The Billable Hours Dilemma: Breaking the paradigm

In the billable hours world, supplier companies deliver services to client companies in an exchange of time for money. It’s the dominant business model in legal, accounting, and consulting firms.


This presents a wonderful opportunity for organizations to leverage expertise and capability that they don’t possess themselves. But it also comes with its own peculiar issues and risks, which can erode or negate any potential value. 


In this episode, I explore the billable hours model from both sides of the equation. Why is it so hard for service providers to think long term? What are the ‘traps for young players’ when engaging service firms to deliver work on a time and materials basis? And what can you do to increase the likelihood of extracting real value from any engagement?



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