Seven MegaTrends of Professional Services – #3 Connectivity
Download the complete White Paper: The Seven MegaTrends of Professional Services
Continued from #2 Governance. Full table of contents below.
MegaTrend Three: Connectivity
As we bustle about with Blackberries, mobile phones, WiFi laptops, and for the novelty seekers sometimes an entire armful of devices, we can now consider ourselves connected. Aside from when they’re out hiking in vast expanses, airplanes are for most businesspeople the last space where they’re more than minutes from a broadband connection. Not for much longer.
For knowledge workers, most of whose daily working material can be zipped about the globe in seconds, this is indeed a different world from when phone, letter, and fax were the primary ways of communicating. Certainly the first implication is clients’ expectation of faster responses. But it goes far beyond this. For example instant messaging, which allows you to see whether your counterpart is present and to rapidly exchange brief missives, is the antithesis of ponderous, formal communication. Thirty-six percent of over 400 professionals who participated in a webcast I did last year indicated they use instant messaging with their clients. This is just the beginning. These new forms of interaction start to change the entire client-professional relationship. The use of informal, highly interactive communication throughout a professional engagement means that clients feel they are part of the process. Increasingly, they are. Professional work is becoming visible, and the path towards client participation has begun.
One of the less obvious implications of the MegaTrend of Connectivity is that clients increasingly expect professional firms to be great at connecting their professionals to each other. In most cases, clients hire large firms in the belief that they can access all the resources of the firm, not just the individuals they deal with. There are no longer valid excuses for not being able to deliver that to the client. Yet most professional firms have a long way to go at managing their knowledge effectively, not least by making sure that their best experts are connected to each other in how they work and deliver value to clients.
Table of contents
– MegaTrend 1: Client Sophistication
– MegaTrend 3: Connectivity
– MegaTrend 7: Commoditization
Responding to the MegaTrends
– Lead Your Clients into Knowledge-Based Relationships
– Build Strategic Transparency
– Create a Highly Networked Firm