ONE OF MY biggest bugbears is the use of the phrase ‘professional’ when describing a member of the accounting, legal or medical professions.
A recent article in Management Today covered my views on the use of the word ‘professional’ pretty well. To summarise and quote: “Fifty years ago, the professional classes were revered by society. But long-held restrictive practices and a reluctance to accept reforms have contributed to a gradual loss of public trust and respect.”
I agree with this sentiment wholeheartedly. In the past, certain professions were protected by virtue of their self regulation, their ethical standards, and the unspoken ‘code of conduct’ rigorously applied by all practitioners.
The noun ‘professional’ was synonymous with the adjective. Put simply, professionals were professional. Is this still the case?
What I see is that these terms are conflated by many within the professions, who automatically presume that the way it has always been done is ‘professional’. This couldn’t be further from the truth in my eyes.
Think about your stakeholders:
• Is charging by the hour (and in turn, charging for your own inefficiencies) professional?
• Is performing manual work that technology could perform professional?
There are many more instances where the ‘traditional’ approach isn’t the best for clients, for staff, or for the business.
A solicitor / accountant / doctor can be professional. A taxi driver can also be professional.
But – a taxi driver can also be a liar, a cheat, a thief – as can other ‘professionals’.
Richard Cartwright becomes the new head, taking over from incumbent head of office David Lemon
Brian Burke, business development director, has moved within the firm to 'develop Quantuma’s networks with Sussex professional firms'
Stephen Mills joins the Manchester office from IBM, where he spent 12 years as an associate partner in the data, analytics and cognitive consulting group
Rupert Guppy will be responsible for capital allowances in the southern region, and joins the firm from specialist consultancy E3 Consulting