Thoughts on ways to improve the management of professional services firms

Monday, September 25, 2006

Blawg Review #76

David Maister has just hosted Blawg Review #76. Blawg Review - The Carnival of Law Bloggers - is the blog carnival for everyone interested in law. A blog carnival is a traveling post about a topic or theme.

Because David was hosting this Review, it focuses primarily on the themes of work and professional life, firm management, marketing, strategy and careers rather than legal topics per se.

I won't repeat the material in David's review because I think that this is best done by visiting the post itself.

As broad comment, I found the review very useful because it introduced me to a number of blogs about the practice and management of law that I had not seen. I have now done a preliminary review and can see a number worthy of further report as useful information sources on the management of professional services firms in general, law firms in particular.

Not unexpectedly, the blogs are mainly US: sixteen US vs two each for the UK and Australia. The US is a much bigger market, while the proportion of the US population with blogs is approximately twice that of Australia.

I was pleased to see that David picked up the Kiwi fruit branding article on the Dilanchian blog. As indicated previously, Dilanchian is one of the few Australian law firms that I know of with a blog. If anybody does know of Australian blogs either coming from Australian professional services firms or dealing in any way with the management of professional services firms please let me know.

Digging down in one article, I cannot remember which one and for that I apologise, I was pleased to see a reference to Brian Brown's Pajama Market: small business blog of the day. This blog is on my must read list because of its daily coverage - one each day - of specific small business blogs.

Finally, David listed one short post from this blog comparing diagnostic approaches in medicine and law. Obviously he could not help noticing the similarities between the name of this blog and one of his books, "what a catchy name!" was his comment.

The blog name does indeed come from David's book, but the connection is indirect.

Ndarala, the professional network I manage, was set up in April 1996 to help the independent management related professional practice achieve business and professional objectives through cooperative action while retaining full business and professional independence.

Today we have 38 member practices including law together with a wide variety of training and management related consulting activities. So we are one of those rare organisations that actually spans professional services.

Because we both operate in and consult to the professional services sector, a couple of years ago we set up a professional services special interest group. We also started creating a supporting section on our web site. We called this Managing the Professional Services Firm because it acurately described the territory we were coveing.

In selecting the name, I was no doubt influenced by David's book since I had been quoting his writings for a number of years. We carried the name across when we created the blog ealier this year.

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