Creating a Firm of the Future is not for everyone, as it requires leaders of firms to think about why, how and what they do very differently than they have in the past.

The guiding principles for this model are largely set out in two books: one jointly authored by Ron Baker and Paul Dunn titled “The Firm of the Future: A Guide for Accountants, Lawyers, and Other Professional Services” (Wiley 2003), and more recently refined in Ron Baker’s latest book “Implementing Value Pricing – A Radical Business Model for Professional Firms” (Wiley 2011).

Since 1995, Ron Baker, founder of The VeraSage Institute (of which I am a senior fellow), economist, author, speaker, pricing expert, and a thought leader for professional firms, has been speaking to leaders of the professions around the world on why and how to become Firms of the Future, in particular on the need to stop billing our services by time and start pricing according to the value we provide to our clients. 

The foremost principles upon which the Firm of the Future model is based looks at the value a firm creates for their clients (output) rather than the time spent on a file (input). To do this, firms must rid themselves of pricing their services by time and recognise that all professionals are knowledge workers, not machines, and they should not be treated like ‘widgets’ on a production line. Firms of the Future recognise that value is created outside the firm, not inside it, and that clients do not buy time, they never have and never will, so they have stopped trying to sell something that no one buys.

BusinessJohn Chisholm