Last week, I presented at the Chilli IQ Managing Partners Forum on the Gold Coast, Australia and urged delegates to adapt to changing market conditions before it is too late. Specifically, I offered 4 initiatives to stay ahead of the curve:
1. Be clear about your firm's purpose; consider why does your firm exist? (The answer is not to make money though that is a necessary outcome). Once your 'why' is clear, then you will attract people (clients, referrers, suppliers and team members) who identify with your purpose. Your ensuing strategies will be much more meaningful and engaging.
2. Serve your clients as they expect to be served; clients are your reason for being, so ensure you understand what their beliefs, needs and desired outcomes are. Find out what they want, why they want it and what they expect from you. Ask them directly and purposefully rather than part of just a casual client satisfaction survey. Give them an experience they will appreciate!
3. Inspire, include and reward your people; law is a human endeavour so ensure you treat all your people as partners in your business rather than dispensable resources. Everyone has a role to play in shaping the culture of your firm. As one senior associate wrote recently in the Law Society Journal of NSW, '...challenge yourself and those around you to engage in the process of meeting the client’s needs by looking at the whole of the business, the people involved, and the potential you have to increase the capabilities of your team for a stronger future.'
4. Run your practice as a competitive business; your legal practice is a commercial enterprise, so ensure you run it as such. Unlike 15 years ago, the legal services industry is much more competitive as a result of technology, more suppliers and substitutes and increasingly savvy consumers. Firms must therefore ensure they have the strategies, systems and people in place to ensure a healthy future.
As one delegate, Victor Tse from Melbourne commented afterwards, 'Simon was inspiring and offered plenty of useful advice for lawyers.'
To download my speaking prospectus, click here.