Firm Leadership

Rants, Raves, Rebuttals, Reflections, Revelations & Ruminations

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Post #826 – September 21, 2019

NEW Issue of Legal Business World is Now Available

It will provide you with 19 articles and 108 pages of authentic and valuable insights into the changing face of law, the opportunities and challenges that technology represents, and the possibilities for meaningful innovation.

I’m pleased to have contributed a piece entitled “Lessons For New Leaders On Where To Invest Their Time.”

Read online: or Download PDF: 

Post #825 – September 18, 2019

Legal Micro-Niche: Synthetic Biology

This is another in a series of articles I have been doing, this one with Jennifer Burnett, on what I call micro-niches - slivers of lucrative opportunity for attorneys and practice groups that care to invest non-billable time in developing themselves as the "go-to" experts.

In the newest issue of Corporate Board Member magazine (Fourth Quarter 2019), Nicholas Negroponte, technology visionary and co-founder of the legendary MIT Media Lab, talks in a feature interview about some of the tech trends that he sees “around the corner” and Negroponte names Synthetic Biology as the one that will “change our basic understanding of nature.” With input from Jennifer, who practices in the area, we have provided a brief glimpse into what is transpiring for lawyers in this micro-niche: 

Post # 824 – August 13, 2019

Our Second Annual Law Firm Innovation Summit

Join me at the Harvard Club in Boston on November 13 & 14 where I will be co-chairing the 2nd annual Law Firm Innovation Summit with over 30 speakers from a broad range of Law Firms, Legal Service Providers, Academic Institutions, Corporate Counsel, and Subject Matter Experts.

We will address critical innovation topics ranging from Why Innovation Should Start with Process and not Technology to Client Innovation Needs, Innovative Revenue-Building Strategies to Innovation Governance and Prioritization, Barriers to Innovation through to Design Thinking and Design Action, and much more…

Post #823 – August 2, 2019

Legal Micro-Niche: Deep Learning

This is another in a series of articles I'm doing, this one with colleague Nick Brestoff, on what I call micro-niches - slivers of lucrative opportunity for attorneys and practice groups that care to invest non-billable time in developing themselves as the "go-to" experts.

Deep learning is a micro-niche of artificial intelligence (AI). It uses mathematic procedures called algorithms to learn and recognize patterns. It’s nested below AI, machine learning, and “neural networks” because it’s a multi-layer neural network. What’s amazing is that deep learning enables computers to learn. Since we’re awash in data in the legal industry, we stand to benefit from learning how our clients are using it.

Post #822 - July 4, 2019

Strategy Innovation: Getting to The Future FIRST

Download your copy of my new 240-page eBook - Strategy Innovation: Getting To The Future First

This book is intended to help you advance your innovative, entrepreneurial, and strategic thinking so your firm can WIN in today’s highly competitive environment.

Schedule Time For Strategic Thinking
32 Strategic Innovation Questions
How Conventional Strategizing Can Be A Waste of Time
Conducting A Strategic Review Versus A Strategic Plan
Bring Your Strategy Process To Life
Efficiency Is NOT The Competitive Advantage
Beware of Being Afflicted By Strategy Viruses
On Having A Strategic Focus

Developing Your Growth Strategy: Seeking Clear Blue Water
Understanding Industry Dynamics
The Tech-Driven Hybrid Practice
Importance of The Micro-Niche
Some Lucrative Micro-Niche Practices
Six Elements of Meaningful Differentiation
Perspectives on Strategizing

When Your Strategic Plan Needs To Get Implemented
Consider A Strategic Plan Premortem
Getting Committee Members To Follow-Through on Their Commitments
The Dangers of Competitive Plagiarism

Post # 821 – June 10, 2019

Would You Rather Lead Strategically?

Whether you are the designated leader of a practice group or industry team, your ability to lead that group, especially if they are a challenging collection of mavericks, makes you one of the most essential players in helping your firm achieve its long-term profitability and market success. 

Join me at the University of Chicago on August 22nd for a one-day, very intensive workshop to explore techniques and build skills to unleash your practice group’s highest potential.

We will explore how best to:
• create a strong cohesive group out of a collection of bright, intelligent, autonomous professionals?
• identify specifically what it is, that you can do, that is likely to actually affect the competitive success of the group you lead?
• find the means to develop a strategic direction and have your colleagues actually want to work together?
• lead effective meetings that result in concrete action plans being formulated and colleagues willing to take responsibility for actually doing something?

Register to attend before July 3rd, 2019 to receive your 15% early-bird discount:

Post # 820 – June 5, 2019

Legal Micro-Niche: AgTech

There are numerous law firms that hold themselves out as having agribusiness practices but only a few are exploring being the go-to firms in the agriculture technology (AgTech) micro-niche.  Total investment in 2017 in this micro-niche was reported to have exceeded $1.5 billion.  The “digital transformation” of agriculture is necessary if we want to continue filling our baskets with healthy, affordable food.   Imagine: driverless tractors tilling acres of crops, produce growing in massive climate-controlled warehouses, and seeds genetically altered to require less water are among the high-tech innovations changing, or about to change, agriculture.  Meanwhile, America’s first autonomous robot farm officially launched last October.

This is another in a series of articles I'm doing on what I call micro-niches - slivers of lucrative opportunity for attorneys and practice groups that care to invest non-billable time in developing themselves as the "go-to" experts.

Post #819 – May 29, 2019

How Do You Select Your Next Firm Leader?

Get your copy of my free 260-page eBook:

It is doubtful that any firm contemplates the replacement of its firm leader with enthusiasm, even when the departure is expected.  Most Executive Committees and Boards are often unprepared for the challenge and time consuming nature of planning and executing the managing partner selection process.  Which is probably not at all surprising given that they only have to do it about once every decade.  Nevertheless, there are huge consequences.  Every partner is watching closely and the process is intensely personal, political and demanding.

So, how do you orchestrate this selection process?  Will certain approaches make the task easier and more efficient?  

The necessity for determining a succession process that will work for your firm is critical.  What I have attempted to do in this eBook is outline a comprehensive process.  While every situation may be somewhat unique, best practices would suggest that there are five very distinct phases and each phase has a number of steps.

Get your copy of my free 260-page eBook, The Art of Leadership Succession:

Post # 818 – May 24, 2019

Legal Micro-Niche: Additive Manufacturing / 3D Printing

This is another in a series of articles I'm doing on what I call micro-niches - slivers of lucrative opportunity for attorneys and practice groups that care to invest non-billable time in developing themselves as the "go-to" experts.

When one hears the term 3D printing, it is just natural to think of it as a way to produce a small plastic desk accessory or toy you might pick up in a gift shop.  But 3D printing is instead, part of a broader range of revolutionary technologies known as additive manufacturing (AM).  AM is now being adapted to a stunning array of different materials that will dramatically disrupt the future of manufacturing and at least 25 other different industries that I’ve been monitoring.  So to simply say that you aspire to be your client’s “trusted advisor” rings hollow, should they ask you what you know about additive manufacturing and all you can muster is a shrug of your shoulders.  Alternatively for those who care to explore this as a micro-niche to specialize in, the opportunities are beyond description.

Read Online 
or in PDF: …

Post #817 – May 11, 2019

When Needing To Engage in Critical Thinking

Here is a one-page cheat-sheet that is a good tool when we find ourselves facing a rather novel situation.

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