How to Try a New Initiative at Your Law Firm without Putting Your Reputation on the Line

Law firms are notorious for taking great pride in their reputation. And with good cause.  How can you try new ways of doing things without impacting your hard earned reputation?

law firm management requires reputation managementDon’t Let Reputation Get in the Way of Trying New Initiatives
Clients are careful to choose law firms based on both the firm’s discretion and its ability to execute. A reputation for both of these attributes is built up over years of practice, but reputations are fickle. As the old saying goes, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to ruin it.”
The fear of tarnishing the firm’s reputation can be a double-edged sword. It can cause everyone at the firm to hold themselves to a high standard of work, but it can also discourage firms from pushing boundaries or trying new things. The fear of failure can get so strong that it effectively handicaps the firm and prevents innovations from improving operations. So how can firms explore new initiatives without worrying about their potential failure tarnishing the firm’s reputation?

Balance Reputation with Accountability

There is always a chance that new initiatives will fail. This is the major reason that they can be dangerous for reputation, because even setbacks and minor failures can be seen as negative reflections on the firm. That said, they also have huge potential to improve operations, relationships with clients, revenue, and other processes. 
So, how should law firms pursue new opportunities when management feels paralyzed by uncertainty?

Set a Clear Plan for New Initiatives

When beginning a new initiative, it is crucial for leadership to be clear about the goals of the project as well as the plan to accomplish these goals. If all stakeholders are made aware of how to be successful, their chance of failure decreases significantly.
This mindset shift is a crucial step at the beginning of any new program. It should also be emphasized to all team members that all new processes involve a variety of minor improvements, making the project as a whole seem much more manageable.  One step at a time.
law firm management should be clear about stepsClarity in the Initial Stages of a New Initiative Can Make All the Difference

Require Follow-Through

After framing the project, goals, and approach, leadership needs to clearly delegate tasks and individual steps in the new initiative. Projects have little chance of success if the steps along the way are not monitored and completed at key intervals. One of the main reasons that new projects fail is that the steps, and accountability, to make them a reality are not clearly laid out or tracked for completion.
An accountability and productivity platform like CommandHound, which not only records and assigns key deliverables along the way in any new initiative, project, or case, manages task completion. If an individual responsible for a key step in the rollout of a new initiative drops the ball, CommandHound will escalate to law firm management or a partner, ensuring that the initiative stays on track.
Furthermore, a tool like CommandHound drives a culture of accountability by tracking individual performance to actively rely on their team members to uphold their responsibilities.

Track Results for Future Improvement

As you near the completion of your new initiative, the success of which has been monitored by tool like CommandHound, make sure to gather analytics and metrics about how the process went. These will not only tell you which team members to praise and reward for their hard work, but will also show you key improvements that can be made for future initiatives.
Track Performance to Make Sure Things Get Done.pngTracking Metrics and Results Helps You Improve for Future Initiatives

Accountability Improves Efficiency, Efficacy, and Reputation

By setting clear expectations for new initiatives, ensuring follow-through along the way, and tracking results, your law firm will drastically increase the chances of success.  By accomplishing these successful improvements, your reputation will likely grow.  Are you interested in learning more about how CommandHound can help law firms develop a culture of accountability?


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