What happens if you never find the courage to evolve?
As John Morgan says, you’re either growing or you’re dying.
I want to unpack this because many people are unfortunately under the illusion that there’s a third choice.
There is no third choice. It’s grow or die.
If COVID taught us anything, it’s that tomorrow isn’t guaranteed.
The only way that you could stay right where you are is if every other law firm stayed right where they were. But because people like you and people like me and people like John Morgan exist… that’s never going to happen.
When you decide to keep doing what you’re doing and stay where you are every day, you become less competitive. You’re dying. You may not see it in the short term. Maybe the phone starts ringing a little less. But eventually, it stops ringing.
So in what ways do you need to evolve in order to remain competitive?
At the core of it, the law firm of the future is the one whose leader has the courage to continuously evolve. Because the law firm of the future requires a focus on the long term. You can’t just focus on short-term drivers. You need to be building something.
You need to build a well-rounded organization. You can’t be a one-trick-pony or a one-hit-wonder.
You need to have a clear and unique value proposition.
You need to have an aligned team and culture, with a world-class client experience.
You need to leverage technology.
You need to have processes.
You need to make an impact on your community and build a strong brand.
When non-lawyer firm ownership comes into your market and you’ve got private equity investing, do you think they’re going to invest in you?
They want to invest in established legal brands.
They look at things like predictable revenue, cash flow, and other business metrics that they can evaluate. And if you don’t have a brand built, they’re going to support your biggest competitor — not you.
You need to become the leader your firm needs to achieve your vision.
I’ve never taken any investments because I’m not a fan of private equity. I’ve seen what it’s done to other industries.
If you want to survive, you need to build a great business and a great brand.