InterSolve Group... has made a business out of
promoting... alliances, working with chief executives to assemble teams from diverse sources to create new business opportunities."
– Reuters

February 2000

Interview with Ted McPherson, President and Chief Executive Officer, InterSolve Group, Inc.,

conducted by Heath Row, associate editor, FastCompany, on October 6, 1999

Ted’s the president of InterSolve, and he’s already relatively well-storied. Featured in Tom Peter’s book Crazy Times Call for Crazy Organizations and in a Business Week article on “virtual corporations”, InterSolve specializes in JUST-IN-TIME TALENT™, a wide-ranging consultancy-based approach to project team management. In one recent engagement, InterSolve organized four teams of 26 people from four companies to work on a project that earned the client company $14 million in 90 days. Ted and I talked about leadership, results, trust, and the value of talent. Here are some quick quotes:

  • “The technical function of a team is not as important as who the leader is. Good leaders are comfortable with themselves, and they can never have enough talent. Projects change. Teams change. Deliverables change. Relationships remain.”
  • “I’m always amazed by the results you can produce by leading the best available talent drawing on whatever source. There can be a huge return on human capital. Talent will out-compete methodology any time. That said, talent is always scarce. People are the only source of a sustainable competitive advantage.”
  • “What result does the client want? I’m going to bring talent disproportionate to the task to lessen risk and improve speed. We really focus on the result, what to do. I always ask, ‘What would I do if it was my company and I owned 100% of the outcome?’”
  • “Trust is very important. We believe in people. If you’ve really got trust, you can work wonders. Most of the time, I’ll take personal charge of almost 20 outcomes. Right now I’m leading more than 15 people working on 5 projects. If you have good, rigorous clients, you’ll make a good service firm.”