How Lessons Learned From A Sport Can Help Future-Proof Your Law Firm
by Guy Remond, with Dave Zumpano and special guest Trent Clark
Adaptability is one of the key qualities your law firm requires to ride out unexpected turbulence and the ongoing digital evolution of what consumers want and need.
Although entrepreneurs tend to be naturally adaptable, the pandemic caught most of us by surprise. We had to make major changes to the way we think and work in order to survive, which will put us in a great position moving forwards.
Consumers have also adapted.
How has consumer behavior changed?
During lockdown, people all over the world (including people who weren’t accustomed to technology) switched to Zoom or FaceTime so they could see their loved ones; now it’s become a natural part of their lives. There’s also been a huge move towards online shopping. Digital platforms are the future – people expect to be able to conduct most, if not all, of their business online.
Guidr, our online digital platform providing legal documents with the added support of the consumer’s local law firm, fulfills this need; without digitization and adaptability, law firms will likely struggle to compete.
“Adaptability” is a superpower for world-class athletes, so we invited Trent Clark, former professional baseball player, serial entrepreneur, coach, and the founder of Leadershipity, onto the Legal Community Podcast to share his expertise.
Trent: “What we really want are teams of coachable champions. Most of us can shut down one great player, but when you’re surrounded by great players, you know they’re going to win.
Bill Belichick [Head Coach of the New England Patriots football team] says that he knows he has a good team when everybody knows their role and their job and are doing it; but so often when I go into organizations, people aren’t clear on their role or their responsibilities, which means they’re definitely not doing it well!
It takes a special manager to direct talent and recognize that while a player might have been a goal scorer for every team [or organization] they’ve worked in, they might now need to adapt and play midfield [or adapt to a different role] so that the team can do things in a different way.”
Trent went on to explain why some organizations struggle to create change even when they know it’s business critical.
Fail to plan, plan to fail
Trent: “Adaptability only works if you have the skill set of what you need to adapt to. If team members don’t have the skill, they lack confidence, which is a major problem. Confidence comes from preparation and repetition. If you’re prepared and have practiced, you feel at ease going into it, just like when you learned to drive; at first you might have freaked out over every maneuver, but now you don’t think twice about getting into your vehicle and driving to the grocery store.”
Through preparation and practice, driving became second nature to you – so much so, that now you can perform a full range of maneuvers to support your everyday needs. Using a digital platform to support your law firm works on the same principle: once you’re set up, the process becomes automatic.
You might think that it will take a long time to get used to it, but the reality is as soon as you shift your mindset (see our earlier blogs 8 Ways Your Law Firm Can Benefit From Offering Digital Services and Ready To Find Out If Your Mindset Supports Or Hinders Your Law Firm?) and open up to the new opportunities it brings, a digital platform will quickly be incorporated and help you drive new business to your firm.
Why it’s wise to scrutinize your current business
It’s important to recognize that the problems (or successes) that you perceive in your law firm, do not necessarily reflect reality.
During our podcast, Dave, the co-founder of Guidr, mentioned that many lawyers struggle with this concept. For example, if they organized a workshop attended by 28 participants, they would view it as a success, even if they didn’t have contact details for any of those people and didn’t follow up with them! While the event might at first look like a success, the reality is there is very little business derived from it. Digitization provides a clear solution in that it uses tools to track and measure success, enabling you to drive business forward.
What sport can teach you about business
The baseball community relies heavily on digitization for its statistics. I was keen to find out what sort of mindset shift Trent thought was required to incorporate a digital approach in the legal industry.
Trent: “For a long time we’ve used video analysis in baseball. A player might tell me that they were in position and ready to go, but the video doesn’t lie; it will show us if they were in position or not. Digital tools will help businesses move away from faulty perception and create the business outcomes that they want.
If I think about being an entrepreneur (without a law degree) trying to save some cash and go it alone by using a platform like LegalZoom, then I’m pretty sure I’m going to muck it up. The likelihood of hitting the future I want is limited because I’m missing vital steps unless I have a manageable and affordable solution like Guidr to help me.
Businesses need to think about how to bring in the tools they need, and use them to serve their goal and create a win-win for everybody.”
If you would like to find out more about how you can use digital tools to meet the needs of your clients and attract new business, check out our book The Digitization of Law: How to Transform Technology Disruptions into Abounding Opportunity or download a free copy.
If you have questions about how you can avoid being left behind and instead deliver a winning performance by harnessing the power of technology, please email Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org or me, Guy, at email@example.com.
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