...

Blog

12 Productivity Tips When Working from Home

As I write this, many firms are shutting down their physical offices and having professional staff work from home.  While most of us have done work from home before, often late at night or on a weekend, many professionals had not worked full time from a home office for an extended period.  I’ve been a consultant, trainer and coach for the past twelve years.  I work from a home office in my furnished basement.  Most of my coaching is conducted over the phone or video.&nb
Continue Reading →

Improve Your Vision in 2020

Why being a visionary leader is critical in times of dynamic change “What leaders struggle with most is communicating an image of the future that draws others in – that speaks to what others see and feel.” – James M. Kouzes and Barry Posner, authors of “The Leadership Challenge” As part of my leadership coaching practice, I often ask lawyers to take a 360 leadership assessment.  The lawyer asks those that they work with – other attorneys, staff and their superiors – to assess the lawye
Continue Reading →

Design Thinking Mindsets that are Counter-Intuitive for Lawyers

One of the reasons design thinking has been slow to catch hold in legal is that some of the underlying mindsets are counter-intuitive for lawyers.  It is not that lawyers can’t embrace and practice these mindsets.  Rather, their training, incentives and environment have often encouraged the opposite attitude or behavior that is needed to innovate in this way.   I facilitate Design Thinking for Legal© workshops for lawyers, legal professionals and legal operations leaders in law firms and legal d
Continue Reading →

How Design Thinking Makes for Good Business Development and Client Service

Nat Slavin is a partner in the Wicker Park Group, a consultancy focused on helping law firms strengthen and deepen their relationships with in-house counsel through client feedback and other client facing programs. Nat has met with more than a thousand law firm clients – in-house counsel, chief legal officers, legal operations executives and business leaders – getting feedback on what drives the most successful relationships and greatest client loyalty. What do clients want f
Continue Reading →

Tips for New Manager Training

How do you prepare new managers to be effective leaders? Many corporations have comprehensive training programs for new managers, but law firms have typically not offered specialized training for new staff managers or lawyers who transition from sole contributors to managers of staff, deal or matter teams.  This is beginning to change, with more firms dedicating training and professional development resources for new managers. New managers face a number of leadership challenges when they ta
Continue Reading →

10 Things That Should Be on Your Law Firm’s Radar in 2017

The legal profession, marketing technology, and clients’ buying habits are changing dramatically. Lawyers need to think differently about marketing, lead generation, big data, project delivery and leadership. Here are 10 things that should be on your radar, starting now. 1. Data-driven business development. At the 2016 Legal Marketing Association Technology Conference, JD Supra’s Adrian Lurssen demonstrated how they are using readership data to help law firms identify highly engaged prospects an
Continue Reading →

What is the ROI for Leadership Development?

When I started consulting, I met with an old friend who had been consulting for more than two decades. “You need to communicate the cost of doing nothing,” he advised me. “If firms understood the high cost of not investing in leaders, they will be more likely to start a leadership development program.” Easier said than done. Intuitively, managing partners know that investing in the development of practice group leaders, new and mid-level partners and the C-suite pays off in more effective client
Continue Reading →

Leadership Reading List

Here are a few books on leadership that I recommend: The No Asshole Rule:  Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t Robert Sutton The Knowing-Doing Gap: How Smart Companies Turn Knowledge into Action Robert Sutton and Jeffrey Pfeffer Leadership Is An Art Max DePree Committed Teams:  Three Steps to Inspiring Passion and Performance Mario Moussa The Art of Thinking Clearly Rolf Dobelli Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking Susan Cain Learn
Continue Reading →

Mark Beese Advises Inaugural Women in Law Hackathon

LAW FIRM PARTNERS, TALENT EXPERTS, AND STANFORD LAW STUDENTS JOIN FORCES TO TACKLE GENDER PARITY THROUGH INAUGURAL WOMEN IN LAW HACKATHON  Diversity Lab, in partnership with Stanford Law School and Bloomberg Law, launch the Women in Law Hackathon aimed at advancing women in the legal profession DENVER, March 9, 2016 – Fifty-four top law firms have signed up to participate in the Women in Law Hackathon, a new Shark Tank-style pitch competition aimed at generating innovative ideas to close the gen
Continue Reading →