When you have a law firm, there are going to be periods of time where things are running fantastically. Everybody is moving in the same direction. Everybody is positive and upbeat. Everybody is following the policies and procedures. Law firm life is good.
On the other hand, in most law firms, there are going to feel as if there are periods of time where the law firm is hitting some bumps. The policies and procedures can be pushed to the side by many. Negativism can creep up like a weed. Folks are just not moving in the same direction. Some folks do not want to move in the same direction.
Depending on the size and layout of your firm, this can work differently. In a smaller law firm with one office, if folks are not moving in the same direction, it can make coming to the office unenjoyable. But in a larger law firm, this can begin in a certain department within the firm. It can begin in certain offices, among certain cliques, segments, etc.
The reality is that like the whack-a-mole game, you have to whack the mole quickly. Otherwise, things can begin moving in the wrong direction. And this can have an adverse impact on the firm.
For law firms that do not succeed, they do not whack the mole or pull the weed. They let the negativity persist. They allow folks to not follow the policies and procedures. Ultimately, the impact of doing nothing can be great.
When this happens, all kinds of problems can arise. Productivity numbers can start declining within the firm. This lack of productivity can create a financial problem for the law firm. Even bigger than that, in some instances, clients might not be as satisfied as they could be with the work performed. This can result in clients not referring their friends and family members to the firm or other potential problems. In some instances, the law firm could break-up or cease to exist.
Instead of turning a blind eye, you have to ask yourself — in some rare circumstances — whether it is time clean house? In some instances, you might just be able to pull one or two weeds (particular employees) from the garden and the law firm can flourish again. But in other cases, more drastic measures might need to be taken.
Like a sports team where there are underperforming stars, and a roster that is not setup to succeed, sometimes, you might simply need many new players. Thus, you might need to figuratively put your best performers on a boat and then clean house (or flood) certain departments, cliques or segments of your firm by letting the underperformers go.
You then then bring in new people who have a positive, upbeat and fresh attitude. With new ideas, and positive attitudes, you can often put your law firm back together in a way that was even better than it ever was before.
If you have any thoughts, feel free to share them below.