If you always do what you have always done

In his September Newsletter Nick Jarrett-Kerr tackles the imperatives of deliberate strategic planning  – not allowing the firm to meander on, in the way it has always done, but instead applying a process to make the best use of the firm’s potential.

In the post “If you always do what you have always done” the old saying of doing what you have always done gets you what you have always got is used by Nick as an analysis of the legal market.

“Until the recession, that saying worked for most firms who managed to grow and remain profitable on the back of well tried and tested business recipes and relying on  a loyal client base. Now, however, client loyalties are strained and competition is growing. ” Nick suggests three propositions that should compel law firms to undergo a deliberate strategy formulation process.

The first proposition is that law firms can no longer get by simply by continuing on the strategic path which was created long ago – continuing to do what has always been done will lead to inevitable decline over time.

The second proposition is that, if left to themselves, different office and practice groups – and even individual lawyers – within the same firm will make their own plans and without any overview the firm may end up with multiple and conflicting plans and goals.

The final proposition is that true competitive advantage arises from the ability of law firms to mark themselves out as offering something different – mayby even uinique – that clients will hopefully meaningful.

As Nick concludes, “these three propositions create an imperative for deliberate and methodical strategy formulation or review”.

It is deeply recommended to read this entire post, which is available here. You also have the possibility to listen to Nick Jarrett-Kerr talking about the topic “Competing in uncertain times”, on current trends and competitive pressures on law firms and the changing business model, on VQ Knowledge and Strategy Forum on 11 and 12 November. Do not miss this great opportunity to listen to one of the leading international advisers to law firms on leadership, management and strategy.