Five Year Plan Every Day

Real law firm clients take me beyond the academic into the practical and real. One of the founding partners of a highly specialized boutique law firm uttered these words in a strategy meeting this weekend “five year plan every day”. This is an extremely vital illustration of dynamic planning.

The default pattern or reasoning for most of us as lawyers is that we should mold that exquisite plan and then sell it to our troops who will enthusiastically execute it. The real world, though, requires sequential plans thus creating over time a dynamic map that updates for changing circumstances. One of the founding partners of my client was thinking exactly this way as he provided an in-depth briefing to his partners on the landscape of the firm’s marketplace. He had identified the clientelle, existing and prospective, their relevant “numbers” (size of their operations; potential fees) and their own place on their respective evolutionary curves.

In a world of consolidation, he provided the evidence that would support rational predictions of which existing and prospective clients would be acquired, by whom, and where the power would then reside, both corporately and geographically.

This partner creates a dash board of intelligence that he constantly updates. Now I ask you, what are the chances that his firm will continue to flourish? Yes, you are right – very high.

The firm is receptive to change and plans for it… unlike so many firms I know who have partners with sandy faces and necks from their ostrich-like behavior, petrified that something might change… appreciating their vulnerability but feeling ill-equipped to do anything about it.

So, do you have a five year plan every day?