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jerryking : professional_service_firms   53

Business Development Not-to-Do #5: Live In the Past | JD Supra Perspectives -
April 21, 2017 | JDSupra | by Mike O'Horo, co-founder of RainmakerVT. O'Horo has trained 7000 lawyers in firms of all sizes and types, in virtually every practice type. They attribute $1.5 billion in additional business to their collaboration. His latest innovation, Dezurve, reduces firms’ business development training investment risks by identifying which lawyers are serious about learning BD.]

If you’re seeing more competition for each engagement, greater pressure on rates, more involvement by professional buyers in the Purchasing Dept., and perhaps worst of all, longtime clients putting out RFPs for “your” work, your work has reached the Maturity stage of its Product Cycle. If you fail to change, you’ll ride a downward spiral until you can no longer make money on that work.

What is the product cycle?  Introduction ->Growth -> Maturity -> Decline. Revenue and profit follow a fairly predictable path through this cycle. Most buyers understand that, among the three forms of value -- Good, Fast, Cheap -- they can only have two. During the Introduction and Growth phases, they opt for Good and Fast. At Maturity, they favor Good and Cheap. At Decline, they may demand all three......

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Defending market share becomes the chief concern.
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At the maturity stage, sales growth has started to slow and is approaching the point where the inevitable decline will begin. Defending market share becomes the chief concern. Most lawyers don’t know how to do that other than by reducing their price to try to hold on to the work. Additionally, more competitors have stepped forward to challenge you for every engagement, and offer a lower price. This can touch off price wars. Lower prices mean lower profits, which will cause some wise lawyers to discontinue offering that service altogether. The maturity stage is usually the longest of the four life cycle stages, and it is not uncommon for a service to be in the mature stage for several decades. Whatever you’re experiencing now is also the future.

For quite awhile, lawyers who thought about this at all could be forgiven for believing that legal services were immune from this. After all, for more than 20 years, buyers and work were plentiful, and clients accepted annual rate increases of 6-10%. All that meant, though, was that legal services had a longer Growth phase than is normal. Even during that 20-year boom, many legal services declined in value and pricing power, to the point that many lawyers lost that business to lower-cost competitors, off-shoring, or to in-house legal staffs.
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You can’t justify investing in a declining asset.
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The symptoms cited in the opening paragraph are reliable indicators that it’s time to begin reducing your dependence on that work. You can’t justify investing in a declining asset.......One of the big factors causing price pressure in mature categories is decreased risk. The first time a company tackles a type of legal matter, the perceived risk is high. They want to get it done right, and quickly, so they’re less sensitive to cost and place greater value on expertise as a way to reduce risk.

After something has been done a number of times, the risk of getting it done right goes way down, so the perceived value of the service declines, and they no longer feel the need to pay the top lawyer in the game.......

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When risk and business impact declines, so does your access...
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Once the recipe is known, the risk declines and, along with it, the buyer’s willingness to pay a premium for the wizard practitioner.

When risk and business impact declines, so does your access. While the top people pay attention to unfamiliar matters with potentially high stakes, once the risk goes down, they delegate downward and move on to emerging issues that have greater risk and impact.
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associate yourself with a business problem that triggers demand for your expertise, and opens doors to those experiencing that problem.
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Just as it’s imprudent to invest in declining categories of legal matters, it’s a bad idea to hitch your wagon to a declining industry (unless you do Bankruptcy or Restructuring). Clients in mature industries experience the same increased competition, price pressure, and shrinking margins as you do. They’ll opt for Good and Cheap.

To avoid suddenly realizing that you’re in a tough spot such as described in the opening paragraph, focus on an industry. Become an industry expert, knowledgeable about their challenges and opportunities, and keep yourself well informed so you can recognize the early signs that your Door-Opener (the problem that drives demand for your service) is maturing and declining in significance. If you know what’s going on in the industry, you’ll know which problems to shift your association toward.

