What lawyers can learn from retail banking and management consultants

What lawyers can learn from retail banking and management consultants

We have now reached the third and final part of this series of blogs on what lawyers can learn from other industries. So far, we have looked at retail, accountancy, investment banking and manufacturing, focusing on client care, financial literacy, and willingness to accept risk and eliminating waste.

I am going to round off the topic by concentrating on two final industries. First, another part of the banking sector – this time retail banking – and how it has adopted IT into its business model. And then, to bring us back to where this thought process began for me (read the first blog if you’re not sure), I am going to look at management consultants and dealing effectively with change. I thought this last topic might be of use at this juncture, on the chance that something in these blogs may have spurred you into action!

Retail banking: adopting IT

I am sure there are plenty of industries one could point to in order to illustrate how IT has changed and reshaped what they do. Perhaps my selection of retail banking is not the most obvious (although I will defend my point shortly). What is perhaps less controversial, however, is the suggestion that lawyers and law firms have a tendency to be slightly behind the curve when it comes to IT adoption and literacy – not all, certainly, but I would venture it is a decent proportion.

Let me develop out the retail banking point first. Consider how you interact with your bank in today’s world. You get cash from an ATM (and not necessarily one offered by your bank), you can pay in notes, cheques and coins through a machine in branch, you can check your balance, transfer money, pay bills and even apply for loans online – the list is endless. What is absent from this is any real form of human interaction.

Now, zoom back a number of years and less and less of these would be true – you can probably stop at the point where you could only withdraw money if you went into the bank to see the cashier and there was parchment and quills flying around.

If we look behind the security screens and go into the back-office of the bank itself, the same story is evident. Where your friendly (or not so friendly) bank ma

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