Back to Basics — a Business Briefing for Lawyers: Managing Change

Welcome to the latest edition of Back to Basics — a Business Briefing for Lawyers.

This month the focus is on Change and Change Management. What a topic to try to cover in a couple of pages! There’s a school of thought that says all the best companies are in a constant state of change—and that’s not wrong. I should make clear, though, that it’s not always wholesale change. Incremental change can be extremely effective. Be careful to make sure that you can justify the reasons for change—there’s no point in introducing change for change’s sake. Make changes that will support your objectives, improve your services and increase your profitability— that’s what you’re in business for, after all. If you need any assistance to introduce and/or manage change, please get in touch with me—I’d be delighted to help.

Brian O’Neill LL.B MBA
Business Consultant
40c Drakemyre
Dalry
North Ayrshire
KA24 5JE
t. 07855 838395

e.   brian@drakemyre.co.uk

If it’s so hard to change—why bother?

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard the phrase “but this is how we’ve always done ……”. (add your own ending). There is no doubt that many people in most businesses are change resistant—they would rather do anything other than change the way they do things. They are emotionally attached to internal processes that can be shown to be outdated, obsolete, time consuming and no longer fit for purpose—but suggest that they change the way they do something and many people behave as if you’ve just suggested that they should jump off a very high cliff! I’ve mentioned this before in this Briefing, and I believe it’s worth repeating. If you want to change the results you’re getting then you need to do things in a different way—or to put it in a much less charitable way—the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Change is a challenge and many employers shy away from that challenge, sometimes because they fear change themselves! In the last few years change has been forced on many legal firms. External pressure caused by the recession meant firms had no choice but to review the ways that they structure their staffing requirements and be selective in the work they do.

Some firms moved away from doing what they believe to be unprofitable work whilst others diversified into areas where, in the past, they did not provide services. These changes have been forced on the profession by external circumstances and it is clear that there has been a great deal of pain. Change forced by external pressures will inevitably result in unpalatable decisions being made and changes implemented that would not be the first choice of the partners in the firm—I know many partners who had to make the very painful decision to make staff redundant or put people on short time in order to cut the cost base just so the firm would survive. It will come as no surprise, then, to learn that change driven from within and implemented through choice can have a much more significant impact on the future of the firm. This is change that’s introduced not for survival but for a positive purpose. Finally, there must be a reason for change—and what better reason than to achieve the objectives that the firm has set –Oh!, you did set those back in January when we discussed them…….didn’t you?

LawWare hosts 2011 User Conference and User Group Meeting

LawWare hosted this year’s User Conference and User Group Meeting (UGM) on Wednesday 23 November 2011.LawCloud and LawWare

Following the success of the last UGM, LawCloud, LawWare Enterprise, Classic and Express users and select close business partners and those considering LawCloud were all invited to join LawWare at Stirling Management Centre..

Alongside the User Group Meeting, there were a variety of guest speakers and business partners who discussed relevant and topical issues.

Following a morning’s session of networking and a welcome note by Warren Wander, Managing Director of LawWare Ltd, Laura Malcolm of the Professional Support Team at The Law Society of Scotland delivered a keynote speech on “Opportunity, Innovation and the Future” in the legal profession.

Warren then presented a technology update focussing on the Cloud and discussing LawWare & LawCloud development plans. Insights on the Cloud and technology use by the legal profession from Professor Stewart Brymer of Brymer Legal Ltd followed,

Stephen Moore of Moore Legal Technology then delivered a thought-provoking presentation on the web as the new high street for lawyers, illustrating how MLT’s clients have been able to generate up to (and sometimes over) 100 enquiries per month through their websites and online activities.

After more networking, further presentations were delivered by Diane Ireland, Online Marketing Manager at SLAB regarding SLAB’s online integration updates and by Ian Messer, Director of Financial Compliance at Law Society of Scotland regarding Cashroom and Compliance Considerations.

Catherine O’Day, Director of The Cashroom Ltd examined the subject of outsourcing for law firms & thoughts from an Outsourced Cashroom and Simon Greig of LawWare rounded off the morning’s session with a live preview of LawWare, together with hints, tips and details of new developments.

After lunch, LawWare users were then given an opportunity to meet other LawWare users, exchange ideas and find out more about how they use the system.

A technology showcase will highlight the latest developments that are available to law firms in today’s fast moving times and there will be an industry update on the latest news and trends in the profession.

With 4 hours of CPD for each attendee, the event gave solicitors in Scotland an overview of some of the latest developments that are available to law firms in today’s fast moving times, with an industry update on the latest news and trends in the profession.

To discuss any of these aspects in greater detail, please contact us on 0845 2020 577, view the live tweets from the event on Twitter or visit LawCloud’s website for further information.

Cloud Computing for Law Firms: Law Society of Scotland Event

The Law Society of Scotland is welcoming lawyers from across Scotland and, indeed, the rest of the UK, to attend an upcoming event on Cloud computing for law firms. The CPD event is scheduled for 9th November 2011 with further details available here: Law Society Cloud Event.

The synopsis of the Law Society event states:-

“Cloud computing providers claim to offer law firms the chance to save money, work more efficiently, and respond more quickly to changing IT demands. Many firms are already benefitting and, on the face of it, many more could. However, as with every development there are also new risks and new concerns, from data security and data protection issues, through to regulatory compliance, business continuity, technical support and IP.

This event will help you decide what might be right for you and your firm, hearing the full story from providers and experts in the field of Cloud”.

LawCloud welcomes the Law Society’s initiative in this respect. In advance of the event there is also a continuing discussion on LawCloud’s LinkedIn group regarding Cloud Services in respect of a Procurement Guide for the Legal Profession, to which additional contributions, thoughts and questions are also welcome.

Additionally, in advance of the event, please do read our White Paper on Security in the Cloud for Law Firms in the UK.

We look forward to the event and in the meantime if you have any queries please do not hesitate to ask us either in the comments section below, on Twitter at @LawCloudUK or @LawWareUK, or by calling us on 0845 2020 577 for a free initial consultation.

LawCloud: Cloud for Lawyers UK