TGO Consulting Joins Ed’s List

Screenshot_2_6_13_1_34_PMI am thrilled to announce another addition to the tongue-in-cheek-eponymous Ed’s ListTGO Consulting.

I have had the honor of knowing the principals Tracy, George, and Orgad for almost 20 years. We were all Great Plains Software partners back in the day.

TGO Consulting is the largest organization in the information technology consulting business that has eliminated timesheets. In fact, other than the advertising agency of Ogilvy and Mather, they are the largest known professional firm to go timeless across the entire professional sector.

In celebration of this, I thought it would be beneficial to have them share their story, and they graciously agreed to record this podcast for me. (I apologize for the echo at the beginning. It self corrected and I hope you don’t find it too distracting.)

Enjoy!

Firm of the Future at DFW

Attention my fellow Dallasites and Fort Worthians. Ron Baker and I are delivering our famous (well, in our minds anyway) Firm of the Future Symposium at the Hilton DFW Lakes hotel on February 12 and 13.

This class is for all professionals: accountants, lawyers, IT consultants, architects, engineers, advertising agencies, we have even had a doctor attend.

 

If you are interested here are the details:

Firm of the Future Symposium

The Firm of the Future Symposium coming to a city near you will feature Ron Baker of the Vera Sage Institute. The symposium will feature Ron Baker of the VeraSage Institute and Ed Kless, Sage senior director, partner strategy and development. This experience is dedicated to the possibility that a professional organization can be run more effectively when it becomes a knowledge firm rather than a service firm. Creating such an organization is hard work and not for everyone, as it requires partners to think differently than they have in the past about what it is that they do.

The registration fee for the first attendee is $2,000. The fee for additional attendees is $1,000.

Download the agenda for this event .

Location

Date

Sage University

Hilton DFW Lakes Executive Conference Center
1800 Highway 26 East
Grapevine, TX 76051

Feb. 12-13

Register Today
Path: Login >
select Academies & Workshops >
Mid-Market ERP

 

The registration site is not the friendliest, so if you have any problems, please just let me know and I will take care of it.

If you have any questions, let me know.

 

Plumbing Prose

I recently retweeted a post about Al the Plumber who is clearly a Firm of the Future.

Early this week I received an email from Kirsten Austin of DCSC Inc. about an experience that she recently had with a plumber who decidedly is not a Firm of the Future.

In order to justify his hourly rate, he has had to become a short story teller of Dickensian proportion. Here is what he come up with to justify a 1.75 hour engagement.

PlumbingProse

“Painstakingly, adjusted the linkage…” I love it!

Clarification to post on subscription pricing and the FotF

During the session I posted yesterday I chatted with Dennis Karus of Software-Link. My intention was to have a conversation about the business model of subscription pricing that they have embraced, and not to just be a commercial for their offering.

For the most part I think I succeeded. However, we did get some questions about their offering and I allowed Dennis to answer which may have undermined the original intent.

That said, I want to state that Sage has many hosting partners who have embraced subscription-based pricing. One such partner is Gary Feldman of I-Business Network. Gary is also an occasional commenter on this blog as well.

MyOnlineMASInformation about their hosted subscription-based pricing can be found on their website.

On Subscription Pricing and Being a Firm of the Future

On April 4th, Ron Baker and I did a webinar for Sage Partners entitled Subscription Pricing on the Journey to Becoming a Firm of the Future.

If you were unable to attend or would like to review what was shared, you can view a recording of the session. This webcast is part of the new Sage Transformation Journey Webcast Series. In these sessions, myself and other members of the Sage Partner Advantage team present relevant and timely information on how to develop the business practice of selling subscription pricing and improving the customer experience.

Thank you to those of you who attended the April 4 webcast session. If you were unable to attend or would like to review what was shared, you can view a recording of the session.

If you would like to learn more about becoming a Firm of the Future, please register for the full two-day Firm of the Future Symposium. The next symposium is being held April 24-25 in Southern California!

In addition to the Irvine dates we also have upcoming Symposia in  Vancouver, May 23-24 and Boston July 17-18.

Click here to download the agenda for this event.

Sage partners can register for any of these events today at www.sage.com/partners. Once you login, select Academies & Workshops an then Mid-Market ERP.

If you are not a Sage partner and would like to attend, please contact me or PartnerPrograms@Sage.com.

Firm of the Future Another Raging Success Story

imageThis morning I received the following email from a partner who attended the Firm of the Future Symposium last year.

Congratulations to C. and C. and our new Pricing with A Purpose Team!
 
