“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” Lewis Carroll
“Activity is increasing but pricing is difficult” would be a fair summation of the views expressed to me by Managing Partners over the last three months. Firms across all segments of the market are running faster to stand still. Naturally there is a determined focus on the cost base and efficiency improvements but these do not address the long term strategic issue – in a market in which client demands, competitive forces and investment requirements are spiralling upwards, it is not enough to increase intensity without clear direction.
Becoming more efficient is necessary but not sufficient. It is focused on running the same race faster. Strategy should be centred on finding a different race to run.
This is the real challenge facing the leaders of the many look-a-like firms if they are to avoid a continuing downward spiral of pricing and profitability.