You Must Create Your Own Recipe

While you can always learn helpful things from others, we have found that the recipe for excellence in a particular organization is specific to its history, external environment, and aspirations, as well as the passions and capabilities of its people.

Yes!  Consultants who say the recipe for success is specific to every firm and not an off-the-shelf formula.

In Beyond Performance: How Great Organizations Build Ultimate Competitive Advantage , Scott Keller and Colin Price argue that organizational health is the ultimate competitive advantage. “Organizational health” is an organization’s ability to align, execute, and renew itself faster than competitors can. It is about “adapting to the present and shaping the future.” Healthy organizations “create a capacity to learn and keep changing over time.”

Keller and Price say that the recipe for this kind of health is unique to every organization.

Thank goodness for management consultants who recognize that organizations are unique in their most critical aspects. This goes quadruple (and more) for law firms – and even more than that for mid-sized law firms.

It goes at two levels. First, there are so many types and kinds and models and sizes of law firms that the phrase “law firm” conveys very little information. Every evaluation of every law-practice-management prescription must begin with a strict scrutiny of whether it applies to your firm at all. And midsized firms in particular must be eternally vigilant not to swallow nostrums concocted for the big guys, or for the little guys, or just for the other guys.

Second, law firms – and I am talking about all of them, every single one – notwithstanding the foregoing. Law firms are so rooted in their particular people and cultures that all law firm management is always about “creating your own recipe”. There is no other way.

This is most especially true when you are “adapting to the present and shaping the future.”  If you force it, you are going to break it.

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