Always invest in emerging issues, preferably in robust, growing industries
cash_cows  decline  industry_analysis  law_firms  lawyers  life_cycle  industry_expertise  professional_service_firms  product_cycles  obsolescence  price_wars 
7 weeks ago by jerryking
Michael Ovitz, Hollywood super-agent, on ‘winning at all costs’
SEPTEMBER 28, 2018 | Financial Times | by Matthew Garrahan.

In Ovtiz's 20 years at CAA, it assembled hit after hit, including Jurassic Park, Tootsie, Goodfellas and Dances with Wolves. He talks about the agency as though describing a military campaign (he is a keen student of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War). “When I was at CAA, I had a singular mission, which was to win at all costs,” he says. “We were ultra-competitive and we were in a service business but my thesis was that we weren’t selling a product. We were selling and putting together people’s dreams . . . if we showed a weak link then we would be vulnerable. Vulnerability was a sin.”....Ovitz explains that the memoir evolved from an earlier idea about a book on deals. He played a leading role in the arrival of Japanese companies in Hollywood three decades ago, advising Sony on its 1989 purchase of Columbia Pictures and the sale a year later of Lew Wasserman’s MCA (later renamed Universal, and now part of Sky’s new owner Comcast) to Matsushita. Advising Japanese buyers was a strategic move, he explains. “If the studios are in trouble and going to go out of business, we lose leverage and our clients lose jobs. But if we can bring people in to buy the studios, not only do clients continue to get jobs but we’re the people talking to the owners.”...Ron Meyer and Ovitz
slowly built an empire, starting in television and moving into films, with the aim of representing every significant writer, director and star in town: “no conflict, no interest” was his mantra. It was a radically different model to what had come before. “Agents traditionally fielded orders, so if I was your agent and someone had a job, they’d call me and ask for you,” he says. “Or they’d tell me they had an assignment and, if you happened to be available, I’d pitch you.” Agencies were like “clearing-houses”.....that was archaic. You’re a writer, you’re loaded with ideas . . . why don’t we take those ideas and add elements to them and then sell the whole thing and let you control it? Why would we just wait to answer the phone?”.....Agents took on a more central role in Hollywood after CAA’s rise to power, assembling the composite parts of a film or television project before taking the “package” of script, star and director to the studios....."[Endeavour's] thesis is very similar to the thesis we had [at CAA], which is to expand into new areas that can service clients.”
actors  books  CAA  creating_valuable_content  dealmakers  deal-making  Hollywood  memoirs  Michael_Ovitz  professional_service_firms  Sun_Tzu  talent_management  talent_representation  vindictiveness  Lew_Wasserman 
october 2018 by jerryking
Why Andreessen Horowitz Models Itself After A Hollywood Talent Agency - Venture Capital Dispatch - WSJ
By DEBORAH GAGE
Jan 21, 2011

Andreessen Horowitz’s investors, including university endowments, foundations and funds of funds, are also betting big money on the firm’s story, Horowitz says. The firm aims to flip the venture industry on its head by acting more like a talent agency – specifically Creative Artists Agency, which became so prominent in Hollywood that it was hard to do deals without them being involved.

CAA co-founder Michael Ovitz, who served on Opsware’s board from 2000 until H-P’s acquisition in 2007, shared his secrets with the two partners, Horowitz said — even talking to Andreessen Horowitz’s employees when the firm started so that everybody could be on the same page.

Horowitz says he and Andreessen looked hard at everything Ovitz did, “and a lot of little things, we copied,” including even how Ovitz ran staff meetings.

Like CAA – and unlike more traditional venture capital firms – Andreessen Horowitz employs over 20 well-paid partners whose job is to help clients, i.e. the entrepreneurs, much in the same way CAA agents serve the talent.

Instead of book and movie and TV deals, the partners, each specialists in their fields, find engineers, designers, and product managers; the best marketing and public relations; and relationships with key customers – not just top management, but the guys who run the network and the database. They check references, and research companies and markets.

