Thoughts on ways to improve the management of professional services firms

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Importance of old fashioned management

Like many of us, the current financial crisis has raised issues in my mind about the way we all do our jobs. I mean this in a broad sense, including our approach to management and to community and political involvement.

The fallacy of modern management explores one element of this. Put crudely, we have allowed ourselves to get caught in a zero-sum game.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Economics of Professional Services - surviving recession 1: introduction

Continued economic problems mean slowing demand for most but not all professional services. Insolvency practitioners, for example, are likely to have a field day!

The length of the last boom means that many professionals have never experienced a downturn. I have, and it's not pleasant.

At the end of 1989, the Australian market for many professional services collapsed, down one third in a very short space of time, a leading indicator of a recession that did not in fact bottom until the middle of 1991. We were in start-up fast growth mode at the time. In responding, I think that we probably committed every mistake in the book.

Given this, I thought that it might be helpful if I did a short series of posts on the major mistakes we made.

Later, I will add a list of posts in the series at the end.

Posts in the Series

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Return from China

I have been in China, hence the further delay in posts.

While we were there the financial crisis broke. There was a sort of morbid fascination in watching it unfold. At the same time, it was also fascinating looking at China on-ground, comparing what I saw with perceptions formed through Australian reporting in particular.

Perhaps the strongest impression was the weakening in the Chinese economy as compared to continued Australian reporting on China's economic strength. This came through in things such as local reporting on declining car sales, declines in manufacturing because of declines in international demand.

Then there was the milk scandal, something of immediate interest because we both drink milk. The damage to China's reputation has been significant, something the country could well have done without. The economic knock-on effects as well have been significant because of the sheer size of subsequent product recalls.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Establishing a Discipline of Practice - stocktake of posts

I hold two strong professional views. The first is that the professions can learn from each other. The second is that we need to establish a consolidated discipline of practice across the professions.

This post simply list previous posts discussing the development of a discipline of practice.