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Enemy of Change: "But we've always done it this way."

Enemy number one to making improvements in any organization is the adage – “But we’ve always done it this way.” The same is true for individuals who want or need to make changes in their lives, personally or professionally, substituting “I” for “we.” This adage has some cousins that you may know: “But we’ve never done it that way before,” “At my old firm we used to…” and the more direct, “We don’t do that.” While these are damning of any attempt at new marketing strategies, their impact is more wide-ranging.

No one likes change. It is true of all living things.

Do you have a pet? They love routines. They love certainty. They like to know what is happening and feel comfortable that they know what is going to happen. As a species, we are no different. Change makes us uncomfortable. Uncertainty creates stress. We fear the unknown, which is rarely as bad as we imagine. We must accept this reality, but that does not mean we cannot change. Regardless of how we feel about change, it happens. Change is inevitable. Think about how much the practice of law has changed since you dove into it. Innovation is, by its definition, change. We must not only embrace and react to it, but we must also do it to remain successful.

There is a great little book on change that I regularly recommend – Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson. (It made the rounds years ago – perhaps you know it.)

From the publisher: “A timeless business classic, Who Moved My Cheese? uses a simple parable to reveal profound truths about dealing with change so that you can enjoy less stress and more success in your work and life. Exploring a simple way to take the fear and anxiety out of managing the future, Who Moved My Cheese? can help you discover how to anticipate, acknowledge, and accept change to positively impact your job, relationships, and every aspect of your life.” If you haven’t read this book, I highly encourage you to grab a copy.

If you realize that change must be made in your professional life or your firm, you must appreciate the reality of “change fear” and the adages referenced above, whether uttered.

Change management is a thing. It must be done right if it is going to be successful. This means buy-in from yourself, your staff, and your affected contractors. If everyone expects the new process, feature, focus, endeavor, etc., to fail, it will.

Successful law firms effectively and strategically manage change.

They are not just innovators but early innovators. They try new things, new processes, new technology, new systems, new marketing tools, new approaches, new organizations, and new structures. We provide services to a rapidly changing world. How can we expect to stay relevant without being flexible and dynamic? Our clients expect it. And we need it.

Struggling with change? You know you need to do something different but aren’t sure what? Want a partner to help you navigate the changes you must make? We are just a phone call or email away. Change. We do it.


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