Aligning the Stars by Jay W. Lorsch Thomas J. Tierney

By Jay W. Lorsch Thomas J. Tierney

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And as any sophisticated buyer of professional services knows, it’s not the firm that matters most, but the specific individuals who work on the project. They will drive the value added. Given this, it is crucial that buyers of professional services understand how PSFs work and what distinguishes great firms from good (and less good) competitors. Experienced executives, who rely on a vast array of professionals and firms to meet their needs, are increasingly aware of the impact these professionals can have on their futures.

Indirectly, his identity in 20 ★ ALIGNING THE STARS the marketplace suffers since most professional work is generated by word of mouth. When potential clients inquire, his past (unhappy) clients will suggest they look elsewhere for services. In all likelihood, he’ll never even know that he lost a shot at new business. This word-of-mouth dynamic works both ways, which is another reason strong relationships with customers are so critical to professional service providers. Professionals need to build customer loyalty; their business depends on it.

Subscribers can also search databases of prior answers or access consulting tools such as a ● 32 ★ ALIGNING THE STARS supply chain diagnostic. The most striking example of a new technical age may be illustrated by the staid and quiet world of private banking. P. 12 Market growth, competition, consolidation, new entrants, diversification, globalization, technology—business turmoil abounds. For PSFs accustomed to being “above the fray,” this is an astonishing experience. Studies of industries in turmoil are quite conclusive: Businesses rarely maintain the status quo.

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