This week’s curator, Ea Ryberg Due, looks at the future of professional services firms; she also shares some Shift*Base Guides for firms that wish to become more networked and picks 5 links for further reading on the topic.

What is the future of Professional Services Firms?

Most firms acknowledge that technology will play a bigger role over the coming years, but, it is difficult to foresee exactly what this means for the nature and shape of the firms themselves. It is likely that the scope of services will change as more tasks are automated, but also some firms could continue to provide current services if they change how they are managed and delivered. In turn, new delivery mechanisms might require firms to pull in more external expertise and become more of a network, which would have major implications for traditional employment and partnership structures.
Shift*Base is currently running a series of roundtable discussions with ICAEW to explore how accounting firms might look in the future. We are looking for more accountancy professionals who would like to take part in the next sessions. Please contact me via if you are interested to do so.

> See Our first workshops with the Firms

We ran some very interesting roundtable discussions recently with employees and partners from major firms, and some great themes and questions are emerging.

Shift*Base Updates

Shift*Base has a few starting points that professional services firms could use as a starting point for becoming more networked. For example, firms can develop a networked org design where associates flow to the work and build relationships via personnel exchanges.
Elsewhere, Lee Bryant gave a keynote talk in Paris last week at OuiShareFest about why we should continue to value institutions and how we might update them for the Twenty-First Century:

> See Lee Bryant- Institutions in the Age of Algorithms

This talk outlines some of the possible features of C21st institutions and large organisations for a future that looks both more human and networked, but also more automated & robotic.

Weekly Linklog

  • Many sectors and types of firm are at risk of disruption from digital business models and services, and their organisational structures and practices face a myriad of challenges rooted in new technologies and the ways of working they make possible. The Future of the Firm in Professional Services
  • As part of Accountancy Age’s Young Professionals Day, we take a look at the key skills auditors will need for the future… Five key skills auditors will need in the future
  • The two disciplines seem so different that their students may be reluctant to learn from one another. But the future depends on their doing so. Law & Engineering Should Share Curriculum
  • In 1896, Puccini’s opera La bohème premiered in Turin, Queen Victoria surpassed her grandfather King George III as the UK’s longest-reigning monarch and professional services firm PwC — then Cooper Brothers — began auditing Barclays. In 2014, PwC
    The Auditing Pitch battle – Financial Times
  • Key to the SmartLaw firm is technology. How changing law firms’ relationship to technology at a more fundamental level will impact the future of law.
    SmartLaw: The intelligent use of technology – HighQ

Shift*Groups Updates

Our (free) invitation-only community for change agents and internal practitioners of social business, collaboration and digital transformation remains open for new members, whilst we conduct a review of the site and look at how to improve its user experience and utility and consult on how we can better support the community.

Interested in what we do?

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