Global CIO of the Group. Morea previously worked as Director of IT for Havas Worldwide.

“Our mission is to provide our founders with a level of expertise that improves their decision-making,” said Gehb. “Whether it is forecasting or capacity analysis or ensuring we close the books on time, it is our job to drive efficiency and decisions, leading to more innovation and insights from our founder team.”

The Next Practices Group now consists of 180 team members working across its three major platforms: communications, marketing and public affairs. All teams are supported by leaders in data science and analytics, PESO media, content science and creation, digital transformation, and software and technology solutions.

“In the months ahead, you will see our teams build robust practice offerings in key areas, such as healthcare, and in societally important areas, such as Purpose,” added Pearson. “The best way to say it is ‘stay tuned.’”

The Next Practices Group was officially launched in January 2021. It has offices in Austin, Dallas, New York City, New Jersey and San Luis Obispo. The network of firms includes The Bliss GroupThe Next PracticeThe Next Solutions GroupNextTech CommunicationsRinger SciencesRocketSauce Media LabsBrain+Trust PartnersVictory CTO and ChangeX.

About The Next Practices Group

The Next Practices Group is a founder-driven collective of firms that work together creatively to solve problems, effectively use emerging technologies, and craft the right solution for each client. Firms within the collective specialize in communications, marketing, public affairs, security, software, analytics, social purpose and digital media. For more information, please visit

By Bob Pearson, CEO

Photo by Savvas Stavrinos on Pexels

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