In the May edition of Edge International Communiqué Edge partners highlight three key focal points for legal leaders:
Nick Jarrett-Kerr in ‘Core Competence and the Competitive Edge‘ considers three vital attributes that make up the core competence of a law firm,which he argues goes way beyond mere ‘competence’ – it:
- must imply sustainable value, in other words sustainable competitive advantage over the long term, something which firms have real difficulty focusing on and building;
- should enable a firm to outperform its rivals, usually through specialist skills, tailored solutions and know-how resources; and
- must have strategic importance and so be strategically valuable and should help the firm in a number of different ways to out-perform rivals.
The author in ‘Financial Budgeting Is Strategic: Leaders, Get Involved’ urges a more active role for leaders around some key financial activities and for a start a health monitor should be placed on the budgeting process and the firm’a approach to budgeting. It is a terrific opportunity to do more than simply get the numbers together – a time for leadership communication, listening, coaching, and focusing your people on the key thinking, behaviours and processes that are critical for success, as well as aligning strategies within your firm, all with a view to supporting the overall firm vision and strategy. It is also about building true accountability on the part of partners. Done well, budgeting is also a fantastic stress tester of so many activities in a firm.
Post merger implementation is such an important part of the success of mergers and I think Mike has highlighted a very important point here – to place the same sort of emphasis on lateral hires. After all, they cost a lot in time and money to put together and there is invariably a great deal riding on a successful outcome both for the firm and the lateral – so much so that neither can afford for it to fail.
Sean Larkan, Partner, Edge International