David H. Maister, one of the world's leading authorities on the management of professional service firms, is the author of several successful books, including Managing the Professional Service Firm, True Professionalism, and Practice What You Preach, and coauthor of The Trusted Advisor.
In this admirable study, Maister argues that professional businesses (those of attorneys, doctors, architects, etc.) are, as he quotes a partner in a major law firm, ``managed in one of two ways: badly or not at all.'' Why? Such firms, he suggests, attract individuals who have a ``strong need for autonomy. . . . The professionals have more than their share of people with an aversion to taking directions.'' Maister, a consultant, outlines procedures for bringing solid business practices into the workplace of professionals. He discusses training, time management, delegation, unchecked growth, attracting new clients and keeping existing ones. His suggestions for the development of associates, overseeing ineffective partners and compensation systems are also superb. (Nov.)
Tom Peters author/co-author of In Search of Excellence, Thriving
on Chaos, and Liberation Management The professional
service firm is the best model for tomorrow's organization in any
industry. When it comes to understanding these firms, David Maister
has no peers.
James L. Heskett Professor, Harvard Business School; co-author of Service Breakthroughs David Maister's name is synonymous with the latest thinking in professional service firm management. This book suggests why.