Profitability starts with your most valuable resource, your most costly resource, and the least understood resource in a law firm. Firm Members are coming to work each day with little or no proactive development of their skills and their performance. We call these individuals “eagles in a cage.” Because of outdated, ineffective management thought process, the cost of employees keeps going up. Absenteeism, lack of productivity, and lack of motivation is keeping the cost of doing business far too high.
The 21st Century law firm is changing rapidly. It is impossible to keep your head above water. Technology is a big part of your budget and drives the efficiency of your work. Employees are now four generations working side by side. They aren’t into the old style work environment. Clients are more demanding and they want…get this…SERVICE with a RELATIONSHIP! Your peers, those people who tell you to your face they want you to succeed, are out competing against you on every corner. And all of this with firm income down and costs going up worse than the Dow-Jones ever will.
Yet out of all of this, the truly innovative, free-thinking law firm has a clear chance to become a pro-active keeper of the flock and make a statement that the firm’s most valuable resource is the employees. By creating employees that are energized, motivated, and feel like they are a strategic partner in the success of the firm, the law firm simply cannot fail. This is the high performance concept.
It took us a while to figure out that while everyone was enthused when the hard work of implementation was going on, when accountability arose, the leadership was not ready. There has to be accountability to the firm by every member, leadership, lawyer and non-lawyer. We have since learned to start first at the top and work down. There has to be a buy-in from top to bottom.
In our opinion most law firms are disorganized and chaotic for a reason. It is because the on-going day to day grind of delivering the work product and the client service in a highly competitive, assertive environment takes priority. There is no visible room for change. It is easier stay in the comfort zone and put up with the stress. Change cause positive stress. Where you are now is negative stress. The problem is as the saying goes if you stay the way you are you will always be the way you are.
There truly is a better life out there for everyone, not just the leadership. It doesn’t happen over-night but as the thought processes change, the right people get put into the right seat on the bus. There is renewed energy, synergy and a new way to make clients happy and who want to be involved with your firm. Work productivity goes up and the management of employees is less of a concern as you start to develop them into high performance employees. There is less turn over. There is less additional staff needed because the work delivery is delivered in such a fashion that firm members are taking responsibility of getting the firm to a profitable state.
The only reason we can give you to change is this. What do you feel like as you get ready to go to work. How do you feel at the end of the day. If it is one of dread or lack of enthusiasm, if it is with a sense of being over-whelmed, and if throughout the day you grit your teeth, something needs to change; either you or where you work.
Out of chaos come changes. Out of change comes growth. Out of growth comes wisdom. And with wisdom comes profitability.
From Soaring Eagles by Favor-Leone available as an E-book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashword. We believe employees are locked in invisible cages through no fault of their own. The purpose of this book is to help open the cage and provide an environment for your flock that will allow them to soar higher than you ever dreamed possible. This book is going to teach you to throw out the rules, forget everything you think you know about employee management, and help you create a very simplistic but workable environment that helps you drive your firm practice.