The authors of this book alert that professional services like law, accountancy, and consultancy firms are set to face major disruption. The most important driver and enabler are the new technologies that help and in part substitute the work done by professionals. The second important disruptor is the new generation of professionals - "NewGen" - who are less interested in building their careers in a hierarchical organization and more interested in entrepreneurial challenges in small teams, with more rapid returns. In the meanwhile, major service conglomerates - the "big four" accounting firms, the "big three" consulting firms to name a few examples - build their network using their brand and substantial resources. All along, the relentless pressure from clients to receive more services at lower cost continues. Medium-sized professional firms as well as one-person independents appear to suffer most from these disruptions and are most anxious to find new ways to conduct their business. But the leaders of large firms also feel that they are increasingly unable to support the innovative entrepreneurship of their most promising professionals while their organizations institutionalize and their overheads continue to grow.
This book proposes a new orientation and model of a professional service firm as an answer to these challenges, by creating a Professional Service Community. It is a synergistic team of organizations that share a vision of their role in society and main lines of their mission as well as the quality of their deliverables and their key clients. At the same time, they are independent in designing their internal business models - like recruitment, training, knowledge management, and economics. The Professional Service Community provides a unique and highly attractive level of entrepreneurship, flexibility, and efficiency to the benefit of its clients, partners, staff, and other stakeholders. It is the way of the future.
About the Author
L. Martin van der Mandele is corporate strategy advisor and senior partner of the Parma Group. He also is an advisory board member and executive fellow of the Rotterdam School of Management (the Netherlands), director of the Health Economics Institute in Basel, and senior advisor of knowledge institutes in Germany and the Netherlands. He spent his career in the USA and Europe on strategic consulting and managing professional organizations. He was member of the European board of Arthur D. Little and president of RAND Europe. Martin has a PhD in management from Erasmus University, an MBA from the University of Chicago, and an LLM from Leiden University. Henk W. Volberda is a Professor of Strategy & Innovation at Amsterdam Business School of the University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands). Moreover, he is the Director of the Amsterdam Centre for Business Innovation. He has been a visiting scholar at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania (USA), Duke University's Fuqua School of Business (USA), and Bayes Business School, formerly known as Cass Business School in London (UK). Prof. Volberda holds various executive and advisory positions such as a member of the supervisory board of NXP Semiconductors Netherlands and Apollo Tyres Europe, an expert member of the World Economic Forum, and a fellow of the European Academy of Management. His research on technological disruption, digital transformation, coevolution, new business models, strategic renewal, strategic flexibility, and management innovation has led to an extensive number of publications in peer-reviewed journals including the Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Management, Journal of Management Studies, Management Science, Organization Science, and Strategic Management Journal. He is also the author of numerous management books, including Strategic Management: Competitiveness and Globalization (Cengage Learning EMEA, 2011), Building the Flexible Firm: How to Remain Competitive (OUP, 1998), Rethinking Strategy (Sage, 2001), Strategic Renewal: Core Concepts, Antecedents, and Micro Foundations (Routledge, 2019), and Reinventing Business Models: How Firms Cope with Disruption (OUP, 2018). Robert Wagenaar is a leadership counselor and expert on the development of organizations and organizational culture. He started his career with KPMG and Galan & Voigt before founding Wagenaar Hoes in 1989 and ASI Consulting in 1990 and managing a number of consulting firms in Europe. He was the director of a number of companies and professional organizations including the OOA in the Netherlands and ICMCI. Robert has a doctoral degree in economics from Groningen University (the Netherlands).