Monday, July 02, 2007

Fast Start Practice Development Program© -- A Way to Encourage Success and Teamwork

In the military individuals are awarded ribbons commemorating both their personal achievement and the achievement of the units they are/were attached to. The higher-honor ribbons (displayed from top to bottom, left to right) are for individual achievement -- as it should be.

Interesting though, when in training (at least in the Marine Corps of my time) the fundamental emphasis is placed in putting the unit before self -- never on achieving personal advancement. Typically when a Marine earns individual honor it is for a selfless act of bravery and courage to advance or save his/her unit. Yet, any Marine can tell you that promotions go to those that achieve the most as individuals.

The civilian experience of law school students pursuing a J.D. is to be indoctrinated to pursue self-advancement to achieve success. Actually, this is true of the majority of the college experience for any student -- be great as an individual and success will be yours. THEN, when they leave college or law school, companies and firms expect graduates to fall in-line and fight for a team having learned little of esprit de corp -- the concept is counterintuitive for most.

A few months back I created the Fast Start Practice Development Program© at my firm -- a unique way to help lawyers grow their own personal book of business while enabling an individual to learn about the benefits of working with and for a team. Intrigued? Just to lure you in a bit more, a couple of initial rules for the program:
  • Voluntary participation only!
  • Volunteers that lag behind are culled out-- no questions asked.
  • Volunteers must attend program meetings every two weeks. Show up or shove off.
So far 20% of the lawyers at my firm have volunteered to participate. I anticipate at least 25% - 50% growth in new client work per participating lawyer in the next 12 months.

Over the next several months I'd like to write about how this program works, the kinks we work out, and the ribbons we earn. If you would like to learn more about this program -- volunteer -- email me and let me know you want to hear more.