Self-preservation, adopting a closed mindset and keeping the same dress code are the sine qua non of the legal profession.
Change is bad.
Many people will disagree with this sentiment. They will say that the profession is going through seismic change. I disagree.
My theme is focused on the internal (partnership) mindset. And, as I have said before, if the historical perspective has produced healthy profits then no partner will want to rock the boat.
But the tipping point is nigh; and will only accelerate.
Smart firms will stop bleating and start implementing.
Topics that should be understood and worked into the practice include:
Recruiting for a little weirdness.
Looking for Emotional Intelligence.
Recruiting people who like people (aka clients).
A team mentality as opposed to the bunker approach.
Driving through an Excellence agenda.
If this is a rallying cry, then start believing in it – talk is cheap.
Whoever is driving the firm must (urgently) paint a vivid, memorable picture of the future where the service is beyond WOW. Go dig around and find a few businesses that have pushed the envelope. Don’t look at other law firms. There are enough lemmings out there.
If you can illustrate your firm of the future with something tangible then so much the better.
If you are resolute in making things different then others must be inspired and, if not, you are unlikely to have a future.
The future is bright for those firms that have enough people who have the self-belief to believe in the project. There is no middle, safe ground. That will be taken over by those who have a track record of using advertising to sell middle-of-the-road *stuff*. You have to look at the outer edges. No, not stupidly cheap but perhaps ridiculously expensive – reassuringly so – or a service that is not industry standard but so far on the edge that you would be mad not to use this firm.
Value should be the touchstone for client engagement. It should mean something. That doesn’t mean giving your intellectual capital away.
If you are fed up with everyone telling you how rubbish the profession is then don’t stand around nodding but go do something about it. Point them to something that is so revolutionary that it will be impossible to decry things any longer.
Imagine, plan and execute. Do it NOW.
~ JS ~