“The law firms which plan well will inherit the future.”
That was one of our hypotheses when we started our research into Professional Services Firms and their approach to business planning and business development.
What we have discovered is that lawyers don’t want to plan, because they feel the process is faulty.
And if the process is faulty, the plans that emerge are faulty too: vague statements of intent, long lists of intended actions, usually developed in isolation.
What if you started the planning process, not with a template, but by thinking about what you want?
When we listen to you, these are the things we hear you want:
Some are more fundamental than others. And the priorities shift for each person we are talking to…
So what would a plan and a process need to look like, if they’re to give you what you want?
It would first and foremost help you get clear about what you want to focus on. “Strategy is sacrifice” as we say – you can’t do everything for everyone. Whilst you might keep on doing opportunistic work when it comes your way, you will not be able to build a reputation around just being “a lawyer”. And many unexciting lawyer LinkedIn profiles prove this.
So what will you focus on? What is your desirable goal? Your vision of what kind of lawyer you want to be? What would you be passionate enough about, so that any discipline required to achieve it does NOT feel like self-punishment?
Our hypothesis hasn’t changed. We still believe that a better approach to business planning and business development will reap substantial benefits. And indeed, we see those partners and firms that do step up are well-rewarded by the market.
Hence our summary for today: “Without a goal, discipline is nothing but self-punishment”.
Think about your goal. What do you want to be known for? What will be your focus?
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