The tree featured in the picture is a great representation of disrupted growth. Sometimes growth requires a detour, but that does not mean that you have to stop growing or leave your roots behind! For your information, the tree is real and lives in the woods behind my home.
From health care, consultancies and IT services to law firms, professional services are under tremendous pressure. Business as usual is certainly not an option. Information is widely available and practically free. Expertise is easy to search for and find, reducing entrance barriers for new players in the market. Where in the past clients were dependent on professionals for their knowledge and expertise and used reputation to seek out the best, they are now Googling their way to find the easiest, most accessible and cheapest alternative available somewhere on the globe. Are reputation and expertise still valuable?
New value proposition
Reputation and expertise are certainly still valuable, and there will always be a demand for lawyers, health care providers, consultants and accountants. What has changed is what the clients are looking for and willing to pay for. In short, today’s challenges offer opportunities for professional service providers to deliver value in novel ways.
For example, where professional services previously offered the clients bite-sized information, now the client is drowning in information and needs help sorting through this overload. So today, instead of spending time providing information, technology gives you and the client time to work on the more challenging issues where your expertise and experience add a lot of value.
In the meantime, in many fields new potential clients are popping up who are not yet being served and would benefit from your professional perspective.
From disrupted to renewed growth
How to benefit from these opportunities and renew growth? Below are four steps to help you get started:
- Define your (new) customer. Who do you actually serve? What are their characteristics? What job are they trying to do? Can you help them do that job better and faster, or can you perhaps do the job for them?
- What does servicing this (new) customer entail? What do they value? How do you reach them? What are they willing to pay for?
- Test your new service model. Find a first example of your new customer or new service user, and work with them to figure out what it takes to meet their needs and make them value your services.
- Compare the capabilities and resources you currently use to serve your customers with the ones you will need to provide the new types of services you have in mind. What areas of your firm will need strengthening, which areas become redundant or need to be changed?
- Build your new business model and implement an innovation infrastructure that will help you improve and update your services. Being able to anticipate and act upon change is the only way to ensure sustained growth in the future.
Contact us if you are interested in learning more about how to adapt to disruptive changes while building an innovation infrastructure for a sustainable and successful future. You can reach us at info”at”organizing4innovation”dot” com or visit our website for more information www.organizing4innovation.com.
More on disrupted growth
An excellent book to start with is Clayton Christensen’s The Innovator’s Dilemma.
Blue Ocean thinking offers a more postive look on disruption and growth.