Strategic planning is not set in stone

Tom Collins suggests that many consultants discredit the value of strategic planning.  And Larry Bodine bemoans the current "business" environment of law firms.

Law firms have always been seen by those law firms that have grown to the behemoths they are today, and those who would like to emulate those large law firms in the  AmLaw 100, as a business!

Saying that is not necessarily a negative. Every lawyer would like to take home more money. While they may have gone into the profession "in order to do good," they also would like "to do well." Nothing wrong with that.

As I say in my West LegalEdcenter teleseminar series,  and the business plan sesssion yesterday, all Fortune 100 companies do business planning. Most small businesses do not. There is a huge failure rate among small businesses. I think there is a correlation between these statistics.

Large firms are beginning to follow the lead of their clients by employing professionals to run the business side of their practice and by developing strategic plans to guide them. But, a business plan is not cast in stone, just as an estate plan is not cast in stone. These are tools. A plan is a guide for the future, not a guarantor of that future. As my wife said to me, "… a plan is what you create while life happens."  As pilots know, a flight plan is your intent … and many adjustments are made as you are in mid-air. Strategic plans are constantly updated and modified as new information is obtained and assumptions are either confirmed or blown apart during the passage of time.

But, a plan nevertheless is important. It allows you to take control over your practice rather than allowing your practice to control you.


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