Could this be any further from the truth? In an industry that is borne of risk aversion, and ripe with skepticism and reticence, what are the chances someone could be addicted to change? I say slim to none!
I do believe we are experiencing unprecedented evolution, and law firms that understand how to implement new ways of working are going to take the lead in the very competitive marketplace. So, how do you embrace change? I’ve talked with many audiences, of a wide variety of sizes, and there are usually one or two people in attendance who claim to love change. I prompt them on the most recent change they have made and we enjoy a nice banter that reflects the same things as people who resist change. What are those?
- Bitty bits. Small steps.Bite sized pieces. However you want to say it, implementing something new is best done one step at a time. Savor these bites, just like your favorite meal. Savoring includes communicating a few extra times with those affected, asking questions to get the flavors others are experiencing, and being nimble to adapt and flex if the direction shifts.
- Pain of the status quo.When something you are doing now has become so painful that it must change, change is easier. Think about your smart phone, the one you can’t live without. What happens when it stops working? How long does it take you to get to the store and upgrade it to the newest phone, even though you don’t know how to operate it?
- Perspective shift.Max Planck says, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” When you are ready for your next evolution, begin by reassessing the landscape. Look for the qualities and components you want to have for success. They are there; sometimes our habits cloud our vision. Clear up your line of sight with a new perspective.
- Addiction to being right.When we are addicted to being right we cannot listen to any other way. This blocks our ability to move forward, either for our own sake or for the good of the firm. Think about the places in your life where being right is most important. Those are the ones where you are (or will be) most resistant to change.
Our industry requires the advancement of business skills, including leadership, management, and all the elements of those two lofty positions. Listening, adapting, and implementing initiatives for the future is critical to your success. Where are you holding yourself (and your firm) back?