Stop trying to differentiate your firm

I published a shorter version of Stop trying to differentiate your firm in The Australian Financial Review on 3 May 2019 and later the full text as on my blog, Relationship Capital.

Editor: Joel provocative opening paragraph struck a nerve: “99% of Australia’s full-service law firms have a strategy based on seeking clear market differentiation. In my view, they’re largely wasting their time and money.” So it’s a pleasure to bring the full text to readers of Dialogue.

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The accountants re-enter legal. Meh!

There are countless articles on the threat of the Big 4 re-entering the legal market. Yes, they’re cashed-up, capable and well-connected, but I don’t think it will be as smooth a road for them as many are predicting. A deeper analysis suggests there are six factors that will limit their growth.

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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 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 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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