By now, you have assessed your firm's most advantageous potential market-driven infrastructure competencies. You have gathered compelling evidence. You are impassioned and oh-so-ready for your firm to make a grand resolution to do things in a new way. Does this sound familiar? Do you remember the professional service firms in Chapter 1, rushing toward mountainous new initiatives without a clear comprehension of their actions or the real determination to stay the course once they'd begun? What about those enterprises that appeared to be on the other end of the spectrum—the ones that avoided the deeply organic work it takes to make systemic change? This time, though, with a maturing service marketplace, an evolving technological landscape, and new competitive approaches being adopted every day, your firm's collective conviction to do things differently is likely to be high.
Consider just one of the looking out building blocks: studying clients using qualitative and quantitative research. As more firms become acutely aware of the competitive environment in which they now conduct business and begin to see the benefits they could realize from a formal commitment to market research, an increasing number will consider market research to be a core activity that they will undertake regularly. They will plan and protect these market research expenses,