Monday, August 9, 2010

Lawyers and Change

Jim Hassett over at Legal Business Development knows a great deal about the changes affecting attorneys and law firms. What changes, you might ask? Are you aware of "the new normal?"

In a recent post, Hassett cites a book called Switch: How to Change When Change is Hard. According to its authors, change requires a balance of the rational mind, the emotional mind, and the environment.

Attorneys tend to focus on the rational element, which is quite effective in a controlled situation such as reducing copy costs. However, this approach may result in "analysis paralysis" when you are grappling with difficult issues and facing a "fuzzy" or uncertain future. Hassett describes the attorney response to complexity as "READY…AIM…AIM…AIM…AIM…AIM… Wait a minute, why am I holding a gun?" In other words, charts and reports and study may not be enough to make the case for action when the issues are complex and the future is uncertain.

In order to get past this rational impasse you may need to make an emotional connection ("This is Crazy!") and create a sense of urgency in order to inspire meaningful action.