The frictionless firm

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“The concept of organizational fluidity, therefore, is not new. What is new that excellent companies seem to know how to make use of it. Whether it’s their rich ways of communicating informally or their special ways of using ad hoc services, such as task forces, the excellent companies get quick action just because their organizations are fluid.”

Tom Peters and Bob Waterman Jnr, In Search of Excellence, 1982

Law firms are bound up tighter than a snare drum.

Talk about playing things close to your chest.

You only want to let out so much slack – when it suits you or your client.


The excellent firms know that the only way to grow systematically and efficiently is to work as one. Not as separate, insular departments.

Appoint someone to break down the barriers. Or, better still, don’t wait to pick someone, go and knock on some doors, introduce yourself, and, if necessary, make a hue and cry.

Don’t make a (little) big thing about team sheets, capability statements and such crap. Just do lunch. You know the good old fashioned variety.

Of course, I have zero power to command you to do anything. But if you want to see your practice grow and every one around you then start practising the art of wandering about. Better that than spending time moaning about your colleagues all the time.

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