Successfully managing a change initiative is no simple feat, regardless of the size of the firm – distilling the process of change into a workforce takes careful planning and support. Change is stressful and difficult for people to process and accept, as we often cling to what we know. This is especially true of lawyers, who are notoriously averse to change.
However, the legal sector has begun to rapidly transform – and the firms that don’t change with it are going to struggle to stay relevant. In these turbulent times for firms, change initiatives must be properly managed to ensure the whole firm can successfully shift to the new norm and stick to it. Without the proper support and management, a firm runs the risks of alienating their workforce – who will not take well to sudden and imposed change.
Managing Legal Change Initiatives looks to illustrate the best methods of introducing and managing change in a sector that is known for being adverse to it. The book highlights the critical obstacles and pitfalls that law firms will face during transitional periods, and outlines some of the best methods of approaching organizational change; from building a change framework to follow, to encouraging a shift in partner behavior through the compensation strategy. This new book also explores why change is so difficult for individuals – with discussion of the neuroscience behind change, and the role of emotional intelligence in leaders to help garner a transformation.
With the disruptions to legal services predicted to continue for some time, it will be those firms who adapt, put into place, and act upon a change management strategy that will be the ones capitalize on changes to come.
Chapter 1: Understanding change – Understanding and working with the legal mind
- Why do many lawyers find change to be so difficult?
- Understanding the hurdles to bringing about change
- What definitely does not work in introducing change
- Developing a sense of urgency that gets partner’s attention
- Some approaches that firm leaders have found to be effective
- Fitting your leadership style to the challenge
Chapter 2: Becoming change-able – Practical strategies for responding to a fast-changing world
- The importance of being change-able
- The key components of a successful change programme
- Dealing with rogue elephants and the strategically non-compliant
- Adopting Pareto for change
- Communication is at the core of a successful programme
- Winning hearts and minds to create a change-able firm
Chapter 3: A framework for effective change management
- McKinsey 7-S model
- Kotter’s eight-step process
- A cross-cultural framework
- Framework for behavioral change
- A change-readiness assessment
- Taking the plunge
- Appreciative inquiry
- Leading the change
Chapter 4: Once an opportunity is identified, what next? Creating and driving an innovation agenda
- A “stage-gate” approach
- The stage-gate process in detail
Chapter 5: Succession planning – Ensuring losing a partner doesn’t mean losing a client
- What should firms do to start to future-proof themselves?
- How to build a succession plan
Chapter 6: Compensation to reward the right behaviors
- What are the desired behaviors?
- Recognizing the need for a change in determining compensation
- Introducing incentives
- Compensation systems
- Incentivizing behaviors under different systems
Chapter 7: Changing minds – The neuroscience of change management in law firms
- Intentions vs behavior
- Embracing change
- Building relationships
- Improving learning
- Importance of insight
- Leading change
Chapter 8: Getting commitment to change
- Why people resist change
- The assumptions that create resistance
- Overcoming resistance to change
- Making change stick
Chapter 9: Strategic approaches to introducing change
- Why do you think firms find change to be so difficult?
- What are some of the more common hurdles you have observed or experienced in bringing about change?
- What definitely does not work in introducing change?
- How do you develop a sense of urgency that gets partners’ attention?
- Can you share some approaches that fi rm leaders have found to be effective?
- How does one fit their leadership style to the challenge?