Doing first things first.
Making things count.
And meeting upon, yawn-worthy, meeting.
How many times have you found yourself discussing the same issue over and over? Indeed, some firms resort to a standing agenda, just to make sure they cover the same, well worn, bases. For all the good intention, it seems that the amount of ‘hot air’ spewed forth is in inverse proportion to the outcome.
But what if you focused, with laser-like precision, on only one issue, and you decided to nail it.
Take your pick:
a) introducing a dress code;
b) delivering WOW through service (this is unashamedly borrowed from Zappos‘ core values);
c) have, as your sole mission, to delight every client;
d) go to lunch with a client, referrer or internal referrer every week;
e) spend one day a week on business development;
f) manage your time for the important and not the urgent;
g) make sure, unfailingly, you produce a monthly newsletter with a call to action;
h) looked at your firm’s website every day, and offer one tip that you can do to improve the offering;
i) practice saying nothing in a conversation for more than 20 seconds – listening is a strategic skill;
j) don’t wait for something good to happen to thank your staff; say something positive every day;
k) don’t ever say “It’s not my job”;
l) get to know someone new in your firm every day;
m) don’t suck up but suck down;
n) volunteer for the jobs that no one else wants to do;
o) treat your staff like your clients;
p) offer to mentor someone where you can make a difference to their career in the next 6 months;
q) learn to type at a minimum of 30 words per minute;
r) all partners to revert to being a trainee for a day in another department;
s) force yourself not to talk about chargeable hours for a whole week but rather the amount of WOW you have provided to your clients (of course if you can’t measure something then you can’t manage it but that’s just the point);
t) have some Thank You notes printed and make sure you use them;
u) build open and honest communication;
v) recognise that people have a life outside of law, and just once in a while it is nice to show an interest;
w) embrace and encourage the idea of lawyers getting better by doing more than the job of work;
x) embracing radical and lasting change;
y) stop thinking that you have all the answers. You need to look further afield than your sector;
z) your core values should be revisited and everyone should have their say in whether they are fit for purpose and in fact mirror the tone, environment and culture – internal and external.
Of course, this is just another list, and they are easy all too easy to formulate, but you get the drift.
Execution is everything – it is a strategic imperative.
It will, over the long haul, determine your strategy more so than any amount of Blue Sky thinking or re-re-branding.
Perhaps the best tactic at the next meeting is to have one issue only on the agenda, and to say that this is the only thing we are going to focus on until we can say with utmost confidence that we have this sucker licked.