Are You Among the Green Shoots?

According to the experts du jour, the recovery will be uneven and its dimensions unclear. Even the length of the current “green shoots” is up for debate. According to Rich Karlgaard, author of Digital Rules blog and Publisher of Forbes, “companies are looking to link with professional services firms who will be on the way up.” Sounds reasonable, but how can professional services firms make sure they are among those benefitting from the current economic green shoots?

Here are some of his suggestions:

First, find good design. “Our brains are hardwired for aesthetics.” Being one of the 65% percent of visual learners out there, I immediately identified with that. Brands constantly strive for the “wow factor” via public relations, advertising, branding, social media campaigns. Because B2B professional services don’t sell tangibles it is more difficult to find beauty in design but think about what you look for when you buy services. Create it in a way that others can find it.

Second, make sure you have a strong supply chain. In this economy the new business dangling from the tip of those green shoots could come swiftly; opportunities will pass by those who are not ready to address them efficiently and quickly. Competition is also steeper. As a professional services firm, you cannot afford not to be ready.

Embrace technology leadership. It is not just about having the “state of the art” or best in show technology; sometimes having the decent technologies that work well together is just as good as having the best individual technologies.  Jonathan Weiner, the CEO of OR International, a client and hospital development firm, expressed the same sentiment during a conversation about his company’s deep service line approach and advanced paperless technology applied to specialty hospital development.  “Everyone is so concerned about deploying the state of the art, they forget that often those technologies are not compatible; technologies that are just as good, are commonly more open, less expensive and more compatible with each other.”

Lastly Karlgaard cautioned professional service firms to make sure they have a “defined purpose that everyone understands and can get behind.” Never underestimate the power of trust when it comes to the power of a brand. In a volatile market, trust and a brand that people can identify with become even more important.

What attributes do you think professional services firms should embody as the green shoots pop up from the ground?

To reach Cortney:

Phone: 212.840.1661
Twitter: @cortneyr
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