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‘The problem is that most senior lawyers think only two months ahead. They have no coherent picture of the future. The planning is not being done. And it is senior lawyers who need to be driving change.’ Professor Richard Susskind (May 2009)
I am not sure whether Richard Susskind’s comment is still a fair reflection of the strategic planning by all law firms, because—to my knowledge—many have over the past decade made serious efforts to plan for their futures, and these plans are now bearing fruit. However, for others there seems to be no forward planning being done, as shown by the problems around succession planning where many lawyers put their heads in the sand when it comes to ‘future proofing’ their firms.
I have for many years working with law firms, used the following as a template to help law firms think through their future planning. Create a realistic plan or course of action:
This needs to be differentiated from unrealistic and unachievable ‘wish lists’ and implementation—the ‘making it happen’.
The above definition raises some fundamental questions which will need to be asked:
In addition, questions such as the following need to be regularly asked and answered as part of the strategic thinking process:
The most fundamental strategic issues currently needing to be addressed include:
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