This morning I had the pleasure of participating in a Houston Chapter AMA sponsored roundtable presentation with Larry Heard, the President & CEO of Transwestern. He gave a brief and engaging talk on leadership and then opened the floor for questions. My $64 dollar questions was: Given the economic reset, what sort of fundamental shift are you making in your market strategy?
He had a very simple answer: Do things differently.
He went on to describer how when you are in an ‘up’ market and every one is well capitalized and confident you can only make gains at the margin. But after a significant downturn there are tremendous opportunities to gain market share and profit from bold moves. The alternative to being bold was obvious – and left unspoken.
I liked the message in part due to its economics approach. He went on to say how in this emerging upturn the stakes are even higher. The rapid changes in technology and global competition have upped the ante on this proposition. The market is rife with opportunity, but also treacherous for those who do not act.
I would add another level of urgency for law firms. With the guild broken and a competitive market (or call it a buyer’s market if you like) in place, law firms have an even bigger reason to "do things differently."
The Reality: Not many law firms are doing this (and I’m being generous).
The Future: The vast majority of law firms do not have the institutional will to engage in such an approach. A major reason is the Paradigm of Precedence they live in.
The Result: We may be removing the question mark from the title of Richard Susskind’s book – The End of Lawyers?