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The firm of the future is finally here!

Ron_baker Ron Baker has been leading a tribe for quite awhile. A tribe is a group of people connected to an idea and a leader (Seth Godin). Ron's idea has been to innovate what a professional services firm should look like in today's knowledge economy.

A week or so ago, Ron stopped by after one of his thought-provoking sessions for our members. (Ron is one of our BLI partners.) He was excited to share the latest about a story in the current issue of the Journal of Accountancy, in which you can see several firms of the future, one of which is a Top 100 CPA firm, Kennedy & Coe. His tribe is finally getting bigger.

I am reminded of Ron's mission from a post by uber-blogger Seth Godin titled, The economy, the press, and the paradox.

He starts his post with:

"Wealth is not created by financial manipulation, the trading of equities or the financing of banks. They just enable it.

Wealth is created by productivity. Productive communities generate more of value.

Productivity comes from innovation.

Innovation comes from investment and change."

I think this says it all! What Ron is proposing is that firms change their view of work and how they manage their knowledge workers and other forms of IC -- intellectual capital. He proposes we replace the tired old billable hour model with a new model: Profitability = Intellectual Capital x Effectiveness x Price.

Intellectual capital has three components:

  1. Human capital
  2. Structural capital
  3. Social capital

Read the article to learn more.

Productivity comes from innovation and innovation comes from investment and change!

Well done, Ron. Are we willing to innovate the traditional structure of our professional services firms? What do you think?

See Ron "live" in Second Life on Wednesday, Nov. 12 from noon to 1 p.m. EST on CPA Island as he leads a session titled, Leading Knowledge Workers: Human Capital Not Cattle. Register free at