You know, strategy is great – but how many times have you worked to develop a strategy only to find it just didn’t pan out back in the real world? That’s because most people ignore the one thing most likely to undermine any new strategy, regardless how well-planned, innovative or brilliant.
Meet Bill –
He May Be a Lot Like You
Bill had a successful law firm and a vision for growth. He knew that leveraging his successful systems would be both more profitable and more efficient – he could even take some time off to enjoy the fruits of his efforts. Bill shared his vision with Susannah and Sharon, two eager young attorneys who enthusiastically agreed to partner with him. He happily started planning a European vacation.
A Strategy is Born
Susannah and Sharon staked out an aggressive growth strategy to double the size of the firm within 12 months. They each brought key members of their staff to join with Bill’s in the new firm. Susannah and Sharon brought the new team together in a couple of week-long retreats where they focused on strategy and team building. During these retreats, stretch-goals were set high. Team spirit grew and every staff member expressed their enthusiasm for the new firm and committed to offering their best efforts at all times.
Bill was delighted with the team’s energy and confident they would be successful. He was a little uneasy when expenses went up and revenue sank, but understood when Susannah and Sharon assured him these were just growing pains. After all, it takes money to make money, right?
And Then It Stalls Out
A few teammates were disappointed that their ideas had not been incorporated into the new plan. So, Susannah and Sharon pulled the team back together for another day-long meeting to make sure everyone’s opinions were heard. The plan was re-drafted with the new ideas. When Bill asked about progress, Susannah and Sharon assured him the additional strategy sessions were necessary in order to get buy-in from everyone. The extra time (and money) spent now would pay off later, they said.
Some key deadlines were missed. Team members said they were behind because they needed more training and guidance. Susannah and Sharon added training meetings to the weekly schedule. Soon, other team members complained that attending all these meetings was making it hard for them to get their work done. Meanwhile, revenue at the law firm continued to drop and Bill started losing patience. He sat down with Susannah and Sharon to get some answers, but no one could explain why the strategy just wasn’t working.
And Then It’s Over
Sadly, Bill dissolved the partnership. He said it was better to practice solo with small profits than in partnership with big losses.
And that is why business experts caution that
Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast.
In fact 75 percent of change efforts within organizations fail; and not because the strategies are weak, unfounded or wrong-headed, but rather because they meet cultural resistance from within. During our New Strategies workshop you will discover the four dimensions of organizational culture, how organizational culture develops, and what you can do to influence or even change the culture in your firm to ensure strategic success.
So, is this really valuable …
or just some touchy-feely emotional hoo-ha?
I don’t blame you for asking! But, trust me; this is not some pop-psychology paperback. Our program is based on a verified assessment developed by University of Michigan professors Dr. Kim Cameron and Dr. Robert Quinn, and is the most widely used organizational culture assessment tool in the world. You’re going to see real results from this!
Have you made plans to attend the New Strategies workshop September 24-26? You’re going to get great strategy development for your law firm, with a particular focus on new strategies to grow your law firm in the face of competition, fee pressure and the growing presence of online services.
Click here to register online now, and here’s a hint: bring your team!
Hope I see you there!
- Jennifer Campbell Goddard, CEO