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Professional Services Constitute Major Export Value

Thursday, April 1, 2004

The Society for the Advancement of Consulting (SAC) sees a continued, dramatic growth in the export of management expertise, training, development, and general consulting through the rest of this decade. Major U.S. consulting firms are reporting increasing overall share of revenues from foreign sources. SAC CEO Alan Weiss, Ph.D., who just returned from a two-week speaking tour in Australia, says, "There is every indication that organizations are willing to invest in external management and leadership assistance around the globe."

Management guru Peter Drucker has noted that if American knowledge exports were calculated in the trade figures, the U.S. would actually show a positive balance of trade. Dr. Weiss, who has visited 54 countries in the course of his career, agrees. "Management wisdom has become the 21st Century equivalent of textiles, steel, and grain," Weiss commented.

SAC has encouraged its members to seek global clients, through American-based multinationals, directly with overseas organizations, and through alliance partners. "With the advent of the Internet and its current pervasive influence," says Weiss, "even small professional services firms and solo practitioners can remotely assist business around the globe." This has immense implications for architects, accountants, designers, and mediators, among others.

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