Lawyers tend to be very creative, especially in groups; and they can generate enormous lists of interesting ideas, most of them based on good information and reasonable hypotheses about the future direction of their firms. The volume of plausible tactics and action plans is often very impressive, and sometimes is almost frightening in terms of the intellectual power that they represent.
A recent post to this blog considered the question of why many law firms fail to implement their strategic plans. We have suggested questions that should be asked in depth during the planning process, and not deferred to the "implementation stage." Implementation should be part of the later stages of the planning process.
In other words, implementation starts now.
There is one other question that I would like to suggest that law firms ask themselves when trying to prioritize a long list of good ideas: What excites you?
Most lawyers in law firms are practical, often skeptical, business people. They are seldom motivated by lofty visions. Instead, it is innovative actions — making a difference in a professional services world in which differentiation is becoming more challenging — that attract passionate commitment. This is what motivates professional people to strive for great goals, not the latest business school buzz-words or shiny slogans that are devoid of any practical meaning.
After you and your partners have done the detailed collection and analysis of the information that you need to make a well-informed decision about a list of equally attractive tactics and actions, ask yourselves: What ones are exciting?
A good business case can be persuasive.
Excitement is what can make it compelling.