HedsUP! From Hedley Consulting

Welcome to the Spring 2011
issue of HedsUP!

a Clear Line
of Sight

"There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else."
Sam Walton, Wal-Mart Founder
March 11

Creating a Clear Line to of Sight
The client must sit at the centre of any strategy – those we serve today and those we engineer our firm to target in the future. Without a strategy that delivers superior value for clients at a price which generates sustainable levels of profitability, no firm can survive.

Some seem to have lost this clear line of sight that unites an understanding of client needs, service strategy, determined leadership, people management, value creation and profit generation.

All must be aligned, not just in eloquent speeches but by determined action driven by a unified culture. The result will be superior client experience and an improvement in the firm’s competitive position.

I hope that you enjoy this issue of HedsUP! If you have any questions or would like further information please do not hesitate to contact me.

Best wishes,
Andrew Hedley
Andrew Hedley

On your desktop

Hardwiring Values

In law firms of all sizes, managing partners are keen to position their firms as having a clear set of guiding principles by which they conduct business, engage with teams and serve clients. However, there is often an underlying misconception that a values-led approach is altruistic or, worse still, simply a public relations exercise. Nothing could be further from the truth. When developed properly and deployed effectively, a values programme is a powerful management tool for changing behaviours, aligning people across a diverse business with a common sense of purpose and creating a competitive advantage.

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A New Approach for a New World

Law firms continue to grapple with a number of shifts in their competitive environment as difficult market conditions show little sign of abatement. These issues create a maelstrom that will tax the skills of any leadership team to the limit. Here we consider some of the core drivers in this dynamic environment, offer insights to assist firms in better understanding these issues, and provide some possible strategic options.

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Client Strategy in a Changing Legal Market

Client strategy sits at the heart of all strategy. Without the ability to attract and retain clients, at a price which delivers an acceptable level of profitability, no business can be viable in the longer term. A firm’s client strategy should be under constant review in order to ensure that the emerging needs of the client and the firm’s competitive capabilities remain aligned. In a market that is undergoing fundamental and far reaching change, this requirement has never been more pressing.

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A Strategic Perspective: Why strategy matters most in the ‘New World Order’

Since the collapse of Lehman Brothers at the end of 2008 which sparked the worst global recession in recent history, law firms have been reeling from a combination of the economic pressure that has been created compounded by wider structural and competitive changes. An industry which had become accustomed to year-on-year growth, firms which had expanded to become large corporates in their own right and individuals whose personal wealth had amassed to levels which would have seemed impossible only a generation earlier, all had to recalibrate – and quickly.

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Global Firms Should Worry More About Brand Experience Than Single Profit Pools

The rise in international mergers over the past two years has raised a number of interesting issues about the way in which law firms can best service clients on a global basis. One of the more introspective questions asked by some in the profession is whether these unions are real mergers or not. If we take merger to mean the sharing of profits from a common pool on a global basis, the answer clearly is no. However, if the measure of a merger is the effective delivery of a unified brand and consistent client experience, a different yardstick applies.

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News Bytes

Law Firms Develop New Strategies To Stand Out From The Crowd

Andrew Hedley provides comment in a Law Society Gazette feature considering the importance of differentiation and positioning strategies for law firms. To read the feature click here.

Strategic Planning Society Fellowship for Andrew Hedley

Andrew Hedley has been elected as a Fellow of the Strategic Planning Society which exists to foster and promote research and best practice in strategic thought and action. The society links the academic and practitioner worlds of strategy by keeping strategists up-to-date with developments in strategy-related research and practice.

Andrew Hedley to lead Professional Services workshop at Chartered Institute of Marketing Conference, 15th June 2011

Andrew Hedley is to lead an intensive workshop session on Professional Services marketing at the inaugural Chartered Institute of Marketing Northern Conference, which is to be held on 15th June 2011. The workshop will focus on the challenges associated with engaging the partners of professional service firms in strategy, marketing and business development activities. To book at place at the conference click here.

Client Strategy in a Changing Legal Market Report

Andrew Hedley’s Client Strategy in a Changing Legal Market report has now been published and is available to purchase online. Client strategy sits at the heart of all strategy. Without the ability to attract and retain clients, at a price which delivers an acceptable level of profitability, no business can be viable in the longer term. To read more or to order the publication click here.

Client Strategy in a Changing Legal Market Masterclass, 17th May 2011, London

Client strategy sits at the heart of all strategy and, over this intensive one-day Masterclass, Andrew Hedley will provide law firm leaders with a clear understanding of strategic options available to them, provide a template for strategy development and help delegates to explore the linkages between strategy and execution. Practical methods by which the client strategy can be deployed in practice are also outlined. For more information on the Masterclass and to read the detailed programme click here.

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.

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