A professional services value chain

Michael Porter’s famous value chain did NOT have me at hello. I’ve never found it a particularly valuable tool in crafting professional service firm strategy. Most firms don’t talk about “Inbound and Outbound Logistics” or have “Procurement” as a major support function. Distinguishing between “Operations” and “Service” in a service business is just plain confusing.

In the spirit of further developing the theory of the professional service firm, here’s my go at a professional services value chain…

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From collegiate to collaborative

Joel returns to The Dialogue with From collegiate to collaborative, an outstanding post adding to the growing understanding of how better collaboration creates competitive advantage.

With increasing competition from freelancers, boutiques and solo specialists, most professional service firms are realising that their primary source of competitive advantage is the ‘collective’. By winning and delivering together, they can offer things the one-person bands can’t. The edge is not from economies of scale, but rather in more holistic advice and lower client transactions cost. The value proposition is not cross-selling but integrated cross-practice problem-solving.

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7 key enablers of smart collaboration

In 7 key enablers of smart collaboration,  Joel Barolsky takes another angle to the topical theme of collaboration in BigLaw firms, following from Pam Woldow’s post on The Dialogue a couple of weeks ago. Joel’s post today sets out his views on execution and describes seven key enablers of smart collaboration…

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Is 2017 the year the fat smoker quits?

Eleven years ago David Maister published a brilliant article on the barriers to strategic change in professional service firms. In Strategy and the Fat Smoker, he stated…

Much of what professional firms do in the name of strategic planning is a complete waste of time, no more effective than individuals making New Year’s resolutions (to lose weight or give up smoking).

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Remaking partner engagement

‘Remaking Partner Engagement’ is the first post on The Dialogue by Joel Barolsky, our friend and colleague of many years. Today Joel addresses the thorny questions of partnership, performance, and pie-splitting.

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