This chapter features seven superb illustrations of how professional service firms apply digging deeper competencies to establish marketplace mastery.
The case of Malcolm Pirnie, Inc. (Pirnie), an environmental engineering, science and consulting firm, embodies my call for professional service firms to dig deeper. While not letting go of its core services or leadership position vis-à-vis its competitors (as a provider of environmental engineering consulting services), it found a way to evolve in order to capture a share of an emerging market—performance enhancement for organizations in the environmental engineering arena. Put another way, the firm identified—and pursued—a powerful way to differentiate itself: by becoming an environmentally focused firm that would go far beyond providing commoditized technical services to solve traditional engineering challenges. As a result of its efforts, it is now able to apply its engineering and technical expertise toward a more valuable, higher-level client need: improving their performance, which