“When we were at Netscape, John Doerr introduced us to the CEO of AT&T,” Horowitz said. “That’s great, but he’s not buying a Web server. If you have no relationship at that level, it’s not as powerful, so we invest a lot in that.”...Like his firm, Horowitz believes every company should have a great story, too, because it motivates employees and helps explain the company to the outside world. “In a company, hundreds of decisions get made, but objectives and goals are thin,” he says. “I emphasize to CEOs, you have to have a story in the minds of the employees. It’s hard to memorize objectives, but it’s easy to remember a story.”
Andreessen_Horowitz  Marc_Andreessen  Ben_Horowitz  creating_valuable_content  Michael_Ovitz  CAA  partnerships  insights  professional_service_firms  talent_representation  storytelling  reference-checking 
march 2017 by jerryking
Law firms will pay price for failure to hold off hackers | Evernote Web
31 December/1 January 2017 | Financial Times | Brooke Masters.

"This case of cyber meets securities fraud should serve as a wake-up call for law firms around the world: You are and will be targets of cyber hacking, because you have information available to would-be criminals," Bharara said in a statement....Other professional services firms should take note. This is not the first time the industry has been hit by hackers who specialise in what is becoming known as "outsider trading"....Accounting firms that provide tax advice on mergers, boutique advisory forms, and consultants who weigh in on synergies and downsizing plans are almost certainly on the criminals' hit list....Professional service firms will not be so lucky. Banks and companies pay extremely high prices for outside advice. They expect professionalism and confidentiality in return. Getting hacked by a bunch of Chinese traders is hardly a strong recommendation of either.
Big_Law  Chinese  confidentiality  cyber_security  cyberattacks  hackers  hacking  law_firms  M&A  malware  mergers_&_acquisitions  Preet_Bharara  professional_service_firms  SEC  security_consciousness  securities_fraud  traders 
january 2017 by jerryking
Silicon Valley’s Undertaker: ‘We’re Anticipating a Major Fallout’ - PE Hub
August 10, 2011 By Connie Loizos.

The Sherwood team of seasoned business professionals provides founders, shareholders and senior executives with more than a report – we at Sherwood go beyond traditional tactics to help make decisions and implement plans that achieve exceptional results.
Silicon_Valley  professional_service_firms  restructurings  bubbles  start_ups  founders  management_consulting 
november 2016 by jerryking
The Similarities Between Building and Scaling a Product and a Company – AVC
August 15, 2013 | AVC | by Fred Wilson.

Once you have a successful product in the market, you need to turn your attention to scaling it. The system you and your team built will break if you don't keep tweaking it as demand grows. Greg Pass, who was VP Engineering at Twitter during the period where Twitter really scaled, talks about instrumenting your service so you can see when its reaching a breaking point, and then fixing the bottleneck before the system breaks. He taught me that you can't build something that will never break. You have to constantly be rebuilding parts of the system and you need to have the data and processes to know which parts to focus on at what time.

The team is the same way. Your awesome COO who helped you get from 30 people to 150 people without missing a beat might become a bottleneck at 200 people. ....
How you fix your system and how you fix your team depends on the facts and circumstances of the problem. There is no one right answer. The key is removing the bottleneck so the rest of the system can work again. ...It is harder to instrument your team the way you can instrument a software system. 360 reviews and other feedback systems are a good way to get some data. And walking around the company, doing lunches with managers who are one level down from your senior team, and generally being open to and available for feedback is the way you get the data. When you see that someone on your team has maxed out and the entire system is crashing as a result, you need to act.
Fred_Wilson  scaling  teams  professional_service_firms  bottlenecks  COO  instrumentation_monitoring  soft_skills  turning_your_team 
october 2016 by jerryking
If you want a good PR person, hire a soccer player -
AUGUST 26, 2014 | PRConsultants Group| By Margaret Nathan, Partner at Strategic Communication, Inc.

