HedsUP! From Hedley Consulting

Welcome to the Winter
issue of HedsUP!

of the Fittest

"It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who survive,
it is those who are most responsive to change”.

Charles Darwin

 December 08  

As 2008 draws to a close, battle weary management teams are retiring to reflect on the events of the past year and contemplate what the future may bring.

In a year where the only thing that could be safely predicted was that things would be unpredictable, it is easy to forget the importance of getting a relatively small number of fundamentals right. These include developing a robust strategy, the effective management of risks and exposures, pricing and cashflow management, a focus on key clients, strong leadership and clear communication. These core drivers are, of course, independently important but, in combination, create a compelling brand proposition.

Above all, however, it is the ability to move quickly and decisively in dealing with emerging opportunities and threats that will define the winners and losers over the next twelve months. Those who are fleet of foot and adaptive have a significant competitive advantage in a turbulent business environment.


Darwin’s words should resonate as we consider our approach to the economic challenges of the coming months. Loosening the cultural straitjacket which encumbers many professional firms will be necessary to encourage entrepreneurship and responsiveness. Scary and exciting at the same time, there will be significant upside for those firms prepared to grasp this particular nettle.

Very best wishes for the festive season and let’s hope for a revival in economic prosperity in 2009!

Best wishes,pix
Andrew Hedley
Andrew Hedley

On your desktop

“What Gets Measured Gets Done”
Published in Managing Partner Magazine
(November 2008)

‘What gets measured gets done’ is an old adage of management. It is also a universal truism that many firms ignore when designing and implementing performance management and reward systems. It is crucial that these are aligned with the organisation’s strategic objectives. Many firms are now moving towards a series of interrelated metrics, which are then combined into a ‘performance dashboard’ – which drives investment priorities and forms the basis by which performance is measured.
PDF version    HTML version

Some Observations on Law Firm Leaders
Published in Leadership Development in the Legal Profession
(November 2008)

Over the past 20 years, I have observed a range of leaders and leadership styles in professional service firms. Over this same period, there has been an exponential increase of interest in the subject of leadership, and the crucial role that it plays in the success (and occasionally the failure) of law firms. This case study consolidates these observations and suggests a descriptive framework aimed at increasing understanding and effectiveness in this area.
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Mind Over Matter
Published in Managing Partner magazine
(October 2008)

Ignore the importance of cultural fit at your peril when merging firms. Culture clash is one of the most common reasons mergers fail. Within professional services, where the importance of common values and behaviours in creating cohesive firms is indisputable, getting the cultural aspects of a merger wrong can be disastrous.
PDF version    HTML version

Developing Strategic Client Relationships Report
Andrew Hedley’s comprehensive report, Developing Strategic Client Relationships, published by ARK Group, continues to attract purchasers from around the world. Running to over 150 pages, with case studies of leading firms and ground breaking initiatives in this area, the report brings a much needed strategic perspective to client development and relationship management. For more information about the report and to order a copy click here.
News bytes

FT Innovative Lawyers’ Report Quotes Andrew Hedley
The 2008 FT Innovative Lawyers’ Report again called on Andrew Hedley for expert comment.

In “Taking Charge”, the part of the report covering the Billing & Fees category, innovations in the ways in which law firms charge for the value that they deliver rather than the time that they expend are highlighted. To read “Taking Charge” online click here or for a PDF version click here.

Sweetening the Deal” reports on innovations in the Marketing & PR section, illustrating the way in which leading firms are embedding client relationships and creating clear and compelling communications campaigns. To read “Sweetening the Deal” online click here or for a PDF version click here.

Alternatively, to access the full report online click here.

IoD News Turns to Hedley Consulting for Comment
Protect and Survive is the title of a feature article in the November edition of IoD News, the Institute of Directors’ member magazine. Taking as its theme the need for brand investment through challenging economic times, with comment drawn from leading thinkers across industries, the article builds the case for continued brand building to capture increased market share. To read the article in full click here.

This month Down but not out: A survival guide for Directors is the feature with Andrew Hedley again called upon as an expert commentator. To read the article
click here.

Legal Week Strategic HR Forum
Andrew Hedley will deliver the opening keynote at the Legal Week Strategic HR Forum in May 2009 on the subject of How to Influence and Assist Change in a Volatile Climate.  For more details about the forum click here.

International Coverage for Hedley Consulting
Legal Today (www.legaltoday.com), the leading online source targeting the Spanish and Latin American legal markets, interviewed Andrew Hedley to get his views on a range of hot topics and burning issues for the profession. To read the interview click here.

Meanwhile, Moneyweb, South Africa’s leading investment and business website, has published Hedley Consulting’s recent article, Mind over Matter. To read the article click here.

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