Digital transformation isn’t coming.
The vast majority of law firms, 8 out of 10, aren’t ready for the transition. In fact, these firms haven’t even begun to make the transition.
In my last post, we identified the problems surrounding digital transformation.
Most definitions are broad, vague and unhelpful
Here’s the good news. We used Greg Verdino’s definition of digital transformation because it’s specific, measurable and actionable.
Here it is again:
“Digital transformation closes the gap between what digital customers already expect and what analog businesses actually deliver.“
This definition creates questions, sets boundaries and requires change. It’s relatively easy for law firms to look at this definition then figure out what needs to be done.
The first step?
Taking the time to ask some important and uncomfortable questions.
- What do our clients already expect? This is an important question because it requires firms to look at two distinct areas (1.) The types of clients the firm has (2.) The value these clients provide (3.) Firm longevity if the current types of clients are retained. If you’re dealing with sophisticated clients who have been forced to adapt themselves, your window for change is smaller. If you’re dealing with older legacy clients (e.g. boomers) your firm may need to make some radical changes to survive.
- Are we in an analog, digital or hybrid firm? This question shows you whether your firm is focused on tradition, change or insecurity. Firms focused on tradition are far more likely to resist the changes dictated by digital transformation. These firms are also far more likely to be laggards. Change-oriented firms tend to align with early adopters. These firms are willing to adjust and adapt to change. Hybrids are firms who have either: (a.) resisted, then initiated change, or (b.) initiated, then suspended change. Hybrids are sensitive to triggers which motivate these firms to action or inaction.
- What kind of service do we deliver to our clients? It’s important to contrast your self-assessment with your client’s survey/assessment. You can acquire this data in a variety of ways (e.g. group surveys, client interviews, anonymous feedback, etc.). This metric provides you with a clear indication of your firm’s performance/standing. Taking an honest look at these details gives you the clarity you need to create real change. This question provides you with the following answers: (a.) are your (firm) clients satisfied with their service/experience? (b.) what do you need to change? (c.) how do you need to change?
- What does an analog business provide to clients? This seems like a simple and unhelpful question but it’s actually the opposite. This question helps to prevent a relapse. Firms (e.g. laggards and hybrids) are far more likely to slip back into comfortable roles. When change is difficult or hard, firms may be tempted to take the easy way out. This question shows you which habits and behaviors need to be avoided. It makes the transition a successful and easily identifiable goal.
- What does a digital business provide clients? Using data from your ideal clients, you’re able to establish clear goals and important success metrics to follow. You’re able to identify important habits, behaviors and roles you’ll need to establish.
- Did we already know about these changes? If the collective answer is yes, the next obvious question becomes, “Why didn’t we take action sooner?” This helps partners identify potential objections, barriers and If the answer is no, the obvious question becomes, “How did we miss this?” This helps you to identify important causes and blind spots. It also provides you with the clarity you need to identify solutions to future trends and changes.
Most conscientious firms will throw themselves into tactics and buzzwords. The change they achieve is far more likely to be temporary.
Questions create permanence.
The change you achieve is likely to stick because it’s centered around your clients, your experience and your firm. The firms that embrace these changes are far more likely to succeed. The firms that lead with questions are far more likely to win.
Clients will gravitate to these firms.
The majority of law firms aren’t ready for the transition
It’s an incredible opportunity.
Digital transformation closes the gap between what digital customers already expect and what analog businesses actually deliver. This definition creates questions, sets boundaries and requires change.
Change that produces success.
The digital transformation is here. The good news? Most of your competitors are laggards, traditionalists who are resistant to change. Ask the right questions, act on the answers you find and your firm will survive the inevitable aftershocks.
Everything your firm needs to win.