Professional services firms need to build innovation bridges – Part 1

So much of what professional services firms are dealing with around the areas of technology evolution is not unique to their sector, and yet very often there is a tendency to adopt a relatively insular view. Alternative Insights was set up with the intent of looking across the sectors and looking for the bridges that can be built to connect otherwise siloed thinking. Topics that I have covered so far such as data and how it is being used, the rise of blockchain and the authenticity gap in innovation goals compared to actions are all cross-sector topics. However, we need to go further. We want to start framing the debate more and getting the best industry experts sharing how change is being handled in their sector around particular topics. There are enough news sites out there, but what innovation leaders want is depth and analysis to stimulate thinking. However, a community site only works when a community collaborates.

In this two-part article I will be reviewing some recent change across the sectors, grouped by some common themes, and then introducing our plans for the coming quarter on the topics we plan to explore, where you can get involved.

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Simon Drane

Simon Drane

earlsferry advisory
Simon has held numerous positions within the professional services sector over the last 25 years, at a FTSE 100 legal information solution provider, a legal technology consultancy, a law firm, an accounting firm, and a legal membership organisation. Simon has qualifications in law and tax, and deep experience in commercial product strategy. Simon has board level experience of both executive and non-executive roles, and as CEO of a technology startup. He has a strong track record in creating innovative product strategies resulting in multiple new multimillion pound high growth lines of business. Simon led the new investments product strategy area at LexisNexis and created and launched many of the next generation content and workflow product offerings for lawyers. At the Law Society Simon ran the commercial arm of the organisation and restructured a set of commercial investments through taking board seats. He also implemented a new commercial strategy including a significant shift in focus to legal technology innovation including the launch of a legal tech focused Barclays EagleLab accelerator. Simon has also held senior knowledge management roles in both law and accounting firms. Simon established earlsferry advisory towards the end of 2018 to help people with their product strategies, whether they are technology businesses, professional services businesses or investors into these spaces.