Last Post for 2013: no predictions just a wish list for 2014


Annually around this time of year commentators, consultants, observers and some key players in any profession or industry explain what happened in their field over the last 12 months & make some predictions for the next calendar year.*

I used to as well and occasionally got some of it right,but I have come to realise that many things are unpredictable and so they should be. How boring would our lives and businesses be if we remained the same and could predict the future? Of course some people-like some gamblers and punters-are better at predicting what will happen than others but there are good reasons why casinos and bookmakers exist-most of us can’t predict the future too well.

Doesn’t mean of course we cannot be better prepared for what the future holds nor have more control over our own destiny -that is what innovative and creative organisations do.

For the legal profession I have read every kind of prediction for 2014 and beyond:”Biglaw is dying”,” Biglaw will just get bigger”, “there are no disruptors in law just enablers”,”the disruptors are coming to get us”,”the changes in the profession are cyclical not structural’ to “the changes in the legal profession are structural not cyclical”. I of course have my own views, but better and more informed people than I will make these predictions-and some will be right.

So instead of predictions here is my wish list:that the legal profession,in fact professional firms generally, in 2014 understand:

  • at long last that hourly billing is best left to the oldest profession in the world,
  • that timesheets are self evidently insane and are huge innovation killers,
  • that when the Creator invented management structures partnerships were towards the bottom of the league table-not the top,
  • that all customers are not equal and do not want to be treated equally,
  • that as value is subjective it is your clients perception of value-not yours-that will define your success,
  • that you don’t have to necessarily be better than your competitors, but you should be different,
  • all the Bigdata and benchmarking in the world will not help you realise your full potential-it only helps you imitate your competitors better,
  • your people are not your greatest assets-you don’t own them- but they are the most untapped resource you will ever have,
  • that the better firms do the simple things consistently well,
  • that when firms’ internal measurement and reward systems are changed to encourage rather than discourage,true collaboration, the world is their oyster,
  • there was a reason Martin Luther King Jnr said “I have a dream” and not “I have a business plan”- no one follows business plans.
  • finding your “WHY” is more important than knowing WHAT you do or HOW you do it (thanks Simon Sinek)

Yeah I know what you are thinking- sure and some people still believe in fairy godmothers, Santa Claus and that dreams will come true.

And thank goodness for them.

Have a great one.


* politicians also make predictions but I don’t include them- they cannot even remember what happened in the past let alone predict the future!

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