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Post #810 – February 11, 2019
Your Strategic Plan Needs To Get Implemented
Planning is not doing.
Unfortunately, some partners believe that implementing the strategy and
“getting their hands dirty” is beneath them. They act as if
implementation is something best left to the non-legal
professionals in the firm. This view holds that one group does the
innovative strategizing work (“the thinkers”), and then hands the ball off
to lower levels. If things go awry, the problem is placed squarely at the feet
of the “doers,” who somehow couldn’t implement a “perfectly sound” plan.
Whenever I think about the effort
that is required to go into implementing your firm’s strategic plan, I’m
reminded of a particular business book title that grabbed my attention when I
first saw it . . . Hope Is Not A Strategy!
To effectively transform your best
intentions into tangible action, there are EIGHT common hurdles that you may
need to overcome. Thinking through the following will help you make the leap .
Included in the newest edition of
Legal Business World:
Post #809 – February
Annoying Phrases in Emails
A poll by Adobe has uncovered
the most annoying phrases to receive in a
work email. It is a poll rammed with all manner of
passive-aggressive neediness and belligerence, but what do the phrases really
mean? Here are some of the most
• ‘Not sure if you saw my last email’
Perhaps you were busy at lunch, or having a nice time with your
children or visiting your sick mother.
Whatever it was, I am more important.
Please work until you are dead.
• ‘Per my last email’
I use the word “per” now, because I want my vaguely legal-sounding
vocabulary to create fear deep in your stupid bovine heart.
• ‘Per our conversation’
I am creating a paper trail, because this entire project is about to
go belly up and I definitely want everyone to know that this whole mess is
exclusively your fault, even though it is probably mine.
• ‘Any updates on this?’
I am phrasing this as a question because screaming “I DEMAND
IMMEDIATE UPDATES!” makes me look deranged.
• ‘Sorry for the double email’
I am not sorry. I like sending double emails. They make me feel
powerful. Tomorrow I am going to send you a triple email, and I won’t be sorry
about that, either.
• ‘Please advise’
I am washing my hands of this whole tawdry cock-up and dumping all
responsibility on to you.
• ‘As previously stated’
I cannot believe you ignored one of my statements. Can you imagine if
Noah had ignored God’s statement about the flood? I want you to place similar
importance on a spreadsheet about office fittings that I will never even look
• ‘As discussed’
“Discussed” obviously means “demanded.” Fear me.
• ‘Re-attaching for convenience’
I do not just want to
clog up your inbox with unnecessary reminders; I also want to clog up your
inbox with documents you already own.
Feel free to cry at your desk at the earliest convenience.
Courtesy of The Irish Times
Post #808 – January 15, 2019
Strategic Challenges That New Firm Leaders Face
The recent announcement from Baker
McKenzie that their global chairman would be taking a medical leave due to
severe exhaustion took many by surprise. But Paul Rawlinson is far from
alone, among firm leaders that I have worked with over the years, in having to
contend with a position that has grown ever more demanding with challenges that
are usually not fully recognized when first taking on the role. Most
lawyers have NO idea what the huge scope of this job entails (ever seen a job
description?), how much exhausting travel can be involved, how much time it
really requires, how lonely it can be at the top, and how ill prepared many new
firm leaders are when they assume office!
Post #807 – January 2, 2019
Conducting A Strategic Review Versus A
I believe that instigating a strategic
review is very different from initiating a strategic plan, but the two often
get confused. I see too many firms thinking that they are developing a
strategic plan when they are really investing their time in conducting a
How is a strategic plan
Post #806 – December 30, 2018
Happy New Year
To all of my valued
clients, colleagues and friends, I want to say THANK YOU for allowing me to
spend time with you; for your confidence, your commitment and your fellowship.
I wish you and your
families the Very Best in 2019.
Post #805 – December 10, 2018
Life As A Firm Leader
Here are some interesting stats obtained from my
working with and researching the activities and feelings of firm leaders:
• During the average day,
53% - of time is spent in meetings, usually lasting
from 1 to 2 hours
33% - of time is spent with direct reports
61% - of this is all in face-to-face communications
23% - engaging with my internal colleagues
20% - managing my stress levels
• 41% of Firm Leaders would admit to feeling some
stress every day, with another 33% feeling stress a couple of times a week.
• The key areas where Firm Leaders believe their
role is more difficult that they might have expected include:
50% - driving change
48% - developing my senior team
40% - balancing long and short-term priorities
How does this fit with your experience?
Post #804 – November 20, 2018
Another Great Issue of Legal Business World Magazine
The latest issue include the following articles:
• CodeX and the Future of Legal Tech, Riyanka Roy Choudhury
• Strategic Challenges That New Firm Leaders Face, Patrick J.
• Identity for All | A Crisis in Demand of Input from the Legal
Industry, Aileen Schultz
Are law schools adapting to the paradigmatic transformation of
the legal professions, and how to measure it? Javier de Cendra
• Growth in the Legal sector, Katie McLean
• The Hummingbird Lawyer. Managing time efficiently can generate
an additional hour of availability each day, Richard G. Stock
• The Legal Education Gap, Lucy Endel Bassli
• Legal Tech and Innovation in South Africa, Themba Mahleka
• "A Millennial's Perspective on how law firms can retain
Millennials" or talent …? Mary Bonsor
• A ClariLegal interview with Russ Dempsey, Associate General
Counsel at AIG, Cash Butler/James Johnson
• Your Personal Legal Brand: Why You Need One and How to Begin
Creating, Jaimie B. Field, Esq.
• Taking a leadership role on data security, risk and
governance, Shauna Maguire/Siska Lund
Download your PDF copy: https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/b30d31_e90efc88cd6d4441a1205d17ff1debb2.pdf
Post #803 – November 10, 2018
Review Magazine: Fall-Winter 2018
Our Fall-Winter issue
begins with Inside the Corridors
of Firm Leadership. This features the results of the fifth in a
series of surveys I’ve conducted with my highly respected colleague David
A Lesson From The Accountants is a
collaboartion with an old friend, Neil Gower, and addresses how the major
accounting firms exercise good governance practices, perhaps worth emulating.
Rise of the Micro-Niche provides a further look into how the
explosion of data today is forcing professionals to be far more specialized if
they hope to develop a “go-to” personal brand.
What Firms Need To Do To Prepare
For The Future is an excerpt from the mid-year discussions of LIFT, our
international think-tank group collaboration.
You Need to Replace a Practice Leader offers some straightforward guidance
on how to handle the difficult situation when you have to remove a colleague
who is just not doing the job.
Visit the following link to download your copy of my Fall-Winter 2018 practice management magazine: http://www.patrickmckenna.com/pdfs/MIR%20Winter%202018.pdf
Post #802 – November 10, 2018
Legal Leadership: A Handbook for Future
I’m pleased to have contributed a chapter to Legal Leadership, a NEW book
providing relevant guidance from those on the frontline of law firm
leadership and management, to serve as the catalyst for change and
the foundation on which a strong leadership practice can be built.
Drawing on their expertise, the authors – ranging from
behavioral psychologists to senior management figures and professional
coaches – present a wide range of strategies to cultivate as part of a
leader’s personal and professional development.
Whether you are already a member of your firm’s senior management
or in a junior position with big aspirations, this text should provide
some tools that you can put to practical use.
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