"...the best PR people are always the ones who know the playing field cold, the ones who know where all the bodies are buried and who can feel the space and timing of a great opportunity or a good story, who know the best people in the company from whom to get information and how not to hide, but to explain.

As Critchley writes, “Soccer is a collective game, a team game, and everyone has to play the part which has been assigned to them, which means they have to understand it spatially, positionally and intelligently and make it effective.” A good PR person or public relations firm operation is the same.

I frequently get asked from clients why isn’t my acquisition, my product, my company front-page news. Well now I can explain it. If you have the “product” and your company runs the “right formations to control the space” and your competitors are in awe, you probably have a great story.

Good PR people should be able to help your company run the “right formations” and structure the right timing and space around the company and then always be able to provide three to four options for the company to run with. While baseball is also a team sport, it is primarily driven by individual achievement. “The team who performs the most individual tasks well will probably win the game,” according to Brooks. But the question is can they win it for the long haul.

“Once we acknowledge that, in life, we are playing soccer, not baseball, a few things become clear. First, awareness of the landscape of reality is the highest form of wisdom. It’s not raw computational power that matters most; it’s having a sensitive attunement to the widest environment, feeling where the flow of events is going. Genius is in practice perceiving more than the conscious reasoning,” said Brooks.

So I would encourage everyone who is hiring a Public Relations firm to ask yourselves are these guys’ soccer players or a baseball team? If the PR firm or the PR person is not constantly re-evaluating your business, introducing you to new ideas and people to drive your business then go find someone who will. Go find a soccer player.
spatial_awareness  soccer  public_relations  wisdom  collective_intelligence  sophisticated  competitive_landscape  generating_strategic_options  professional_service_firms  long-haul  Simon_Critchley 
september 2016 by jerryking
Why law and accounting firms struggle to innovate - The Globe and Mail
Oct. 06, 2015 | The Globe and Mail | RYAN CALIGIURI.

Why is it that professional service firms, especially accounting and law firms, find it so difficult to embrace innovation in order to build a stronger future?...The biggest factor is that professional service firms are driven primarily by billable hours and any time someone is not billable they are seen as not adding value. This means that in order to innovate someone has to “stop adding value” by not being billable. There is far too much focus on “today” in professional service firms and not enough on the future – this mentality will continue to hold back firms and do more damage in the long run....Most professional service firms also don’t have a system for driving innovation in an efficient manner so they often waste a great deal of time getting caught up in details that don’t matter. ...Many of the law and accounting firms I worked with were doing very well so they didn’t see a need to innovate. ....Firms are often not good at implementing new services or products, they don’t have a culture that supports, fosters, or encourages innovation, and they are often too smart for their own good and get overly complex with their innovation initiatives......First, a firm’s overall corporate strategy needs to incorporate an element of innovation as one of its top long-term goals. Without a strategic focus and investment in innovation, any efforts will often fall flat as they will be approached loosely or in a silo that eventually gets overtaken by billable work.....Next, get a quick win by surveying or researching your client’s business, their industry, and even their own clients. Looking deeper into your client’s business and understanding their problems and opportunities will help you find ways to add value through a new product or service and will enable your firm to get off on the right foot.....Insights from clients can drive new products, services and systems that will fill a need.
However, professional service firms that are looking for a leap in innovation need to go beyond customer insights and explore future trends, industry experts, and, yes, even patent databases for further stimulus to drive new ideas.
This is the difference between firms that innovate and those that die. If you’re in a professional service firm and believe that there is no threat, quite frankly, you are crazy to think so.
innovation  professional_service_firms  law_firms  quick_wins  accounting  challenges  billable_hours  complacency  disruption  Ryan_Caligiuri  silo_mentality 
october 2015 by jerryking
The Mind of Marc Andreessen - The New Yorker
MAY 18, 2015 | New Yorker | BY TAD FRIEND.

