Happy New Year, and New Decade! We are looking forward to a fresh start and the opportunity to envision what possibilities the next ten years will deliver. We believe this decade will be pivotal in the way that firms operate their practice, manage their talent and serve clients.
It’s understandable to have twinges of overwhelm from the volume of discussion around CHANGE. It might seem easier to take a break from thinking about all the change and instead focus on your client work, your team’s projects or the upcoming Spring busy season – rather than anticipating how your firm or career will be impacted in the 2020’s. But don’t succumb to avoidance or hide from the inevitable! Because the more you focus on learning about these changes and trends, the better prepared you’ll be to make strategic, and not reactive, decisions. In addition, you’ll experience benefits sooner and you’ll secure your firm’s competitive advantage. When we stop viewing the trends as battlegrounds to defend against and instead see them as potential doorways from which you’ll enter new worlds of opportunity, you’ll be more excited and inspired to pursue change.
If your firm is like many others in this country, you’re challenged with needing more capacity, so it feels like time for proactive activities is nearly nonexistent. Don’t let this stop you from mapping out a vision for the next few years and making a plan for tackling pieces of it in 2020. Your young people want to know how their firm is planning to address the topics being discussed at conferences, in publications, in the news, in the marketplace, and in their personal networks. They want to know that their leadership team HAS a plan, and ideally, they’d like to input to it and be a part of making that vision a reality.
We often help firms create their 5-year vision plans and encourage you to develop one as well. When you do, we suggest you follow seven guidelines in your process:
- Get input from current AND up-and-coming leaders.
- Explore the trends and changes impacting our profession, your clients and their profession or industry and our world.
- Consider your firm’s current strengths, expertise and opportunities and be real about your firm’s weaknesses, too.
- Focus on potential outcomes or results you want to produce – destinations on your future pathway, not the specific steps required for getting to them.
- Narrow your possibilities to a short-list of those new realities that are most viable.
- Vet each possibility thoroughly.
- Agree on your final vision and how you’ll measure its components, understanding that it can (and likely will) change.
Once you’ve determined your vision, you can pick your strategic priorities to focus on this year. You’ll have greater clarity in your decision making and your people will better understand how they can contribute.
Have you identified your firm’s vision for the next 3 – 5 years? What about your priorities for 2020? Share with us in the comments below. We’re excited to be part of your journey!