Professional staffing challenges

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Working with a “magic circle” law-firm shows interesting twists on the standard challenges of developing staff and experience (see HR gets dynamics with examples and models). Professional firms need ‘leverage’ – many juniors per partner – so would prefer a wide, flat pyramid. But that is only possible for easily replicated services, and smart clients know they can buy those cheaply … so top firms try to offer high-value services, but those depend critically on small numbers of specialist staff.

The trick these and others professional ...

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Strategy Dynamics Briefing 85: Grasping tacit knowledge

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Briefing 78 explained the importance of the intangible resource of knowledge to the performance of a firm’s tangible resource-system. For effective learning, knowledge must be captured. Since we are concerned here with the ability to get things done, this discussion is about know-how (how to do things), rather than the know-what of factual information.

A framework for understanding better the effectiveness of group learning starts with a distinction between tacit and explicit knowledge. The discussion of the retailer’s building of ...

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Strategy Dynamics Briefing 78: The knowledge resource

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“Knowledge” is now known to be so important to business performance that it has become a sub-field of its own within strategy research. Technology-rich industries clearly rely on large quantities of technical knowledge, accumulated over many years, and protected by secrecy and sometimes by patents. But knowledge is also important in many other sectors, from retailers who use knowledge about customer behavior to the likes of Amazon.com and eBay, who voraciously gather information and insight about the best approach to ...

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How knowledge matters at E.ON and P&G

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How does knowledge matter? is the theme of the SMS conference, and there have been some great contributions. The CEO of power producer e.on explained very clearly how the company is building, capturing and sharing knowledge amongst many ‘communities of practice’ to enable them to build business and performance. Then David Steed, former CIO of Proctor & Gamble put this very succinctly in a discussion at the 2008 SMS conference. Asked ‘how does knowledge matter’ he emphasized the importance of ...

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