Professional Services: What is your product?

Thomas Friedman famously declared: “The World is Flat“, meaning that the global marketplace is becoming a level playing field, where all have similar access to information, knowledge and opportunity.

We have been certainly moving in that direction, particularly when it comes to gaining access to knowledge (see article by @fredmcclimans on Commoditization of Knowledge).

What does that mean for us in the Professional Services community?

When pondering questions like that, I find it useful to look at the extremes.

On one hand, an economist once told me, “In a perfect market, we don’t need corporations to structure efforts to solve complex problems. In such scenarios people exchange expertise and skills directly in the open marketplace”. Everyone works under a professional services model (i.e. not a permanent employee of the consumers of services).

On the other hand, when we hire professional services today, it is because a company needs infrequent, technical or unique expertise not available in-house. If knowledge is an easily available commodity, does that mean professional services are going to shift from consulting and advice to execution outsourcing?

The rationale for the theme “Commoditization of Knowledge: What is your product?” is provoking thoughts about the core value of professional service offerings and how that will evolve in the future.

Please join hosts Fred McClimans (@fredmcclimans), Kelly Craft (@krcraft) and Alan Berkson (@berkson0) for the bi-weekly Professional Services Chat (#profserv) thisThursday, Mar 17th at 7PM PST/10 PM EST.

Possible questions we can debate:

Q1 – Is it true that knowledge available through Social Media is becoming a commodity?

Q2 – Is the “expert” value of professional services being diluted?

Q3 – How does professional service adapt to and take advantage of  the increased access to knowledge and expertise offered by digital media?

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