Have you appointed a Wizard of *WOW*?

I wish I could lay claim to the expression, “Wizard of WOW”, but it goes to Tom Peters (who else).

WOW gets short shrift from legal practice – in fact – it is treated with derision. But as an article in yesterday’s FT mentioned, bosses are now looking for innovators – those people that can ‘surprise’ – and to me, although WOW is not just innovation, it is nevertheless a very important component.

If only legal practice were to adopt a WOW mindset then how different the profession would look and feel. Instead, what pervades can be encapsulated in another Tom Peters expression:

“What gets measured, gets done .”

That can be put even more bluntly: Money talks and the rest is a side show. Unfortunately, this erases any notion of WOW.

It would be easy to lay down a pre-defined set of have and have-nots but that would be too easy. WOW resembles an asymptote. Just when you think you are in reach of it, the line moves out a bit further when someone comes along and blows your mind with a new and innovative way of doing of things.

If you were to appoint a Wizard of WOW (and didn’t give them a x3/4 salary target!) then in what way would they revolutionise your practice? Which sacred cows would disappear?

Does the firm’s management care enough to appoint someone as Your Wizard of WOW? [Just imagine a client being referred to the firm’s Wizard of WOW for Client Service. Now this one is a pipe-dream – Firms would be just so fearful of failing.]

Of course, there will be many people who already think that clients are far too demanding and they don’t need a meddler to make their lives even harder but that would be missing the point.

If you think this sounds down right stupid then so be it but lawyers being conservative have to look at ways of pushing at the accepted boundaries of professional practice. I bet if I talked about the Chief Profitability Officer then partners would be all ears.

For me WOW begets innovation, begets WOW people development, begets WOW client experience, begets differentiation, begets unlimited referrals by Word of Mouth. And in turn the position of Chief Profitability would be redundant in short order.

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