Market leaders lead the market

When a group of law firm partners discusses significant changes in their respective firms, one of them will almost certainly say: "But no other firm in our market does this..."

We have three responses that we ask our clients to consider:

First, are you sure?  We have frequently discovered, upon further investigation, that the assumption by a group of partners that nobody else is implementing a specific change or innovation is inaccurate. Do not assume, just because the idea seems radical to you, that one of your competitors is not considering a similar change. Some of them may have already implemented it successfully; but you just don't know about it.

Second, do you really want your firm's actions to be governed by the inertia of your competitors?  The fact that no other law firm in your market does something (assuming that it not unlawful) is not a terribly persuasive argument. It is, at best, a piece of evidence for you to consider. Do not "benchmark" your firm to the mediocre habits of others.

Third, remember that market leaders lead the market. The risks of inaction in a maturing, highly competitive market for professional services are usually greater than the risks of innovation. You might avoid some risks by not being the first firm in your market to try a new approach; but you face the much greater risk of a potential competitive advantage that could be lost forever if you wait until another firm implements the new idea. It will be very difficult for you to catch up.

In the law, as in any other business, one cannot lead a market from the second or third row.  Market leaders lead the market.

Read more on the Walker Clark Worldview 

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