Firm of the Future

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The professional service firm is being threatened by a variety of factors: new technology, intense competition, consolidation, an inability to incorporate new services into a business strategy, and the erosion of public trust, just to name a few. At the same time, most experts agree that morale in the professional services sector is at an all-time low–an astonishing number of professionals respond in surveys that, if they had to choose their career over again, they would choose another line of work. What happened? How have the once distinguished and proud professions become so beleaguered, and is there any relief for those professionals who refuse to worship the capricious god of the almighty billable hour?

There is relief. And promise. And hope. In The Firm of the Future: A Guide for Accountants, Lawyers, and Other Professional Services, visionaries Paul Dunn and Ron Baker confront the tired, conventional wisdom that continues to fail its adherents, and present bold, proven strategies for restoring vitality and dynamism to the professional service firm. A cornerstone of Dunn and Baker’s program is conducting successful transitions to new services that customers value, treating functions such as consulting as extensions, not alternatives, to traditional services. This, however, is only part of a framework aimed at liberating professionals from mechanically pursuing billable hours ad infinitum. Dunn and Baker provide proven strategies for pricing in accordance with value and develop leading Key Performance Indicators that measure success the same way customers do. The authors articulate a new theory of the professional service firm that focuses on the real factors of leverage for the firm of the future, and which tosses the antiquated theory of leveraging people and hours onto the ash heap of history. Topics covered include:

  • Intellectual, human, structural, and social capital
  • Converting tacit know-how to explicit knowledge
  • Total Quality Service
  • Value Pricing
  • Strategic planning
  • Financial model reform

Readers will learn how knowledge has slowly but steadily evolved to become the most precious factor in creating wealth, and how firms can leverage this intellectual capital to their benefit. The authors include many real-world examples of firms that successfully transformed their operations from the traditional model into a variety of old and new services that customers value. Take up the mantle. The Firm of the Future dares its readers to not only assume responsibility for improving their own careers, but also for restoring their profession to its former glory.

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