Doug Leone, one of the leaders of Sequoia Capital, by consensus Silicon Valley’s top firm, said, “The biggest outcomes come when you break your previous mental model. The black-swan events of the past forty years—the PC, the router, the Internet, the iPhone—nobody had theses around those. So what’s useful to us is having Dumbo ears.”* A great V.C. keeps his ears pricked for a disturbing story with the elements of a fairy tale. This tale begins in another age (which happens to be the future), and features a lowborn hero who knows a secret from his hardscrabble experience. The hero encounters royalty (the V.C.s) who test him, and he harnesses magic (technology) to prevail. The tale ends in heaping treasure chests for all, borne home on the unicorn’s back....Marc Andreessen is tomorrow’s advance man, routinely laying out “what will happen in the next ten, twenty, thirty years,” as if he were glancing at his Google calendar. He views his acuity as a matter of careful observation and extrapolation, and often invokes William Gibson’s observation “The future is already here—it’s just not very evenly distributed.”....Andreessen applies a maxim from his friend and intellectual sparring partner Peter Thiel, who co-founded PayPal and was an early investor in LinkedIn and Yelp. When a reputable venture firm leads two consecutive rounds of investment in a company, Andreessen told me, Thiel believes that that is “a screaming buy signal, and the bigger the markup on the last round the more undervalued the company is.” Thiel’s point, which takes a moment to digest, is that, when a company grows extremely rapidly, even its bullish V.C.s, having recently set a relatively low value on the previous round, will be slightly stuck in the past. The faster the growth, the farther behind they’ll be....When a16z began, it didn’t have even an ersatz track record to promote. So Andreessen and Horowitz consulted on tactics with their friend Michael Ovitz, who co-founded the Hollywood talent agency Creative Artists Agency, in 1974. Ovitz told me that he’d advised them to distinguish themselves by treating the entrepreneur as a client: “Take the long view of your platform, rather than a transactional one. Call everyone a partner, offer services the others don’t, and help people who aren’t your clients. Disrupt to differentiate by becoming a dream-execution machine.”
Marc_Andreessen  Andreessen_Horowitz  Silicon_Valley  transactional_relationships  venture_capital  vc  Peter_Thiel  long-term  far-sightedness  Sequoia  mindsets  observations  partnerships  listening  insights  Doug_Leone  talent_representation  CAA  mental_models  warning_signs  signals  beforemath  unevenly_distributed  low_value  extrapolations  acuity  professional_service_firms  Michael_Ovitz  execution  William_Gibson 
may 2015 by jerryking
Shelly Lazarus: A front seat witness to advertising's gender shift - The Globe and Mail
SUSAN KRASHINSKY - MARKETING REPORTER
The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Jan. 29 2015

You started at Ogilvy when David Ogilvy was still around. What was the best advice he ever gave you?

If you attract the right people and you create an environment where they’re as successful as they can possibly be, everything follows from that. ... He judged the output vigorously. He would have divine discontent, we would say. Nothing was ever good enough. If we said, okay, the work could be better, how do we get there? He would go back to either better people, or a better environment where they could do better work. Every answer came back to the quality of the people.
advice  advertising_agencies  Shelly_Lazarus  women  advertising  people_skills  resilience  bouncing_back  dissatisfaction  Managing_Your_Career  Ogilvy_&_Mather  Susan_Krashinsky  David_Ogilvy  Pablo_Picasso  professional_service_firms  the_right_people 
february 2015 by jerryking
Marketing Professional Services Locally
To market a professional practice exceptionally well in a local community - dubbed vicinal marketing - means to study the microcosm and satisfy it. The first step in vicinal marketing is to determine ...
marketing  professional_service_firms  local  neighbourhoods 
february 2014 by jerryking
Executive search firm rebuilds after staff defections - The Globe and Mail
RICHARD BLACKWELL

The Globe and Mail

Published Thursday, Jan. 09 2014

The shift to specialization in the executive-search business has partly been spurred by social media, Mr. Lovas said. Using sites such as LinkedIn, it is easy for anyone to come up with a list of chief financial officers, for example, but only a recruiter with a specialization in CFOs will have the knowledge and relationships necessary to determine who is truly qualified for a position and get them to consider a job change.

