It is a myth: curiosity killed the cat

“The earliest printed reference to the origin of this proverb is attributed to the British playwright Ben Jonson in his 1598 play, Every Man in His Humour, which was performed first by William Shakespeare” (Wikipedia).

If I had the ability to teleport (Captain Picard where art tho?) then I would go and speak to these gentlemen and chastise them for their lack of foresight and untold damage (to professional practice) in bringing forth this drivel.

In my experience lawyers, as human beings, are curious but the ‘system’ which they operate under – call it management, systems or leadership – is prone, at the first sight of too much curiosity (i.e. challenging the status quo), to want to stamp on it or make things so bloody difficult that any momentum that might have been built up is annihilated. The pattern of repression is ingrained from the start of the education process right through to promotion to partner.

Let’s be clear what I am talking about: The firm set up as opposed to lateral thinking (this is sub-set of the higher order of curiosity) around the correct application of the law.

I have only a few words to say on the subject:

Stop looking for the middle ground, for an organisation that makes perfect sense and for people that all look and sound the same (diversity + curiosity + innovation = success = obscene profit).

Find some outsiders that may not be your normal cup of tea but know how to get things done.

Don’t look for the normal paths and routes but go for some byways.

Bring in some creative types and let them screw around with your business plans. If you have a movie director or actor on your doorstep then so much the better.

Remember that buying anything is an emotional experience – people buy on emotion and justify on logic and professional services are no different. How would you feel about buying your service? Is it bland and the same as every other firm on your doorstep?

Stop looking for near perfect answers and just execute. Too many plans have been written only to gather dust in the bottom drawer somewhere for a year or more. The more that your people can see action and you letting go of all the ‘i’s’ and ‘t’s’ the more likely it is that they will feel comfortable in speaking up next time.

And finally have this quote as the screen save for every single fee earner.

“A company’s [firm’s] purpose is to become the best version of itself. [But] an organization can only become the best version of itself to the extent that the people who drive that organisation are striving to become better version of themselves.”

The Dream Manager, Matthew Kelly

Curiosity begets curiosity but without a culture which cherishes new ideas and allows their complete an unabashed freedom it is unlikely you will see the best of your firm and the people who work within it.

Long live cats!!

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