Question: How do you cultivate a transformation vision and ensure it lasts – long beyond the transformation ‘go live’ / launch?

Published in Modern Law Magazine: January 2019

Law firms today are facing a great deal of change. The pressure is on to stay current with ever-changing technology, meet escalating client demands, and operate with tighter margins. Keeping pace requires a firm-wide commitment to ongoing transformation and innovation. How can your firm cultivate this vision and ensure it is long-lasting? Here are four essential elements to achieve success:

Identify strong leaders

To establish a culture for transformation, your firm must establish a clear vision and a clear statement of direction. People must understand why the business needs to change and how the organisation will benefit. Moreover, for transformational change to succeed, your people need to know how they will personally benefit by supporting the change and adopting the new culture and mindset. There must be leadership amongst the management group that can drive the vision forward with energy. This involvement is critical to inspire your people while allaying fears of the unknown and enabling a shift to a new reality.

Solicit input from across the firm

Transformation and change personally impact people. To break the resistance to change, people must be included right from the outset. Include employees in the process and design of the systems that will enable your transformation. Getting input into what “good” looks like, empowering people to make decisions, enabling them to validate the impact – these efforts will help drive your vision forward and support the on-going development of the cultural changes required to take the transformation past go live and long into the future.

Assess skills and augment through training

Large-scale transformation doesn’t occur every day. One of the keys to the success of any transformation programme is to ensure your team is prepared for what lies ahead. You’ll need to make sure your change management team and change ambassadors have the skill set needed for each stage of transformation – from planning through implementation and deployment. If key people don’t have the needed skills, then invest in training on how to drive change and deal with the challenges it brings.

Commit to continuous improvement

Not all ideas will work and not all transformation is perfect. To keep momentum there must be a process for feedback and improvement. People are more likely to stay the course if they can flag issues and see them resolved and improved quickly.

See page 39 for the article in Modern Law Magazine: