The Business of Law: How to Strategize for Better Performance in a Law Firm
Digital Jurist – This edition of Digital Jurist will take you by the hand and show you the way to strategize effectively for enhanced efficiency and productivity.
Developing strategy is an exercise of the mind, subtle in nature, to manifest an intention at a desired time. We have come up with the golden questions to ask in order to help you craft the strategies for your law business:
The 7 Golden Questions –
- What is the current reality of this practice?
- What is the logic used that indicates which path to choose going forward?
- What is the nature, quality, intensity of our aspiration and intention as a Law firm?
- What is our level of energy and will?
- What are the values and beliefs we subscribe to as a Law firm?
- What are our preferences and opinions?
- What is our long term desired endpoint?
Your answers to these questions will assist greatly in crafting a suitable and viable strategy for your law business. Strategy works best when it is collaborative effort, with input from all members of your team. Remember, an inclusive, consultative strategy is better than an autonomous, exclusive one.
The answers from your team’s collaborative and consultative strategy sessions should produce these results for your Firm/Law Business:
Clearly define your vision and mission statement – A vision and mission statement helps you situate the face and shape of your business. It is the first step in determining how you want the public to relate to you, as well as how you want to relate to the public. Your vision is where you see yourself in the end, while your mission statement is what you do to achieve that vision. When your vision and mission statement are in place, you can define how you want to accomplish them.
Set long term goals – The best way to remain engaged and keep the engagement of your team members is to work with clearly defined goals. It is important to set goals for the long term and then break them down into short term goals, achievable either monthly, weekly or daily. The trick is to start with well-defined long term goals. That way, you can define to the day, what you have to do, in other to accomplish those goals.
Align your strategy to your True Desire – A strategy is a plan, and a plan will only be as successful as your true desire to implement it. Without this true desire, it is essentially worthless. Naturally you are driven to accomplish in the direction of your passion, of your desire, of your deepest need. What is your desire? With your strategy in place, you can gravitate towards the direction of what you really want which influenced your strategy in the first place.
Maintain the Deepest Aspiration behind the Strategy – As is common with most if not all human beings, lethargy can set in while you are working towards the actualization of your strategies. Therefore, you need to cultivate the habit of regularly checking up on what influenced your strategy in the first instance. There might be need for you to re-evaluate implementation of your strategies from time to time. Ask the questions we highlighted at the beginning and based on current answers, develop new strategies as needs be and move on to actualize them.
Envision the Future – Once you have established clear goals, the next step in your strategic plan for achieving them is to envision the future. Your aim should be to accelerate the natural, unconscious process by which your practice grows but you must be able to consciously initiate actions that will accelerate that process. That requires imagination, forethought and careful planning. In other words, you can’t be in a hurry to get this done, and get it done properly.
Be it to develop new opportunities in the legal marketplace, attract new clients or get new business, you need to envision the future. Envisioning the future enables you to balance all aspects of your practice such that, for instance, you do not have increased demand for your services when you lack the efficient workforce to handle such traffic. Such a practice will ultimately burn out. Therefore, as you are planning business development, you must also plan staff recruitment and continuous training so that you do not lack the organizational structure and systems necessary to handle expansion.
A very vital tip to clarifying your understanding of what you envision and to ensure that it is workable is to work your way back to the present from that envisioned future. In other words, ask yourself, what do I need to do today to get me to a place where, five years from now, I will be in the position to accomplish what I want to achieve 10 years from now…? When you can think this way, your creative energies will activate and flow. Write down the thoughts and idea that pop into your mind. Your strategy is underway!
We wish you Godspeed and Success!