Would you like for your firm to be a market leader? Who wouldn’t, right? Yet, are the firm leaders willing to do what it takes to distinguish themselves from the crowd? If you are the managing partner, practice group leader, executive committee member, or key client group leader, you set the tone for culture and performance.
McKinsey found in a 2010 study that organizations who rank in the top quintile in talent management outperform their industry by 22%. By talent management, we mean grooming professionals throughout their careers to enhance competency, contribution, and performance–regardless the yardstick. However, traditional talent programs often fall short because they do not incorporate the best practices of organizational development.
Organizational development components are more holistic and include organization design, business development, work generation and management, and strategic business model communication. The OD spectacles view recruitment, nurture, and retention of legal talent as an expression of firm values, identity, vision, goals, strategy, and essence. As Jim Collins in Good to Great describes the importance of helping the right people find the right seat on the bus, it is important inside firms to develop a system for aligning talent management with firm management.
The graphic to the right depicts the need for a cascading set of goals whereby organizational goals are broken down to team/practice area/section goals, and further still to individual goals. As firms find a way to chart a career development path that includes a competency model and clear role maps, the members of the firm and the teams on which they serve become more proficient in serving client needs and reaching business objectives.
Clarifying responsibilities for client acquisition, project management, and client retention guides the development of assignments that groom not just the technical, but also the soft skills necessary for achievement. Competencies such as self awareness, self regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills can be developed as a vital part of an overall career development plan that intentionally aligns experience, assignments, and mentoring needed with the exigency of getting billable work done.
- Design your organization for success
- Develop your people for greatness
- Deploy human capital to serve meaningful client needs