I believe the time has come for us to attempt a definition of the Professional Knowledge Firm or PKF.
Many of us at the VeraSage Institute have been using this term in our postings quite often lately. Ron and I have been bandying about a definition for a few weeks, and at this point we would like to put it out there for your thoughts. Please weigh in, early and often.
Professional Knowledge Firms (PKFs) are organizations that create, disseminate, provide and sell intellectual capital to individuals or other organizations.
Typical business models revolve selling intellectual capital, either on a project-by-project basis, or through a service level agreement providing access to knowledge on an ongoing basis for a fixed price based on value, not efforts, time or costs.
In this sense they share much in common with Professional Services Firms but there are also key differences:
- PKFs do not charge for their time, meaning they do not bill by the minute, hour, or day, but rather a fixed fee based on the value provided to the customer.
- Effectiveness is more important than efficiency.
- Employees are not viewed as resources, but as intellectual capital investors.