HedsUP! From Hedley Consulting

Welcome to the Autumn
issue of HedsUP!

Risk and Reward

“The only man who never makes mistakes is the man who never does anything.”
Theodore Roosevelt
Autumn 2014
Risk and Reward
We live in uncertain and dynamic times. Opportunities and threats abound. The competitive landscape has changed in fundamental ways over the last ten years and that pace of change is only set to accelerate.

If we accept these three statements then, as leaders of our firms, we are duty bound to act, to innovate and to reshape our businesses to be better able to cope with the new rules of competition. Not to do so would be a dereliction; but with change comes uncertainty. And with uncertainty may come increased risk but also the potential for reward.

Risk is, of course, at the heart of any business – how best to manage it in order to tap new markets, develop new products or services, ring-fence liabilities and balance investment against return is the key question. This is the way in which business operates in a free market economy.
Law firms need to learn better how to manage their development risks, perhaps investing in skunkworks projects to test radical new approaches, adopting an iterative, incremental methodology and using feedback-loops to ensure that learning acquired is then used to inform future decision making. Importantly, we need to be prepared to get it wrong in order to advance but to manage our downside exposure.

In this sense the innovation and change process can be regarded as a baby-steps approach rather than a leap, blind-folded into a dark space!

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

Answering the big strategic questions with honesty and objectivity

There are a small number of key strategic questions which any firm must be prepared to discuss, honestly and objectively, if it is to best equip itself to address future opportunities and mitigate threats. This will mean engaging in a partnership-level dialogue, which will be uncomfortable for many and threatening for some. It has been my experience that the very best firms have one common characteristic – they have an unwavering focus; they know what they are in business to do and what not to do.

PDF version   HTML version

Succession Planning Is Vital to Building A Sustainable Future For Your Law Firm

As the legal industry finds itself once more on an expansion track, one consequence of a long period of recession and low growth is that the partnership age profile now appears somewhat imbalanced. Few firms have been able to offer partnership promotion to those who, in the past, would have been credible candidates. In some cases, only truly standout performers have been offered the keys to the partners’ dining room while, in others, the door has remained firmly bolted for a number of years.

PDF version   HTML version

Future Proofing Your Law Firm

This is the first instalment of a new monthly Managing Partner column in which I shall examine how law firms can position themselves to create a future that is both profitable and sustainable – the concept of ‘future proofing’. Achieving this future will mean being prepared to take decisive actions today (which some may regard as being unnecessary or overkill) to ensure that we are able to cope with that which is appearing on the distant horizon, as well as whatever is just around the corner.

PDF version   HTML version

News Bytes

Andrew Hedley invited to join Judging Panel for MPF Awards 2015

Andrew Hedley has again been invited to be a member of the judging panel for the 2015 Managing Partners’ Forum (MPF) Awards. MPF created its annual Awards for Management Excellence in 2002 as a way for the management of firms of any size to demonstrate their contribution directly to clients and employees. The Awards are an integral part of the MPF International Management Excellence Summit in association with Harvard Business Review and Financial Times, which culminates with an open-to-all gala dinner and Awards ceremony on 11th March 2015..

The Law Firm Merger: A Leader’s Guide to Strategy and Realisation

An in-depth report by Andrew Hedley into the role of the leader in the merger process has been published by ARK Group. The executive summary is available to download here. To read more about the report and to purchase a copy click here.

Law Management Section Merger Toolkit

The Law Management Section Mergers Toolkit, with two chapters contributed by Andrew Hedley, is designed to help firms gain a better understanding of the merger process and provides practical guidance throughout. Andrew Hedley's chapters consider the strategic drivers for merger and how to unlock the merger dividend. For more information or to order a copy 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.

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 email enquiries@hedleyconsulting.com.

The Cambridge Chartered Programme

Andrew Hedley is a specialist tutor on Cambridge Marketing College's new Chartered Programme. This is a unique initiative aimed at helping delegates gain and maintain their Chartered Marketer status through a structured range of activities from networking events, through courses to self-study materials. For more information about the college click here or to download a copy of the Chartered Programme prospectus click here.

Hedley Consulting New Broad Street House
New Broad Street
London · EC2M 1NH
The Workstation
Paternoster Row
Sheffield · S1 2BX
T: +44 (0) 870 4862115
Fax: +44 (0) 870 4862116
Hedley Consulting Ltd. © 2014