HedsUP! From Hedley Consulting

Welcome to the Summer
issue of HedsUP!

Ready for Action?

“The future belongs to those who prepare for it today.”
Malcom X
Summer 2014
Ready for Action?
Year end financial results for leading firms indicate that this part of the industry is once again on the front foot. Whilst growth figures vary from sector to sector, it seems clear that commercial law in the UK can draw comfort from increased client confidence and an ever improving economic outlook.

It is now time to raise eyes from the minutiae and to focus on the longer term horizon.

I have written on the topic of mergers in a column for Managing Partner magazine over the last 20 months. I will now be shifting my focus on how firms can become "fit for the future" in a new series of opinion pieces for the magazine. This is a area which I personally find fascinating and one which is also central to my practice. It is critical that firms now move onto the front foot, at pace, in an ever-quickening market.
The industry is replete with specialists, well equipped to advise on very specific areas of practice development; but who is reponsible for the central co-ordinating idea, the vision that will allow a compelling narrative to be developed? And how is this vision translated into a strategic plan and operational implementation? The specialist is key to delivery but there is an overarching need for a person or team at the highest level to ensure that, in combination, these focused ingredients are blended in such a way that creates an alluring and sustainable recipe for the firm.

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

Aligning Performance Management with Strategic Objectives

‘What gets measured gets done’ is a universal truism that law firms regularly ignore when designing and implementing their performance management and reward systems. It is crucial that everything is aligned with the organisation’s strategic objectives. Many firms have moved (or are moving) towards using a series of interrelated metrics that are combined into a ‘dashboard’ that drives investment priorities and forms the basis through which individual performance is measured. For an effective approach, the starting point is to decide what to measure and to ensure that these factors will deliver the desired strategic outcome.

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Using Scenarios to Explore Strategic Options

In order to respond to fast changing and dynamic markets, any strategy needs to be able to accommodate unpredictable changes to future market and economic conditions. It is curious, therefore, that while most would accept that we live in an increasingly non-linear world, many strategies are still constructed using a surprisingly one-dimensional model.

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Aim to Dominate a Market, not The Market

Much of modern marketing strategy is based around the principles of an approach based on segmentation, targeting and positioning (STP). Segmentation is the process by which an apparently heterogeneous market is divided into a series of homogeneous sub-groups or segments, each of which shares a set of distinct characteristics that make the members distinctive in a strategically significant way.

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Leading a shared vision for a law firm merger

In a strategy which is merger based, it is important that there is a clear vision of the future, which is easily understandable and provides a strong rationale as to why merger is the best option – illustrating both the opportunities that will be created as well as the threats and risks which will be reduced or eliminated. The development of this vision is at the core of the leader’s role, but research shows that it is the process by which the vision is created and agreed that is likely to be fundamental to its successful realisation.

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News Bytes

MBL Business Development Conference for Professional Service Firms: How to Get a Return on Your Investment

Andrew Hedley will be speaking about Walking the Talk: Linking Strategy to Business Development at this high-level conference to be held in London on 1st October. The conference sets out to provide a detailed, practical and jargon-free insight into how to make business development work profitably for your practice. For more information and to book a place click here.

Law Society of Scotland Conference 2014: The People's Verdict, So What Now?

Andrew Hedley will deliver an address entitled Attitudes to Anticipate Your Law Firm's Future to the business stream of the Law Society Of Scotland's annual conference The People's Verdict, So What Now? The conference will take place at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Edinburgh on 3rd and 4th October. To access the conference website and book a place click here. To read the full programme click here

SJ Live at the Emirates Stadium, Tuesday 14th & Wednesday 15th October

Andrew Hedley will be speaking on the topic of Commercial Awareness and the Lawyer: From Black-Letter Adviser to Business Partner in the Law Firm Management stream on the second day of the SJ Live event, which will be held over two days at the Emirates Stadium. To read the full two day programme click here or to access the main SJLive website click here

Legal Support Network Legal Practice Management Conference 2014

The highly successful Legal Support Network Practice Management Conference 2014, at which Andrew Hedley was the keynote speaker, is reviewed in this article published in LSN magazine. To read the article click here.

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.

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