The markets that professional service firms work within are unsettled. Historically, firms have achieved high levels of profitability simply by doing good work and being highly responsive to client needs. Although these fundamental requirements have not changed, professional firms are facing four additional and significant challenges.
- Increased volatility and flat demand for core services
- Structural disruption from automation of services and increased us of artificial intelligence capabilities
- Increasingly professionalised procurement and buying of services
- Increasing competition for both talented people and valuable clients
In our market analytics and working with the partnerships of over 400 professional service firms, we’ve reached two simple conclusions.
- The first is that a firm’s success is dependent on a clear vision and a clear strategy that are fully aligned and differentiated in the market. Crucially its leaders need to act to align their firm’s direction, strategy, commitment and ability to execute. This is a substantial challenge for many leaders, but not an insurmountable one.
- Secondly, that every partner and leader should have a good practical understanding of how their firm makes money. The costs of service delivery, the different business models employed, how to manage and manipulate margin return on work done and critically, how to adapt to a changing market.
We organise workshops and seminars to help firms and their leaders to better understand their markets, create and adapt their strategies and manage the commercial development of their businesses, addressing issues such as like:
- What do clients want? Trends and preferences in the buying of professional services
- What is strategy in a professional service firm? How do you build one? How do you execute one?
- Future firms; current and future trends in the growth and development of professional firms – what will the firm of the future look like?
- Practice and line-of-business profitability
- Strategic alignment and strategic execution
- Leading change and performance improvement
- The strategic leadership of talented people and teams
Our programmes run between a few hours to multi-day events and use a variety of formats, including discussion based learning, case studies, presentations and the use of “Practice Clients” – people who occupy the buying position in real life, who can share their experiences and insights of how the firm can improve.
All programmes include the opportunity for after care – supporting leaders in putting their ideas into practice through coaching, mentoring and group sessions to share their learning and experiences.