My Boss Once Asked Me To Laminate A Google Doc

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Why Professional Service Firms Fail To Keep Pace With The Marketplace

If you put in your time at the firm, someday you’ll become a partner. After years as an underling, putting up with other partners, finally it will be your turn to rule the roost. Finally people will come to you for answers. You’ll get to make all of the calls. You will be respected.

There is only one problem — it’s not 1980 anymore. That is no longer sustainable.

Business is changing at an unprecedented pace.

And as things change, new areas of business (and life) are revealed — simultaneously creating new opportunities to master and exposing those who lack mastery. As Seth Godin points out:

Change creates incompetence. 

Change creates dichotomies:

  • Do you want to be cutting-edge or comfortable?
  • Do you want to pursue change or protect against it?
  • When it comes, will you be hamstrung by your ego or empowered by your embrace?

As long as partners find worth in having an answer for everything and as long as they build teams they can rule over (teams that don’t threaten their status as autocrat), they will continue to choke out change and innovation in their organization. They will perpetuate the growing chasm between their firm and their clients. They will fertilize the growing target placed on their industry — a target for disruption.

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