As you do in the professional services world, this weekend I am completing a presentation for the board of one of Australia's largest professional services firms. The Chairman is worried that her firm is focused mostly on the 'wrong things' and not addressing some really tough issues. She's asked for a 'warts and all assessment'. Good on her.
Collusion amongst partners in denying reality is a not uncommon challenge for many PSFs–one Beaton has seen many times. What makes working on this Sunday a real pleasure is the availability of hard data to inform my paper. Informed guesses and subjective judgements have been greatly reduced because six months ago the firm's Chief Executive subscribed to the latest Beaton Benchmarks report...so without fear or favour I can provide a truly objective assessment.
Earlier this year my post 'Some do. Some don't.' asked why there are still PSFs which don't use all the available hard evidence to manage their strategic agendas and change initiatives.
Clearly we can't know the answer to this question, but we do know by first hand observation over many years of many dozens of subscribers to Beaton Benchmarks what a difference honesty makes. Firms inevitably make better decisions is they have the courage to say we can't bet the future of our firm on 'anecdotes and the opinions of a few heavy hitters'. Their leadership can face partners in the a clear knowledge that they are basing their recommendations on the best available data.
Presenting this paper is going to be fun–and I hope fireworks. Truths must be told. After all that's what being a client-centric professional is about.
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