Work futures

In Professional goals, Structure, Technology by Victoria Koo

To survive in this ever changing landscape, the game of professional services and businesses needs to update its rules. Within a short span of ten to twenty years, technology has changed everything it touched, yet the workplace has changed little. What remain the same is people and human nature. It is more essential now than ever before, to work together, …

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Some notes from our first workshops with the firms

In Structure by Lee Bryant0 Comments

We ran some very interesting roundtable discussions recently with employees and partners from major firms, and some great themes and questions are emerging, plus we got some great input and feedback relating to the future firms framework we are building. Here are some of the questions we have noted down from the sessions so far. If you were there and we …

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The accounting practice firm of 21st century

In Structure by Martin Martinoff

The ecosystem of accounting professional services firms has become indispensable to 20th century business. Rooted deeply in the industrial age expansion of measurement, reporting, and assurance, accounting practices have enabled organisations and individuals to grow and prosper. While often invisible to the general public, accountancy firms have played a key role in fostering strong capital markets on Wall Street and …

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The Future of the Firm in Professional Services

In Structure by Lee Bryant

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. Professional services such as accounting, law and consulting are an area where firms have continued to enjoy great success over …

Expansive roles

In team shapes by Shiftbase

If organisations operate in a constantly changing environment, then employees and the way work is organised should be responsive. Abandoning fixed job descriptions and instead empowering employees with expansive roles is one way to allow employees to flow to where their help is needed in the organisation. However, expansive roles requires that employees are engaged and that the company is networked both for …

Task forces

In team shapes by Shiftbase

Task forces are useful for managing emerging opportunities and challenges or simply to allow for cross-functional teams that are not a fixed part of the organisational structure. It is a team configuration that combines individuals and functions outside the normal teams, usually formed to focus on a particular area. Task forces should be temporary, some existing for a few weeks, while …

Client teams that self-organise

In team shapes by Shiftbase

Client teams that self-organise is an approach to organising people based on customers, and give the customer teams authority to decide how they will satisfy their customer. Read more: Customer teams that self-organise from Shift*Base.

Agile teams

In team shapes by Shiftbase

Agile teams describes a team configuration that brings people together and has the necessary skills to service a specific customer requirement (internal or external). Consequently, the teams tend to be multi-disciplinary. Each agile team is responsible and accountable for successfully servicing their customer segment, which requires the team to have a degree of authority. Other popular terms are ‘pods’ and ‘tribes’. …

Communities of Practice

In communities by Shiftbase

Communities of practice (CoP) is a tactic for connecting a company’s associates within a subject matter and providing them with a space for sharing their knowledge about their professional area.

Networked company infrastructure

In networks by Shiftbase

Networked company infrastructure can increase the organisation’s ability to mobilise associates and align around initiatives and information.

Situational Hierarchy

In hierarchy by Shiftbase

Situational Hierarchy is a mechanism that can replace reporting lines from a traditional hierarchy and instead empower all associates to step in to a leader character depending on the situation.

Heterarchy

In hierarchy by Shiftbase

Heterarchy is a way to describe an organisational design where elements are unranked (non-hierarchical) or where they possess the potential to be ranked a number of different ways.

Delayering

In hierarchy by Shiftbase

Delayering is a concept that illustrates how organisations can reduce the number of levels in the corporate hierarchy.

Circle Structures

In structure general by Shiftbase

The circle structure is an approach to structure an organisation based on which roles are directly responsible and must collaborate to execute the organisation’s purposes.

Lattice Structures

In structure general by Shiftbase

A lattice approach to organisational design is one which emphasises horizontal career progression rather than encouraging associates to solely aspire to promotion through vertical ranks.

Networked Communication Architecture

In structure general by Shiftbase

A networked communication architecture is one that enables employees to easily find and communicate with colleagues because employees are connected and have appropriate channels for various types of communication.

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Making sense of Complexity

In people motivation, Technology, tools by Victoria Koo

Contrary to the precept that technology was meant to simplify life and make the work of human beings easier, it has indeed created greater efficiency and access to many things. However, technology has also increased the complexity we deal with as more and more, everything is becoming interwoven and integrated now than ever.  How should we and can we navigate complexity? …

Embracing Artificial Intelligence

In people competencies, platforms, professional competencies, professional learning, services, Technology by Victoria Koo

A time will come, as some scientist and economists predict, that human beings co-exist with robots. The path to such a future seems  inevitable as we witness the increase reliance on smart technology in our offices, home, travel and all aspects of daily life. How will this change the way we work and how might we embrace this future? How …

Morals and Ethics in business

In accountability, Governance, upholding purpose, values by Victoria Koo

“Big organizations are rated worse for ethical behaviour than small one” reported the research conducted by Chartered Management Institute, which analysed the correlation of ethics and performance. We repeatedly see news and reports on scandals within the financial institutes. Why is this? Where has virtues, morals, character and trust which we used to esteem before anything gone?  It is time …

