Formulate business goals and develop a strategic business plan as a roadmap for the future.
Design and simplify business reports designed to measure the goals identified in the strategic business plan. Strive for a one page summary as the primary report.
Require all timekeepers in the firm to submit personal one page business plans which in addition to outlining goals for the year provided fee revenue goals with an element of stretch. The goals should have a stretch component but yet be realistic and attainable. These plans should be approved by the Executive Committee, Managing Partner or the Partnership.
In all of our client engagements we typically discover that the root cause of most problems is poor internal and external communications. Poor client service, staff competency and morale, interoffice conflict, and client defections typically can be traced back to poor communications. Work on improving internal communications with firm personnel and external communications with clients and prospective clients. Yes, you have to have meetings now and then. Devise systems to improve communications and implement properly. If a meeting is required – conduct it properly, use agendas and take minutes. Use your email systems. Match the richness of the communication method with the nature and depth of the message to be communicated.
Improve relationships with your clients. Studies show that each year 'lack of responsiveness' has been the number one reason for client dissatisfaction.
Find ways to focus the firm and foster accountability from all.
Undertake a few projects at a time that can be realistically accomplished. Delegate tasks across the firm. All firm personnel should have marketing responsibilities – from the receptionist to the senior partners and everyone else in between. Databases must be maintained, newsletters and articles written, presentations given, clients to be wined and dined, etc. There is work for everyone.
Law firms must adopt management structures that enables the firm to act decisively and quickly. Structures that do not support such a culture must be replaced.