The New Professional Service Firm
The authors of this book alert that professional services like law, accountancy, and consultancy firms are set to face major disruption. The most important driver and enabler are the new technologies that help and in part substitute the work done by professionals. The second important disruptor is the new generation of professionals - "NewGen" - who are less interested in building their careers in a hierarchical organization and more interested in entrepreneurial challenges in small teams, with more rapid returns. In the meanwhile, major service conglomerates - the "big four" accounting firms, the "big three" consulting firms to name a few examples - build their network using their brand and substantial resources. All along, the relentless pressure from clients to receive more services at lower cost continues. Medium-sized professional firms as well as one-person independents appear to suffer most from these disruptions and are most anxious to find new ways to conduct their business. But the leaders of large firms also feel that they are increasingly unable to support the innovative entrepreneurship of their most promising professionals while their organizations institutionalize and their overheads continue to grow. This book proposes a new orientation and model of a professional service firm as an answer to these challenges, by creating a Professional Service Community. It is a synergistic team of organizations that share a vision of their role in society and main lines of their mission as well as the quality of their deliverables and their key clients. At the same time, they are independent in designing their internal business models - like recruitment, training, knowledge management, and economics. The Professional Service Community provides a unique and highly attractive level of entrepreneurship, flexibility, and efficiency to the benefit of its clients, partners, staff, and other stakeholders. It is the way of the future.
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