Rest to be inspired

In Culture, happiness, lifestyle, Personal goals, values by Victoria Koo

Karl Mannheim, the father of classical sociology remarked, “A society which uses up all its energies in organization leaves little opportunity for introversion, contemplation, and reflection.” Without the space for soul-searching and self-analysis that enables an individual to ponder life choices and consequences, one will not be able to extract the profound insights from daily life and develop character, virtues …

Work futures

In Professional goals, Structure, Technology by Victoria Koo

To survive in this ever changing landscape, the game of professional services and businesses needs to update its rules. Within a short span of ten to twenty years, technology has changed everything it touched, yet the workplace has changed little. What remain the same is people and human nature. It is more essential now than ever before, to work together, …

The soul of Innovation

In client management, Culture, Employees, People by Victoria Koo

What does it take to innovate and reinvent an organization that is steep in history, thick with rules, or the nature of work simply requiring strict compliance and standards? These have laid well the foundations of the profession, but is the model of work ready for year 2020? Driving innovation requires a climate for it to thrive. There has to …

Sustainable Organizational Transformation

In Culture, Employees, People by Victoria Koo

Organizations and companies have the best intentions and good strategies for change. These often focuses on business processes, technology infrastructures, people trainings and programs and the likes – the things that can be controlled and measured. The goal is “a new system capable of increased internal efficiency, expanded agility and capability in the marketplace, with new levels of energy, creativity, …

Change happens with relationships

In client management, Employees, people learning, personal general, Professional goals by Victoria Koo

Have a realistic view that with our limited time and resources, our efforts should be focused and targeted on creating the most impact with the least. Very often we focus on corporate goals, strategies and target. However, we forget that people are the ones that makes these happen. Relationship both internally and externally, with staff and clients are equally important. Harness …

Rationality bias

In People, personal general by Victoria Koo

Especially in the west, rationality, science, reason and logic are favoured above the claims of inspiration, intuition, religion and fundamentally – irrationality. We trust what is measured, and what we cannot measure, is ignored since it cannot be quantified. However, this disregards the multifaceted nature of human beings. The truth is, growth, both on the individual level and organizational level, …

The challenges go beyond firm structure

In culture general by Martin Martinoff0 Comments

The Big Four are extremely popular with graduates and yet they have around 15-20% staff turnover each year, compared to 5% in other industries. Why do these companies find it so difficult to engage employees? Accounting firms have to understand and accept that simply changing the structure of the audit or launching a new recruitment campaign cannot solve the obstacles …

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Some notes from our first workshops with the firms

In Structure by Lee Bryant0 Comments

We ran some very interesting roundtable discussions recently with employees and partners from major firms, and some great themes and questions are emerging, plus we got some great input and feedback relating to the future firms framework we are building. Here are some of the questions we have noted down from the sessions so far. If you were there and we …

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How long-term vision can also help with short-term challenges

In Culture, People, The Firm by Lee Bryant0 Comments

There are lots of factors impacting on accounting firms of all sizes, from the rise of cloud-based self-service software, through new business support platforms to peer-to-peer networks where clients share advice among themselves. There are also higher level shifts underway in the nature of the profession and the role of professionals, with theses such as Daniel and Richard Susskind’s ‘End …

Specialised services

In innovative services by Shiftbase0 Comments

The shifting nature of the business environment will open up new opportunities which firms must exploit if they want to remain competitive. This is likely to result in growing numbers of small businesses providing specialised services as banks, other financial services companies, software and internet firms begin to offer an increasing array of accounting and tax-related products and services. Such …

Being accountable for your responsibilities

In accountability by Shiftbase

Recent changes in capital markets test the validity of existing models of corporate governance. ICAEW has released a report entitled What are companies responsible for? which identifies four fundamental responsibilities of companies to tackle the corporate governance challenges that have arisen since the global financial crisis. These four responsibilities are: Achieving a business purpose which stakeholders can understand – this …

The future of audit committees

In governance general by Shiftbase

In September 2011, the Financial Reporting Council released a publication on Effective Company Stewardship is response to concerns around the current value of financial statements. They concluded that audit committees should provide the narrative information that shareholders and other stakeholders are seeking and currently not finding in the annual report. In a publication entitled The Buck Stops Here? New Challenges …

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The accounting practice firm of 21st century

In Structure by Martin Martinoff

The ecosystem of accounting professional services firms has become indispensable to 20th century business. Rooted deeply in the industrial age expansion of measurement, reporting, and assurance, accounting practices have enabled organisations and individuals to grow and prosper. While often invisible to the general public, accountancy firms have played a key role in fostering strong capital markets on Wall Street and …

View Post

The Future of the Firm in Professional Services

In Structure by Lee Bryant

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. Professional services such as accounting, law and consulting are an area where firms have continued to enjoy great success over …

Strategy, not technology, drives digital transformation

In technology general by Shiftbase

A recent study by MIT found that strategy, not technology, drives digital transformation. While the right technology mix is essential for creating the foundation, it is the strategy that determines whether organisations are successful in transforming processes and business models to be more digital. Read more: Strategy, not technology, drives digital transformation by MIT Sloan Management Review.

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