A commercial attitude

Evolving technologies and the swift development of the way they are used might leave your head spinning. But as Warren Wander explains, not only is the new IT revolution nothing to be scared of, those who embrace it will see a real improvement in the success of their business.

I was in Manchester last weekend for my Uncle Len’s 100th birthday celebration and what an event that was. To reach 100 is a great achievement and an inspiration to us all. What amazed me though was that alongside his birthday card from Her Majesty taking pride of place and his immaculately gift boxed original Times Newspaper copy from the day he was born on 30th June 1911… was his laptop.

He’s a regular emailer and is fascinated by the possibilities that new technology brings. I showed him my iPad a few weeks earlier &
the engaging look of amazement in those century old eyes was almost tearful. Seeing his trembling hands grasp the device & pinch and zoom a photo of my Dad, my brother & I in India with such simplicity was ever so re-assuring.

His attitude proves that technology needn’t be daunting, complicated or overly expensive to buy and maintain in this day and age. Things have moved on and nowadays, simplicity is the key. The painful experience of expensive mistakes should be demoted to a thing of the past.

The reality is that if your technology isn’t working for you then either change your technology or change your attitude towards it. If you can find a good trusted advisor then there’s plenty of great technology out there that has the possibility of completely evolutionise your working practices. Technology really can help you and your team to be more efficient, productive and competitive and never has this been so vital for law firms as today.

My first caution though is to beware of the scaremongers who preach about changing times and who are really just trying to make a buck (and how you won’t survive unless)… Whilst there may be some truth in this for some, it is amazing what can be achieved if you remain focused, educated and motivated.

If you need to change your attitude to how you run your business then now is the time to do so. It is clearly obvious to everyone (clients especially) when a business is run by someone with passion and enthusiasm and when it is not. I always try to lead by example. If the man at the top has the attitude that technology (and change) are “new fangled” and “best left to the youngsters” then I would suggest that this is an old fashioned approach that is counter productive. Such a negative attitude will not inspire nor will be demonstrative of a leader who has their finger on the pulse.

Make it your business to find out what other law firms are doing with technology and keep up to date with changes in the professional and technological world. If you are not already, then become interested now, even better, befriend a trusted advisor who can help you on your learning mission. Understand what it is you are trying to achieve, write down your business goals both short and long term and try to match the technology that you find out about to meet these objectives. Have a clear plan with realistic and definable goals. Don’t expect the world, manage your expectations well and keep things realistic. Technology can
only do so much and staff who have been used to working one way for a long time, will need nurturing into any planned cultural change.

Remember, as well as being a learning curve for yourself, it’s an exciting and new time for your team. Rome wasn’t built in a day,
introduce any of the changes that you decide on, one step at a time, and break large tasks down into small bite sized chunks. If you can introduce measures and KPI’s at the same time, you will be able to monitor your success and fine tune as you go along.

I have formed many great technology partnerships and business relationships with lawyers and their firms over the years and I hope this success speaks for itself.

Warren Wander is the Managing Director of LawWare Ltd

See the original featured article at http://www.firmmagazine.com/features/982/A_commercial_attitude.html

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