Another major shift in the head-hunting business, he said, is the increasing need to find interim managers to run a client company until a permanent employee can be found.

Indeed, the “interim management” business could be a bigger business than the basic executive search business within a decade, Mr. Lovas said. “It is one of the great trends in recruiting going forward.”
executive_search  professional_service_firms  relationships  LinkedIn  CFOs  interim  executive_management  defections 
january 2014 by jerryking
The future of the Firm
September 21st 2013 | The Economist | Schumpeter.

Life is getting tougher for professional-services firms. Midsized consultancies are already suffering: Monitor Group went bankrupt last year—Deloitte later bought it for $120m—and Booz & Co and Roland Berger are agonising about their futures. If the legal profession is anything to go by, worse is to come: Dewey & LeBoeuf collapsed last year after borrowing heavily in a dash for growth, and other elite law firms are struggling to win business....Are McKinsey’s best days behind it? Two new publications offer some interesting answers. “The Firm”, by Duff McDonald, is a generally admiring book that nevertheless asks hard questions about the organisation’s future. “Consulting on the Cusp of Disruption”, by Clayton Christensen and two colleagues, is a penetrating article in the October Harvard Business Review, arguing that the comfortable world of the strategy consultancies is about to be turned upside down....Eden McCallum cuts costs by deploying freelancers, most of whom once worked for the big three. BeyondCore replaces overpriced junior analysts with Big Data, crunching vast amounts of information to identify trends.
McKinsey  capitalism  professional_service_firms  barbell_effect  HBR  Clayton_Christensen  books  BCG  Bain  alumni  management_consulting  mid-sized  law_firms  hard_questions 
november 2013 by jerryking
The strategy consultants in search of a strategy - FT.com
August 28, 2013 | FT | By John Gapper.
The strategy consultants in search of a strategy

Two decades ago, 70 per cent of McKinsey’s revenues were from strategy and corporate finance but most now flow from hands-on work on risk, operations and marketing.
management_consulting  strategy  professional_service_firms  McKinsey  BCG  Bain  Monitor  Deloitte  winner-take-all 
september 2013 by jerryking
What’s an Idea Worth? - NYTimes.com
By ADAM DAVIDSON
Published: July 29, 2013 (think about this for WaudWare)

Companies like G.E., Nike and Apple learned early on that the real money was in the creative ideas that can transform simple physical products far beyond their generic or commodity value....we have no idea how to measure the financial value of ideas and the people who come up with them.
fees_&_commissions  invoicing  intangibles  billing  transformational  GE  Nike  Apple  fees  goodwill  professional_service_firms  branding  metrics  time-management  productivity  knowledge_economy  creativity  pricing  value_creation  ideas 
august 2013 by jerryking
Texas Firm Highlights Struggle for Black Professionals - NYTimes.com
May 27, 2013 | NYT | By NELSON D. SCHWARTZ and
MICHAEL COOPER.

Somewhat lost in the legal arguments over affirmative action are the less tangible, more subtle forces that can determine professional success, more than a dozen black lawyers here, in San Antonio and elsewhere in Texas said in interviews. Social rituals can play a big role in determining who makes it on to the partnership track in the exclusive world of white-shoe firms, and whether those partners can bring in business as rainmakers.

