In my last blog, I talked about the dangers of too much democracy within the governance structure of a professional services network. The ‘one firm, one vote’ concept, still adopted by many groups (largely because of their inability to change rather than a belief that this is a good model for any other than the smallest firms), may appear to be democratic, but in reality it simply hinders the logical decision-making process.
Written by guest contributor, Quentin Vaile
A professional service firm creates ‘value’ (which is derived though a combination of satisfying a client’s needs and generating wealth) by solving a client’s problem faster, better or more effectively than the client is able to do itself.
In my last blog, I wrote: ‘Partnership is not a great management approach at a single office level. And when you translate that into the international arena, it is a disaster. Democracy within the typical network business model is all very well in theory, but in practice …’ That comment certainly struck a chord, and so for the next few blogs, I plan to focus on various aspects of network governance where democracy sometimes emerges … but not always with the desired results.
The professional services world is changing – and probably faster today than at any time in the past. The principal reasons for this are twofold; and these converging pressures create the perfect storm for change.
This is the first in a series of blogs that will look at the world of professional services networks; their future; different business models that can be followed to ensure their success; and what member firms need to do to capitalise on their membership of such networks.