We just received the signed quote on this deal.  Utilizing the tools Ed has been arming us with, we bid this job 100% higher than we would have under our traditional methodology.  We had no push back from the client regarding the price, as we priced it based on the value of the solution to the them.
 
We have 3 more of these new quotes in negotiation with clients now and a couple more that we are actively developing.
 
This is such an exciting change for us.  Looks like 2012 is going to be fun with lots of leads in our pipeline and tools to maximize the profits on each win!
 
Thanks to Ed Kless for his coaching, poking, prodding, nudging and continual course adjustment!

This is truly and HSD for me!

image

If you are interested in attending an upcoming Firm of the Future Symposium, please visit sageu.com.

On Words I Would NOT Use

At a recent Firm of the Future Symposium with the THRIVEal Network in Greenville, SC, Ron Baker and I were asked about some of our word preferences. On the spur of the moment we developed this quick list of words we believe should be avoided by professional knowledge firms.

Staff – This makes us think of a type of infection. We prefer team member, colleague, associate, or people as alternatives.

Client – In ancient Rome, the lawyers of the day functioned as public servants and were not paid for their work. Instead, they were appointed to their duties in working with their clients. The relationship was not one of equal status and implied a sense of duty and obligation to serve the great unwashed. The word still has this connotation in the context of social workers and their clients. We prefer the term customer which is an Anglo-Saxon word derived from the fact that it was the custom of certain people to frequent a particular place of business.

Value billing – Nothing will set a VeraSagi (our made up and officially adopted name for someone from VeraSage) off into a tirade faster than calling the pricing practices we espouse value billing. A bill is produced in arrears whereas a price is agreed to upfront. This term is linked with professionals when the do write-ups to a time calculated bill. We believe this practice to be more akin to mail fraud. The preferred terms are value pricing, pricing on purpose, or pricing with purpose. When discussing price with a customer we suggest the term fixed price or open (meaning transparent) price.

Fee – This word has a negative connotation as it is associated with governmental and penalty type incursions. We suggest the use of the more neutral word price.

Hours – We believe the only place time spent should matter is in prison. We would ban all use of the word hour and suggest a $5 fine whenever it is used. There is no acceptable substitute.

Training – Horses and dogs are trained, humans are educated. Training implies a bullwhip lashing sounds in the background. Also, do you want your 16-year-old daughter to get sex training or sex education.

Service – We believe most professional firms do not provide services. They provide access to and/or transfer of knowledge, results, objectives, and occasionally goals.

Did we miss any of you favorites? If so, please leave a comment with the term to be avoided and your suggested alternatives.

ET HORA LIBELLUM DELENDA EST

Sage Firm of the Future Symposium – New Dates Announced

I am thrilled to announce that Ron Baker and I will be conducting four Sage Firm of the Future Symposia in 2012. The dates are:

  • March 20-21 in Toronto, ON
  • April 24-25 in Irvine, CA
  • May 23-24 in Vancouver, BC
  • July 17-18 in Boston, MA

The symposium will feature Ron Baker of the VeraSage Institute and yours truly and is dedicated to the possibility that a professional organization can be run more effectively when it becomes a knowledge firm rather than a service firm. Creating such an organization is hard work and not for everyone as it requires partners to think differently than they have in the past about what it is that they do.

If you are interested visit sageu.com, and navigate to Academies and Bootcamps > Mid Market ERP. Not a Sage partner, but still want to attend? Email me and I can get you registered. The price is $2,500 per person and comes with a 100 percent money-back guarantee.

ET HORA LIBELLUM DELNEDA EST

Firm of the Future for Media and Analysts

Yesterday, I delivered a four-hour session on the Firm of the Future for IT industry media and analysts at the behest of Melody Chalaban on Sage North America’s media relations team. I want first to thank her for the opportunity and organization of the event.

Second, I want to thank Sage Partners and Firms of the Future, John Shaver from Aries Technology Group, creators of Bob’s Barbecue, Keith Greeno of Asyma Systems, and Peter Wolf from Azamba Consulting. (As you can see I am through the A’s with regard to flipping firms.) These three gentleman did an outstanding job of explaining how they have implemented the ideas that I only speak (some might say blather on) about.

imageThird, a shout out to Ron Baker whose books The Firm of the Future and Implementing Value Pricing are the basis for this material.

For your viewing pleasure here are the slides and for your listening pleasure a link to audio from the second half of the of the call. Unfortunately, the dog (i.e., my Windows PC) ate the first half of the audio.

ET HORA LIBELLUM DELENDA EST