Strategic Planning Matters
Partners can be cynical about the value of strategic planning. But the days are gone when legal firms could be assured of success simply by doing a good legal job. The number of firms that have a Strategic Plan to drive future development has grown dramatically over the past decade or two. Why? It is not just a fad. Competition is becoming unpredictable as innovative new firms appear in the market. The pace of change in technological advancements, the expectations of a new generation of clients, and the thorny issue of succession have propelled many firms into re-thinking their reactive approach to decision-making.
The need to future-proof your firm has never been more pressing. Professional Edge can assure you that the Strategic Planning processes we use are practical, relevant, and tailored to the needs of the legal industry today.
The majority of legal firm partners are so busy being ‘Producers’ that they may be falling short in their leadership responsibilities. There are not many successful businesses where the owner spends most of his or her time on the shop floor. Yet this is the most common scenario in a law firm. If Partners don’t take on the mantle of leadership in their firms then who drives the journey into the future? Who makes proactive decisions about investing now to achieve gains later? Who addresses succession issues? Who defines and nurtures a culture in which the best people want to work? It is only Partners (the owners) who can do these things.
Professional Edge can work alongside you to strengthen the Leadership role and decision-making skills in your firm. We know that sensitive and difficult issues can arise in partnerships and we are not afraid to tackle these as part of developing your leadership skill-set. Irene can also join your monthly meetings via video link to drive momentum and assist when the going gets tough.
Recent surveys have indicated that firms which record the most billable hours are not always the most profitable. Strong profitability and economic success are the outputs arising from a winning permutation of factors and not from simply working harder. Putting the right strategies in place over time means you could be creating more profit for less effort.
Irene has worked with firms to assemble the balance of ingredients that creates healthy profit growth. For many years she has presented Profitability and Leverage workshops for the New Zealand Law Society CPD programme. These courses have received very positive feedback from law firm leader participants. Your firm could benefit from a review of the practices that influence profit creation.
Human Resources Matters
Your firm’s results depend on your people. If you want a high performance workplace then every aspect of your recruitment, training, evaluation and reward systems has to build staff engagement and results. Irene Joyce has successfully assisted firms with developing a full range of HR systems tailored to the legal profession. She can work with your inhouse people to develop and implement HR systems designed to meet your firm’s needs, goals and culture.
Irene has experience creating performance expectations and criteria for Lawyers, Legal Executives, and PA’s at various stages of their career development. She can also guide your firm (and individuals) with explicit criteria for advancement, including advancement to Partnership.
Client Base Matters
Prosperous practices are much more likely to take a proactive rather than reactive approach to building their client base. These firms develop work types, expertise, and a niche approach that protects them from the risks inherent in changing markets and simultaneously differentiates them from competitors. They weather the storm of downturns in the economy because of the balance of their services and composition of their client base. They implement deliberate strategies protect and grow their market share. They don’t stay hitched to a dying horse that is heading into the desert.
Professional Edge can work with you to identify potential options for your practice and develop achievable client base goals.
Inhouse workshops can be tailored to your needs and objectives and they count towards your CPD hours. Popular ones include “Delegation for High Performance”, “Leverage and Profitability”, “Advanced Communication Skills for Performance Reviewers”, “Personal Branding and Career Development” and “Building Client Loyalty – the Moments of Truth”. Other courses can be developed depending on the outcomes you want to achieve.