2009 is nearly behind us, and the potential of economic stabilization and a slow but steady upturn in 2010 is just days away. Are you prepared for what lies ahead? By making a commitment to three timeless strategies, your firm will be prepared to thrive not only in the new year but also in the decade to come.
This is the time when firm leaders should reflect on the past year and build a new set of strategies for future growth and development. Some have used 2009 as a year to correct and adjust, while others have played the "waiting game” to see what happens next. Regardless of your firm’s strategy for 2009, don’t be afraid to let new ideas emerge to accelerate progress in 2010.
Conduct a Firm Summit & Document a Strategic Plan
I recently asked a group of 50 conference attendees to indicate how many of their firms had documented a strategic plan. None raised their hand. I was shocked at first and also a little saddened.
When I finished my presentation – during which strategic thinking was just one of many things I discussed – several told me they had heard me speak on this topic before. I responded with a laugh and asked, "So why didn’t you raise your hand?” They laughed in turn and said, "Because our firm still does not have a plan!”
When I facilitate a firm summit, the overwhelming response I hear from participants at the conclusion is, "Why didn’t we do this sooner? We are finally on the same page with common goals and objectives.” This is amazing! Firms that take time to think about strategy are far more likely to stay ahead of the economic trends than those who merely "ride out the storm.”
Audiences will keep hearing my message about strategy until all hands are raised proudly. What about you and your firm? Hands up or hands still down? Here are two solutions that Boomer Consulting, Inc. offers to help firms build a strategic plan:
Commit to Developing People
2009 may have been your firm’s year to "trim the fat” or adjust service niches to take advantage of its talent. Regardless, it’s good to feel pride about the gifted team shaping your firm’s future. Without appropriate nurturing, however, even the "best of the best” cannot reach full potential!
We often know what we need to do, but don’t actually DO those things. We say we should communicate regularly and mentor others but often let days pass during which we do not see – much less speak – to those on our team. We say we need to teach and train but fail to allocate appropriate resources for individuals and the firm to grow and prosper.
You want people to be ready for succession and take responsibility and be accountable, but these things do not happen without making investments. Your firm needs a training and learning champion to document and implement a plan with the Managing Partner’s backing.
How are you and your firm doing? Have you allocated the time and investment for professionals to grow into leaders that will guide your firm in the years ahead? Here are a few solutions that Boomer Consulting, Inc. offers to help firms be successful with training and learning:
Extend Your Network of Peers
As parents and teachers understand, peer pressure can sometimes exert a negative influence on children. As people grow and mature, however, peer pressure can also elicit many positive results.
Consider the peer pressure you experience when hearing about another firm similar in size to yours that develops a new product, process or technology (and you see the potential for it in your firm). You, too, can exert positive pressure on firms and individuals to take steps forward. Interaction in person and through networking online will be imperative to a firm’s advancement in 2010.
As always, face-to-face communication is the preferred – and most powerful – way of connecting to peers; however, the evolution of online tools is making it easier than ever to interact and learn from others. Here are a few solutions that Boomer Consulting, Inc. offers to help you get started in both areas:
I sincerely look forward to reconnecting with old friends while making new ones in the months ahead. I wish you and your firm the best in 2010!
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