Professional services are inherently somewhat personal kind of service that depends a lot on the team delivering the service – not just because of the expertise required and involved but also the extent the team actually understands and care about the problem that clients have.
When one enters a professional service environment, it becomes easy to sniff out industrialism when you note that the bosses are just acting as managers, thinking about how they can increase more sales, upsell customers and mainly care about the metrics involved for sales but not delivery. And then when it comes to delivery, the culture is about doing the minimum, leveraging irrelevant previous work, failing to live up to promises.
We have all seen the big consultancies deliver such stuff. Perhaps especially the big four. Mariana Mazzucato talks about it in the Big Con. Workers need to sniff out industrialism in this sector and learn to opt out of it – by leaving or changing the way they serve. Clients need to sniff that out by walking away. The reason why such industrialism perpetuates is because clients sign up for them – they put procurement departments, try to boil everything down to basic metrics and uni-dimensional issues, and negotiate lower prices, driving vendors to cut back on service.
We’ve had decades of doing more, extracting more productivity out of our assets, workers and even vendors. Like the big fossil, you might think you’re winning, until you realise you’ve just driven the world to its end.