Developing Knowledge-Based Client Relationships: The Key to Avoiding Commoditization
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Developing Knowledge-Based Client Relationships: The Key to Avoiding Commoditization

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Presentation to Association of Executive Search Consultants - December 5, 2007

Presentation to Association of Executive Search Consultants - December 5, 2007

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Developing Knowledge-Based Client Relationships: The Key to Avoiding Commoditization Developing Knowledge-Based Client Relationships: The Key to Avoiding Commoditization Presentation Transcript

  • Developing Knowledge-Based Client Relationships: The Key to Avoiding Commoditization AESC – December 5, 2007 Ross Dawson CEO, Advanced Human Technologies Author, Living Networks and Developing Knowledge-Based Client Relationships
  • The weightless economy Source: US DoC; Cap Gemini Ernst & Young
  • Knowledge depreciates!
  • We’ve come a long way...
    • “ Finite players play within boundaries;
    • infinite players play with boundaries”
    • - James Carse
  • The future of professional services The Seven MegaTrends Relationship leadership Knowledge-based relationships Networked value Strategic action
  • The future of professional services The Seven MegaTrends Relationship leadership Knowledge-based relationships Networked value Strategic action
  • MegaTrends of professional services
    • Client sophistication
    • Governance
    • Connectivity
    • Transparency
    • Modularization
    • Globalization
    • Commoditization
  • Clients get savvy
  • The rise of accountability
  • We love instant communication
  • Flows across boundaries
  • Information wants to be free
  • Complete transparency for clients
  • The power of modularization
  • Global supply and demand
  • Services become commoditized
  • MegaTrends of professional services
    • Client sophistication
    • Governance
    • Connectivity
    • Transparency
    • Modularization
    • Globalization
    • Commoditization
  • The future of professional services The Seven MegaTrends Relationship leadership Knowledge-based relationships Networked value Strategic action
  • Clients lead their suppliers
  • A relationship is a process
    • How do you create continued positive momentum in a relationship?
    • There is no such thing as a static relationship….
  • The spectrum of relationship styles
  • Client leadership
  • Stages of relationship development Align Broaden Partner Initiate
  • The future of professional services The Seven MegaTrends Relationship leadership Knowledge-based relationships Networked value Strategic action
  • Information and knowledge
  • Types of services
    • Black-box : client receives an outcome, but is left none the wiser: readily commoditized and little scope for client interaction
    • Knowledge-based : client and professional collaborate, integrate their specialist knowledge, develop mutual knowledge: far greater value, and drives interaction and a strong relationship
  • The virtuous circle of knowledge-based relationships
  • The future of professional services The Seven MegaTrends Relationship leadership Knowledge-based relationships Networked value Strategic action
  • It’s a small world...
  • The network organization
  • Key junctures for value creation Professional Firm Client Capabilities Opportunities
  • Integrating expertise to create unique value
  • Matching team structure to the client Relationship Stage Objectives Relationship team structure Key actions Initiate Access most relevant capabilities to demonstrate unique value to client. Sales leader with broad internal connections. Small team represents key firm capabilities. Select sales leader and team with relevant capabilities. Support sales team’s access to key firm resources. Align Establish clear communication channels to facilitate access to client. Clearly defined membership of relationship team, covering scope of firm’s relevant capabilities. Establish peer relationships between firm and client executives. Define relationship team roles, responsiblities, communication processes. Potential transition from sales leader to relationship leader. Broaden Bring in new contacts on both firm and client sides. Establish true organizational relationship. Client contact extends beyond core relationship team. Tiered relationship responsibilities. Contact redundancy for key client executives. Monitor and actively support relationship network that links capabilities to client opportunities. Provide tools (social media etc.) to notify extended team of insights into client. Partner Facilitate joint value creation through open relationship and access. Core relationship leader team on both sides. Direct communication between specialists on most issues. Support direct client interaction. Monitor effectiveness. Actively build innovation links across organizations.
  • Requirements for accessing expertise
    • Awareness of capabilities
    • Understanding of those capabilities
    • Confidence in those capabilities
    • Personal trust
    • Action!
  • The future of professional services The Seven MegaTrends Relationship leadership Knowledge-based relationships Networked value Strategic action
  • Distinctive value
  • The heart of professional services
  • Enhancing Client Relationship Capabilities Culture
    • Focus on enhancing client service and client knowledge
    • Effective client relationship team communication
    • Attitude of client partnership
    • Effectively using processes and systems to enhance firm relationship capabilities
    Skills
    • Setting and implementing relationship objectives and strategy
    • Leading and participating effectively in relationship teams
    • Customising relationship and communication styles to clients
    • Managing client expectations
    Processes
    • Client relationship team formation – selecting the right professionals
    • Relationship team communication and collaboration
    • Developing and monitoring client relationship strategies
    • Ongoing client feedback and its application
    Structures
    • Key account selection and segmentation
    • Selection and allocation of client relationship leaders
    • Cross-selling remuneration and recognition systems
    • Account management and customer relationship management systems
    Strategy
    • Role of client relationship style in firm differentiation
    • Targetted client profiles, client industries, service lines and service delivery
    • Role of online service delivery within firm strategy
    • Long-term strategic directions and shifts in positioning
  • Thinking about commoditization Firm Service line Client Level Strategic choice 1. Eliminate 2. Automate 3. Outsource 4. Maintain
  • Are you an energizer?
  • How to be an energizer
    • Have and communicate a compelling vision
    • Seek and acknowledge quality contributions
    • Make and fulfill commitments
    • Be a connector!
  • The future of professional services The Seven MegaTrends Relationship leadership Knowledge-based relationships Networked value Strategic action
  • Online resources “ Dawson has pulled off the nigh-impossible: improved on what was already a terrific book. Even more than before, this is essential reading for professional service firms.” - David Maister , author, Managing the Professional Service Firm www.rossdawsonblog.com Insights and free book chapters and articles at: “ I’m not sure that even Ross Dawson realizes how radical – and how likely – his vision of the future is.” - Seth Godin , author, Purple Cows To contact Ross Dawson: rossd@ahtgroup.com
  • Accelerate into the dawn of a new era