Episode #46 - Free-Rider Friday

May 29th was “Free-Rider Friday.” Most of our shows are “topic” driven, where we dive deep into one subject. Free-Rider Fridays are designed to be “event” driven—whatever issues are in the news that we (or you) find worthy of commentary.

In economics, free riding means reaping the benefits from the actions of others and consequently refusing to bear the full costs of those actions. This means Ed and Ron will free ride off of the news, and each other, with no advanced knowledge of the events either will bring up.

We also had a special guest: John Chisholm, senior fellow at VeraSage Institute, and recovering lawyer.

John Chisholm’s Biography

My life changed when he met the late—and great—Paul O’Byrne in Sydney in 2005.

Until then, I had always struggled with the concept of billing clients in 6 minute increments even though, as managing partner and CEO of large law firms in Australia, this was for all intents and purposes a pretty successful business model which I embraced.

When I left mainstream law firms in 2004 and set up my consultancy practice I was determined not to price my services by time (perhaps I was just too lazy/too old to record time in my own consulting practice?) but really had no idea how I would price myself. That is until I met Paul.

The rest as they say is history. Initially through Paul and then Ron Baker and the whole VeraSage family I have become an advocate, zealot and many of my colleagues would say a terrorist for the destruction of time based billing in professional firms in Australasia.

Viva la revolution!

John’s Background

John Chisholm was previously a partner and managing partner at Maddocks, chief executive of Middletons and executive chairman Melbourne PKF Chartered Accountants.

John established his own consultancy, John Chisholm Consulting, in 2005 to share his expertise and experience with professional service firms in Australia, New Zealand and worldwide who look to maximize their business performance. He now speaks, trains, facilitates, coaches and consults.

As a practicing lawyer, managing partner and chief executive John was well placed to experience first hand both the benefits but also the drawbacks of the profession pricing their services solely by reference to time. He now works with many professional service firms (and their clients) around Australasia assisting them with both a mindset change, and the practical implementation and application of, moving towards value based pricing.

John has studied and works with professional firms in UK, US and Australia who no longer bill their clients in 6-minute increments of time. He has written numerous articles on value pricing and has presented and spoken to over a 1000 lawyers and accountants in the past three years on this topic. He is regularly invited as a keynote or guest speaker at legal industry events including for the Law Council of Australia, Australian Legal Practice Management Association, Law Institute of Victoria, Law Society of Queensland, CPA Australia and Leo Cussen Institute.

Free-Rider Friday Topics Discussed

An article on the Results Only Working Environment from Personnel Today, May 22, 2015, by Vicki Arnstein, and how the idea is starting to take root in the UK.

Daimler showed off its autonomous lorry, in the first state to license it on public roads: Nevada. Daimler believes that self-driving commercial vehicles will come to market before driverless cars. Here’s a CBS news story and a video from Daimler.

Schumpeter’s Creative Destruction Applies to Taxi Medallions. Excellent article on how taxi medallions are losing their value due to the competition from Uber, etc.