Gerald Roberts, an African-American lawyer who was a partner at Thompson & Knight before leaving in 2010, said that social relationships left some black lawyers at a distance from their white colleagues and potential clients. “For the most part, they don’t go to church together on Sunday enough, they don’t have dinner together enough, and they don’t play enough golf together to develop sufficiently strong relationships of trust and confidence,”
diversity  African-Americans  lawyers  law_firms  law  professional_service_firms  Texas  relationships  rituals  social_exclusion  social_barriers  cultural_signifiers 
may 2013 by jerryking
Professional firms: Simply the best
Apr 13th 2013 | The Economist |

What It Takes: Seven Secrets of Success from the World’s Greatest Professional Firms. By Charles Ellis. Wiley; 290 pages; $40 and £26.99.

During a long career advising senior professionals, Mr Ellis found that a handful of firms were almost universally regarded by their peers as the best in their particular business. As well as McKinsey (management consulting) and Goldman (investment banking), they included Capital Group (investment management), the Mayo Clinic (health care) and Cravath, Swaine & Moore (law). He was surprised to discover that each of the firms had several things in common. These include leaders who devote their lives to serving their firm rather than enriching themselves (though that tended to follow naturally), a good sense of what motivates staff to get up early and work late and the ability to get individualistic professionals to function unusually well in teams.

Above all, these firms are fanatical about recruiting new employees who are not just the most talented but also the best suited to a particular corporate culture. These firms’ bosses spend a disproportionate amount of time on the recruitment process, often putting it before other more immediately lucrative demands on their time. McKinsey interviews 200,000 people each year, but selects just over 1%.

Each McKinsey applicant can be interviewed eight times before being offered a job; at Goldman, twice that is not unheard of. At Capital a serious candidate is likely to be seen by 20 people, some more than once. Recruitment, these firms believe, is the start of a lifelong relationship. At the same time, Goldman and McKinsey also have a policy of helping their staff to find suitable work elsewhere, all in the expectation that they will eventually become loyal customers.
best_of  books  book_reviews  disproportionality  Goldman_Sachs  high-achieving  lifelong  McKinsey  organizational_culture  outplacement  overachievers  professional_service_firms  recruiting  relationships  selection_processes  selectivity  serving_others  talent_management 
april 2013 by jerryking
Foot-Leather Marketing Builds a Service Firm - WSJ.com
May 25, 2004 | wsj | By PAULETTE THOMAS | Special to THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
professional_service_firms  entrepreneur  marketing 
may 2012 by jerryking
Dewey’s Collapse Underscores a New Reality for Law Firms - Common Sense - NYTimes.com
May 4, 2012 | NYT | By JAMES B. STEWART. “This absolutely falls into the category: What were they thinking?” Bruce MacEwen, a lawyer and president of Adam Smith Esq. and an expert on law firm economics, told me this week, as Dewey suffered a new wave of partner defections and the firm’s accelerating collapse appeared unstoppable. “This was
Mismanagement 101 across the board. They had a ringside seat for the collapse of Lehman and Bear Stearns. But they had the same mismatch of assets and liabilities. They took on a massive amount of long-term debt, but their assets are short term: they walk out of the firm every day and may not come back, which is what more and more of them did.”....Mr. MacEwen was inclined to agree. “I’ve been struggling with the degree to which Dewey is a lesson for other firms,” he said. “Everything they did was so extreme and so ill advised. But part of me has to admit that the dynamics of the practice, the eat-what-you-kill remuneration model, makes a law firm inherently fragile. And part of the lesson of Dewey is that if you put practices in place, like the guarantees, that corrode culture, then you’re playing with fire.”
Bruce_MacEwen  cultural_corrosion  dissolutions  eat_what_you_kill  fragility  law_firms  lessons_learned  mismanagement  organizational_culture  professional_service_firms 
may 2012 by jerryking
The professional-class bubble is bursting - The Globe and Mail
Margaret Wente | Columnist profile | E-mail
From Saturday's Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, Apr. 28, 2012
automation  bubbles  career_paths  downward_mobility  Margaret_Wente  middle_class  professional_service_firms  white-collar 
april 2012 by jerryking
Big Law Firms Try New Idea: The True CEO - WSJ.com
JANUARY 22, 2007 | WSJ |By NATHAN KOPPEL
Big Law Firms Try New Idea: The True CEO
New Style of Leader Focuses On Managing Business -- Leaving Others to Log Billable Hours

Orrick Chairman Ralph Baxter Jr. hasn't practiced law since 1992. He spends his days traveling to the firm's 18 offices world-wide, scouting lawyers and other law firms, meeting with clients and communicating with colleagues. He holds quarterly town-hall meetings via videoconference for Orrick's roughly 1,000 lawyers and sends out informational Webcasts more frequently.

