I just returned from the Atticus 2-day attorney boot camp officially known as The Practice Builder. I spent Friday and Saturday with my fellow Practice Advisors and over 50 awesome attorneys from all across the country. The Practice Builder is designed not merely to motivate and inspire participants, although it certainly does that. It is designed to move them to action and to do those things necessary to reshape their practices and reclaim their lives.
The Practice Builder is all about innovation. Innovation and systems. So when I got up this morning, I pulled one of my favorite books off the shelf, The Circle of Innovation: You Can’t Shrink Your Way to Greatness, by Tom Peters. The book was first published in 1998, and while some of the references are dated, the insights are as true today as they were then. Some even more so.
In the book, Peters loudly proclaims “The System is the Solution.” But having a system (or systems) alone, isn’t enough. Systems must be beautifully designed, client focused, and fun. He refers to Southwest Airlines as a “systems company.” Since its founding in 1967, Southwest has maintained its brand: low prices, reliability and fun. And despite the economic downturn, it has also maintained its profitability. In 2009, Southwest turned a profit for the 37th year in a row.
What can your firm do to become a “systems firm”? What can your firm do to innovate? What can you do to build or reinforce your brand? What can you do to create systems that work beautifully to serve your clients? Try this. Meet with your entire team today (this week), and ask them this question: What is one way we can improve our systems to serve our clients better? Get their feedback; make a list of the suggestions; choose one; and commit to implementing it. Now.