Friday, April 12, 2013

The Single Best Way to Ensure Your Firm's Continued Growth

Organic growth vs. inorganic growth- which is the better fuel to assure your firm's continued long term success?

First, let's make sure we have the same definitions in mind.

"Inorganic growth" is the result of mergers, acquisitions, practice group lift outs, rate increases, lateral attorneys and other 'managed growth' initiatives. These tend to result in episodic growth spikes which are hard to duplicate consistently and reliably- though several firms have done just that.

"Organic growth" results from improvements in business development efforts, higher demand for your services, better selling skills among attorneys, capturing a leadership position in emerging issues, and improved clarity in the firm's value proposition (or its competitive advantage). It is growth that is unforced and naturally occurring and which results for improvements in the operational efficiency of the organization. Inorganic growth tends to be more evenly upward trending than the more episodic growth spikes seen in acquisitions. The latter also tends to be gentler on the cultural fabric of the firm, the morale and the practice mix of the firm.

In my mind, the single best way to grow the firm over the long run is through the improvement of the business development skills of the firm's attorneys. And where better to start that long term focus than among the ranks of the associates. Associates not only fail to get this training in law school, but too often practice leaders and mentors are too busy to help them or have little incentive to put an associate's learning ahead of their own billable requirement. While many of the Big Law firms have long since come to this realization and instituted associate training programs, many firms still have not.

Group Dewey Consulting's Business Development Skills for Associates training provides opportunities for associates to develop and hone their business development skills in a highly interactive, safe and pleasant environment. The program focuses on individual skills development and uses guided role playing, discussion and case studies to identify the best and most practical solutions to the myriad of business development challenges that associates routinely face. It is based on the premise that every associate can be a rainmaker once they identify the specific tools and techniques which work best for their individual personality, practice and capabilities.
Associates will learn to:

·        Understand their ‘business development comfort zone’ and how to maximize the effectiveness of the tactics applicable to their preferences

·        Make use of practical and dynamic skills which will provide them with competitive advantage

·        Have a better understanding of their position within the firm, their role in building the firm’s future and the business and client development techniques which can assure their success

·        Develop practical plans and action steps to achieve their business development goals

·        Create structure and consistent behaviors which routinize business development activity within their daily lives

·        Be empowered to initiate and consistently maintain productive client development behaviors

·        Gain confidence in their business development skills and capabilities

·        Be able to build deeper and more productive relationships internally, in the community and with clients

·        Gain greater camaraderie and teamwork among the associate ranks
Check out the full course description and key topics at the following link to Scribd here.

And as always, if I can help you develop your 'minders' and 'grinders' into 'finders', please don't hesitate to call 502-693-4731.

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