Implementation and Change

An all-too-common sight on the bookshelves of many law firm partners is the thick, dusty binder labeled "Strategic Plan." The partners, usually with the assistance of a consultant, developed an elegant, impressive, detailed strategic plan. They implemented almost none of it.

Implementation usually involves some significant changes in attitudes and habits.

  • It requires a shift from a short-term mentality to a long-term commitment to sustainable business success. Partners need to focus on what they need to do now to build the long-term performance of the firm, and not just how much they can bill in fees this month.
  • It involves discipline and a new ordering of priorities. These are essential to completing action items on time, measuring results against expectations, and making continuous improvements.
  • It requires an understanding that the old ways of doing things will not necessarily work in the future. Many firms have done well in the past largely due to excellent lawyers, hard work, valuable clients, and good luck. The first two are excellent traits. However, at no time in recent years has client loyalty been weaker; and good luck eventually runs out. Past success guarantees nothing in today's legal markets.

To read more about the changes involved in implementing a strategic plan, visit the Walker Clark Worldview blog.