Don’t give up, success is just around the corner

I can’t stress enough that taking on the role to implement any new initiative in a law firm, you’ll need thick skin. You’ll also need to keep the end goal and big picture in mind, while tracking the small details along the way.

There will, however, be days that surprise you – one of those “blockers” may seek your help for an upcoming deal. Another partner may ask you to be one of three for a panel pitch representing the firm. Other days the surprises may not be as pleasant, a secondment may have failed, a clause may have been missed, a pitch may have been lost.

It’s all part of the adventure.

Your resilience will be rewarded. And for those of you in the middle of implementing change or innovation, you will know that not every day will be smooth sailing.

Some days are tougher than others to get through, and you may want to chuck it all in for an ‘easy’ job – but where would the adventure be in that?!

Instead, use these days to your advantage. These are often the days where you learn the most. You might learn new techniques, use technology in a new way, or repurpose an existing resource.

When you get stuck in the mud – call on your coalition of the willing (Nepal) Photo by Alison Laird

When you get stuck in the mud, find innovative solutions to get unstuck, draw on your team and your coalition of the willing to become the solution to the problem.

Don’t be afraid, to ask for help

If all else fails – ask for help (Nepal) Photo by Alison Laird

There will be some days you’ll need to call on support from on high. For any new initiative to work, it is critical to have senior management support. They not only have to believe in the goal of the initiative, but they also need to believe in you. Both privately and, more importantly, publicly.

When you run into an uphill battle, it’s ok to bring them in to help to pull you through. Because there will be days when you’ll come under fire and will be thankful the firm leadership is behind you (or in front of you in the overlanding experience!).

Implementing new initiatives can be overwhelming, for both you and the business. With existing “day jobs” it can be difficult to convince lawyers to take on yet another new responsibility.

The thing is, change is inevitable: the way we deliver legal services will continue to change, the way clients purchase legal services will change, and the staff we need to provide those services will change.

They say a successful implementation is 10 per cent strategy, 90 per cent execution. They also say failure rates of strategic initiatives vary between 60 and 90 per cent. Even if you do fail, don’t fail to learn from the experience. Be resilient enough to get back up and try it all over again.

Because the next time you feel like you’re on the edge, it could just be the edge of a breakthrough.

Unknown obstacles lurk all around (rough camping somewhere in Georgia) Photo by Alison Laird

No matter what obstacles you face: don’t give up (you may want to stay in your tent for a while, to think of another way out, but don’t give up.

Back to that Thomas Edison quote: Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.

Because the rewards can be transformative…


Read Part 8: The Rewards of innovating