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Category Archives: Professional Service Firms (PSFs)

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Get Tough on the Little Things and Impact the Big Things

Posted in Culture, Leadership, Management, Personal Effectiveness, Professional Service Firms (PSFs), Values
Allowing partners to consistently be late for meetings, fiddle with mobile devices or take calls, even if done quietly is tantamount to what is depicted here; chaos, rudeness and ultimately will cause a break-down of communication and respect. Leaders need to nip this in the bud and set the example in doing so. (Sean Larkan, Edge International)

Sometimes leaders  need to be tough on some of the little things. These can have significant ramifications which are not always immediately obvious. However, because the benefits are not obvious, or seem unimportant at the time, many leaders don’t address them, also possibly feeling that they don’t want to be ‘petty’. However, as we saw… Continue Reading

How Leaders can Track Actionable Emails and Electronic Media

Posted in Leadership, Management, Personal Effectiveness, Professional Service Firms (PSFs)
Leaders need to develop a system to manage following up on the dozens of important, single items that crop up and need attention - via email, a web article, a tweet or a LinkedIn enquiry (Sean Larkan, Edge International)

The life of a leader of a modern day law firm is full of variation, challenges and finding time to do everything. One of the toughest things for leaders to keep up with is attending to the small items – tracking and following up on actionable emails and other electronic or computer-generated items – those important,… Continue Reading

LEX AFRICA publishes 2013 Guide to Doing Business in Africa

Posted in Legal Profession, Professional Service Firms (PSFs)
The 2013 LEX AFRICA Guide to Doing Business in Africa - the investors, business person's and professionals 'must have' to considering commercial or legal activity in all of Africa.

The Chairman of LEX AFRICA, Werksmans partner Pieter Steyn, recently announced the publication of the comprehensive and sought after LEX AFRICA Guide to Doing Business in Africa (PDF). Long a ‘must have’ reference for anyone doing business in or undertaking legal or professional services work in Africa, this unique Guide (PDF) is updated annually and provides a… Continue Reading

LEX AFRICA – Africa’s leading legal network, turns 20

Posted in Brand, Business Models, Legal Profession, Professional Service Firms (PSFs)
LEX AFRICA will shortly launch its dedicated blog through which it will build even stronger relationships with the African and international business and legal communities. More on this soon.

LEX AFRICA, widely regarded as Africa’s leading, and certainly its largest, law firm network, celebrates its 20th anniversary at a time when there is unprecedented interest in Africa and attention from foreign investors and businesses. From humble but determined beginnings in 1993 with just five founding firms, LEX AFRICA has grown steadily to now number 29 country… Continue Reading

Always deliver what you say you do or offer to deliver

Posted in Brand, Professional Service Firms (PSFs), Strategy, Trust & Respect
Always deliver what you offer. So if you say 'contact us' make sure your website and links actually make it easy and intuitive to do just that, 'contact you'! If it does not, don't offer it as you will simply annoy actual and potential customers and lose their trust, respect and hammer their loyalty.

A fundamental of a successful brand is building trust. You build trust when other individuals who experience your service, product and brand offering trust that you will deliver on what you offer to do thereby achieving what I term ‘Brand Fusion™’. In turn this builds loyalty, that much sought-after, but rarely achieved status. But, it… Continue Reading

Your employees are far more powerful than you think

Posted in Brand, Leadership, Legal Profession, Management, Partners, People Strategy, Professional Service Firms (PSFs)
Firms seldom give proper credence to the fact that power lies with their employees and even potential employees in regard to their employment brands.

Law firms don’t recognise that the balance of power in relation to their employment brand lies not in their hands, but in the hands of their employees. To make matters worse, some of this power also lies in the hands of former employees, potential employees and other “employment stakeholders” such as recruitment agencies and digital media… Continue Reading

Remember to walk your fence-lines

Posted in Culture, Leadership, Legal Profession, Management, People Strategy, Personal Effectiveness, Professional Service Firms (PSFs), Strategy, Trust & Respect, Uncategorized, Values
As leaders and senior managers we need to constantly remind ourselves to 'walk the fence-lines' of our organisation, keeping in touch with what is truly happening and how people are feeling - also picking up on any great achievements by anyone, or issues which are troubling someone.

My wife and I bought a small farm three years ago. As the grazing was leased out to a beef farmer the quality of the boundary fencing was paramount. The lady we purchased from told me up-front (and has reminded me ever since!) – ‘now Sean, remember to walk your fence-lines‘.  She was essentially saying… Continue Reading

Nothing, but nothing, beats accessibility, courtesy, responsiveness and reliability

Posted in Culture, Leadership, Legal Profession, Management, People Strategy, Personal Brand, Personal Effectiveness, Professional Service Firms (PSFs), Trust & Respect, Values
Nothing beats being accessible, responsive and reliable. You can be the sharpest tool in the workshop, but if you can't be found, don't respond well when used or don't the job you called on to do, people will eventually tire of using you. The same applies to professionals

You can be the brightest spark in the office but if people can never get hold of you, or after they do you take ages to respond or are simply unreliable, no-one is ever sure you will do the job, professionally you are going to do yourself in. I know of one professional who is… Continue Reading

Get to know your clients – or someone else will!

Posted in Leadership, Legal Profession, Management, Professional Service Firms (PSFs)
Reviewing client service is part art part science - it is worth having someone independent of the firm tackling this important task

Yes, get to know your clients, or someone else will!  Law firms that fail to obtain regular feedback from their clients run the risk of: not keeping pace with their clients’ needs and expectations – and losing their work. not knowing when a client is unhappy – and losing their work. missing out on lucrative… Continue Reading

You gotta feel sorry for those angry, difficult partners!

Posted in Culture, Leadership, Legal Profession, Management, Professional Service Firms (PSFs), Trust & Respect, Values
The harsh reality is that you have to deal with truly difficult partners - otherwise they are a lighted fuse waiting to go off in small bursts or maybe, at some stage in a loud and damaging implosion.

It does seem like we have been laying into angry or difficult partners lately – so much so, you (almost) gotta feel sorry for them! (not really, we all know how difficult they can really be and how much time and positive energy they eat up) –  3 recent posts attest to this: Difficult partners… Continue Reading

Leadership Frame #6: Challenge your vision and strategy

Posted in Leadership, Legal Profession, Management, Professional Service Firms (PSFs), Strategy, Vision
Stress test your strategy during formulation, prior to finalisation and regularly during the implementation phase, with semi-formal and formal reviews at designated times

Challenging one’s vision and strategy somehow seems counter-intuitive, especially when so much time, effort and thought has gone into putting it together. But strategy is about achieving a competitive, and ideally a dominant positioning, and challenge it you must. Professional Service Firms (PSFs) find determining and reviewing vision and strategy a real bind. A necessary… Continue Reading

Leadership Frame #5: Soft Power leadership for professional service firms

Posted in Leadership, Legal Profession, Management, Professional Service Firms (PSFs)
Soft Power - a style of leadership which relies on influencing others based on ones set of values, personal attributes and style rather than traditional bases for power

Soft Power leadership may provide a helpful framework of understanding and application for leaders or senior managers of professional service firms (PSF), particularly law firms. Undertaking a leadership role in a PSF has always presented some unique challenges around power and leadership styles.  The reason is that the traditional sources and trappings of power and… Continue Reading