Introducing Ed’s List

I have been wanting to do this for quite sometime, but I finally have put together what I call Ed’s List.

Simply put, it is a list of the IT (information technology) professional knowledge firms of which I am aware who:

  • Offer only fixed price agreements and do not bill by the time unit
  • Have eliminated timesheets for all professionals.
  • Offer a service guarantee.

The list can be found at http://edkless.com/edslist/ or by clicking the link for the list located at the top right of this blog.

If you or someone you know belongs on the list, please let me know and I will add them forthwith.

Hedgehog Revisited

Last week while delivering a Sage Business Strategy Workshop, the group had a dialogue about Jim Collins’ Hedgehog Principle (aka BHAG). I shot a brief video about the conversation. (Sorry, about the sound sync problem. I am still working some of this technology out.)

 

I have a couple of questions for you:

  1. What do you think of the idea of looking at the three bisections?
  2. Are the names we have developed correct? If not, what might you propose.

Here is a better view of the diagram. (Au is the periodic table abbreviation for gold. MM is maintenance mode.)

image

What I Believe Redux

Two weeks ago, in a post entitled, What I Believe, I put forward a declaration. It went thusly:

I believe in challenging the status quo. The way I challenge the status quo is helping professionals change their business model from a focus on service to a focus on knowledge. It happens to be a better model. Are you interested in changing?

In the fortnight since that post, I have been tweaking it in my mind and I am please to put forward this updated declaration.

I believe that small business is where the vast majority of the wealth of the world is created. I help small professional businesses recognize that they do this through developing and sharing their knowledge. It is a great model. Do you want to know more?

I am curious as to what your thoughts are about this. Did any of you make a declaration? If so, are you willing to share it below? What are your thoughts on my declarations? Do you think the second is an improvement?

What I Believe

I have been wanting to write this post for over a week.

While the video below is nothing new, it does a great job of explaining and relating concepts I have known to be true.

 

It has inspired me to make this declaration.

I believe in challenging the status quo. The way I challenge the status quo is helping professionals change their business model from a focus on service to a focus on knowledge. It happens to be a better model. Are you interested in changing?

Please feel free to make your declaration below in the comments.

Insights MegaSession – Creating the Firm of the Future

On Wednesday, May 19th from 1:30pm to 5:30pm at Sage North America’s annual partner conference, Insights, I will be presenting a session entitled Creating the Firm of the Future (GEN52-1,2&3).

This session will be 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. It requires us to think differently than we have in the past about what it is that we do. You are hereby invited to open a dialogue on a different model for creating success in a professional firm.

image

Learning Objectives:

  • What is a knowledge firm?
  • Moving from revenue to profit
  • Moving from capacity planning to knowledge management
  • Moving from efficiency to effectiveness
  • Moving from hourly billing to fixed pricing

Right idea, wrong thinking!

Yesterday, I received a solicitation regarding a “solution for transferring knowledge!” It included a link to the following video.

 

Problems with this:

  1. Bad name – Knowledge Harvest. It sounds like you are using a sickle or combine and lopping peoples heads off.
  2. Defeatist attitude. – It implies that there is no way to keep this people around, so you should just exploit them while you can.
  3. Victim mentality. – “It is not your fault we are leaving, it is just the way we are.” Again, there is nothing you can do.

Now, I did view their product page and the system itself seems like it would be helpful to collect and disseminate tactic knowledge throughout an organization. This is, in fact, something sorely needed in professional knowledge firms. However, I would suggest to them:

  1. That they change the name.
  2. That they emphasize the value of disseminating the knowledge throughout the organization. It will increase the overall value of the firm by increase the knowledge of the individuals because the knowledge will be shared rather than hoarded.
  3. That having this solution might even make the firm a better place to work because you can gain knowledge far more quickly than at other companies.

If any of you pursue looking at this further, please let me know what you think about it.

Ron Baker Summarizes the Firm of the Future

The Journal of Accountancy recent posted excerpts of an interview they conducted with Ron Baker. In this seven minute clip, Ron does a great job at summarizing the concepts surrounding the firm of the future, also known as a professional knowledge firm.

This is my latest slide that illustrates this powerful idea. It differs from what Ron espouses in that I make a change in the mathematical operator used in the equation to signify that the transformations enhance each other.

image

Enjoy!

Peter Drucker and Time Sheets

Recently, I have been plagued by people who claim Peter Drucker said, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.”

First, let me say that I cannot find this as a direct quote of Drucker’s other than continuous and unsubstantiated citations in many articles, blog posts, and PowerPoint presentations all over the Internet. If anyone has the direct knowledge of the book or published article wherein Drucker says these exact words, please let me know. Until such time, please do not attribute this quote to Drucker.

Second, in my research looking for this quote, I found the following:

Reports and procedures should be the tool of the man who fills them out. They must never themselves become the measure of his performance. A man must never be judged by the quality of the production forms he fills out – unless he be the clerk in change of these forms. He must always be judged by his production performance. And the only way to make sure of this it by have him fill out no forms, make no reports, expect those he need himself to achieve performance. – Peter Ferdinand Drucker, The Practice of Management, 1954, page 135.

All emphasis mine.

Does anyone now want to say that Peter Drucker would be in favor of submitted time sheets to measure productivity? I rest my case.