As law firms have grown larger and more global in recent decades, more have followed Orrick's path. Their leaders increasingly resemble public-company CEOs, focused on managing others at the firm. Other professional firms have navigated similar changes; the big accounting firms, for example, have long been run by full-time managers.

"Ralph Baxter is the epitome of the 21st century law-firm leader," says David Wilkins, the director of Harvard Law School's Program on the Legal Profession. "Firms that have radically moved themselves up the prestige ladder and the profitability ladder and expanded their geographic scope have had full-time leaders," he says.
law_firms  CEOs  Orrick  best_practices  Big_Law  prestige  focus  professional_service_firms  scouting  HLS 
november 2011 by jerryking
FORGET REVENUE & PROFITS, think about ROPE
| EDGE International | Friedrich Blase.

Making ROPE part of your cockpit dashboard
is a fairly straight forward exercise; it
promises that you individually as well as your
firm collectively are not overly focused on
achieving high revenue and profitability, but
the efficiency with which partner effort is converted
into revenue and ultimately profits.
law_firms  time-management  lawyers  Managing_Your_Career  billing  metrics  partnerships  professional_service_firms 
october 2011 by jerryking
A good PR consultant is worth paying for: The Entrepreneur
08 Dec 2010 | FT| Luke. Johnson. Having owned PR firms, I
know it can be an attractive investment. Clients are on contracts with
monthly retainers, so no feast & famine of advertising campaigns.
Expenses are staff & premises. A consumer PR agency should generate
20 % net profit margins on revenue; a financial PR agency 30 %.

PR is one of the few segments of the marketing services industry that
has benefited from the digital revolution. Most participants, including
advertising agencies, media buying shops and design houses, have
suffered, as spend on traditional media such as TV and press has been
squeezed....The growing importance of PR in business and society is
exemplified by the power of kings of the trade such as Alan Parker at
Brunswick and Roland Rudd at Finsbury. Both have incredible connections
in the City, Wall Street, industry & politics. The sector has moved
on from spin to embrace communications with investors, regulators,
politicians and other discreet audiences.
Luke_Johnson  public_relations  ProQuest  mass_media  Finsbury  Wall_Street  professional_service_firms  margins  Communicating_&_Connecting  investors  regulators  politicians  financial_communications  digital_revolution 
august 2011 by jerryking
English Butler Leads China's Latest Cultural Revolution
26 October 2005 | The Guardian via YaleGlobal Online Magazine
| by Jonathan Watts. Booming economy and influx of foreigners require
an upmarket service sector
luxury  professional_service_firms  China 
march 2010 by jerryking
Laid-Off Lawyers and Other Professionals - WSJ.com
MARCH 2, 2009 WSJ article by MARK PENN
This column is about identifying these important new niches, and acting on that knowledge.
layoffs  lawyers  microtrends  professional_service_firms  Mark_Penn 
march 2009 by jerryking
Toronto Life: The Good News About the Bad Times
Feb. 2009 Toronto Life article by Philip Preville about the
multiple stakeholders uniting in the pursuing a strategy encouraging
emerging U.S. companies to go public on the TSX. In so doing, this would
boost demand for high value financial, accounting and legal services.
Toronto  strategy  crisis  economic_development  hard_times  financial_services  law-firms  Toronto_Life  economics  economic_downturn  professional_service_firms  TMX 
january 2009 by jerryking

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