Strategic Business Planning
Management and practice group structure-- not to mention your compensation system-- must be aligned with the firm's strategic business plan. What kind of firm do you want and where are you going?
Governance and Management Structure
In too many cases, the governance structure of firms seems to have been designed to prevent tyranny rather than facilitate work. What is needed is a facilitating structure that allows managers to manage and frees lawyers to lawyer.
Countless dollars are wasted on the administrative side of the firm when it is poorly connected with the lawyer side. Executive Directors need to be well chosen and integrated into the management team.
Leadership, Partner and Associate Coaching
Corporate America understands that leadership is a skill that requires continual development. Executives who utilize coaching are respected rather than stigmatized. Partners and associates also benefit from help enhancing their role performance vis a vis each other and clients.
For articles written by Dr. Peter Newton on this topic, please click: Women in Authority
Compensation systems often become byzantine in their complexity, leaving partners mistrustful and frustrated. Clear, simple, user- friendly and consistent with the strategic business plan are the keys.
Strong practice groups poorly connected to weak top management is Frankensteinian-- muscular arms and legs and weak brain. Strength at both levels and their integration is critical.
Like other professionals, lawyers need help learning to collaborate rather than simply compete. Serious exercise-- not cooking or flying kites-- is needed.
Client Relationship Management
Clients tell us that responsiveness is at the top of their list of criteria. Being smart is neccessary but not sufficient. Marketing and interpersonal relations skills pay off hugely in this domain.
Too often these hard to find hours are frittered away in silly exercises or mind numbing powerpoints. Partners at different points in their careers want different things. A well facilitated retreat is an opportunity to understand the differences and strengthen the sense of common goals.
Mentoring & Professional Development
Mentoring associates today creates the firm-minded partners of the future. Workshops and program design and implementation are needed to get this critical training function right.
For articles written by Dr. Peter Newton on this topic, please click: Ending the Exodus, Mentoring the Young Refreshes Senior Executives, or Uncertain Times - Law Firm Associates Need Mentors to Nurture Them.
For Dr. Newton's most up to date thinking and advice regarding all of the above matters, you can purchase The Lawyer and the Law Firm, 2010.