Cultural Considerations

3 Leading Indicators of Success

Turnabout. Today we have a sequel, in a yin-yang fashion, to our earlier column, “3 leading indicators of failure.” What might the equivalent indicators be for success, or outperformance? I’m not going to rehearse characteristics of successful firms that I consider elementary learning from Manaqement 101, or good organizational hygiene, any more than I would
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Articles, Business Models, Cultural Considerations, Finance, Leadership, Strategy

3 Leading Indicators of Failure

Can you remember a time when there was so much talk of more BigLaw firm failures? I can’t. Count yourself a believer or a skeptic (and there are hardcore advocates on both sides, including gleeful cheerleaders in the first camp and diehard deniers in the second camp), this is a new phenomenon on our landscape.
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Articles, Cultural Considerations, Finance, Leadership, Strategy

Letter from London

Greetings from the right side of the pond: Impressions and observations from a wide-ranging series of conversations and meetings over the past few days. 1. Overall, the market here strikes me as a few years beyond—more evolved—than the US market. Why this is so I have no theory, but firms in general talk more crisply,
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Articles, Business Models, Cultural Considerations, Globalization, Strategy

Lessons from Google

Loyal readers of Adam Smith, Esq. know that we think there’s much that can be learned for Law Land from other industries. Today’s column is in that vein, and our texts for today come from The New York Times and Above the Law. The first text is Tom Friedman’s recent “How to get a job
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Articles, Cultural Considerations, Recruiting

Delusions of Crowds

When a large number of smart, accomplished, ambitious people seem to be behaving in a way that makes no rational sense, there has to be an irrational explanation. I’ve written and spoken before about my overall attitude towards aggressive lateral partner recruitment. As Calvin Coolidge reportedly said, leaving church and asked by a reporter what
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Articles, Compensation, Cultural Considerations, Finance, Leadership, Practice Group Management, Recruiting, Strategy

See Talent. Liberate it.

It’s been viewed online nearly 7 million times. Sheryl Sandberg calls it one of the most important documents ever to come out of Silicon Valley. And it was created by the company whose stock increased in 2013 more than any other’s in the S&P 500—up nearly 350%. “It” is a 126-slide PowerPoint called “Netflix Culture:
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Articles, Compensation, Cultural Considerations, Leadership, Practice Group Management, Recruiting

See Talent. Kill It.

That law firms are all about talent is a commonplace. Too bad that so many lawyers seem to have an uncanny knack for knocking the wind out of the sails of the most spirited contributors. I dare you to tell me that you don’t recognize at least a few colleagues who exhibit some of the
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Articles, Cultural Considerations, Leadership, Recruiting

Lake Wobegone

A few highlights from The American Lawyer’s just-released annual law firm leaders survey: Five years in to the Great Reset, the way clients buy legal services has settled into a new normal: In-house capabilities are expanding; Price/fee pressure is relentless; Work is being pushed to cheaper suppliers (which, yes, includes LPO’s, but also most definitely
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Articles, Cultural Considerations, Finance, Leadership

The Power of Asking

Today we have a column by my partner in Adam Smith, Esq., Janet Stanton. Before joining Adam Smith, Esq., Janet had years  of experience leading highly profitable teams of professionals at a global communications agency for clients such as Pfizer and the US Department of Defense.  For the last several years of her tenure at
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Articles, Branding, Cultural Considerations, Marketing

Hard Conversations 101

One of the thorniest and most convoluted issues any leader has to deal with is telling senior-level underperformers that they’d be better off elsewhere. It calls on every skill in the manager’s trick-bag, from financial analysis to subtler cultural and personality judgments, and accurate perspective on the impact on the organization overall of asking a
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Articles, Cultural Considerations, Leadership, Practice Group Management, Strategy

Bear