We work with a lot of firms on process efficiency, and thinking differently about how they get their work done. As we all know, change is hard, and none of us do a really great job about consistently thinking about better ways to do the things we do over and over again.
A couple years ago, I was working with a lawyer in another state who was leaving her firm and starting her own firm, and she thought she needed a typewriter (it was number 8 on a list she sent me that contained everything she thought she needed). It said this:
Stop laughing. Right now we have skinny little labels we type on to label our gold legal file folders (the client's main flapped file folder). We'll continue to use these. But if I don't have a typewriter, how are we going to get the info on the label? If you can help us just print these from the computer, fine. Otherwise we need a typewriter (which we really don't want, but how else to do this?).
Long story short, we recommended a Dymo Label Printer. When she got it all set up (with the help of an IT person, of course) she sent me an email, the subject line was ‘That Dymo Label Printer” and it contained 2 words. In all caps.
I share this story with you as an extreme example of the lesson we talk about all the time called ‘I can’t even imagine’. The dilemma is, we don’t know what we don’t know. And challenging ourselves to think differently about how to solve a problem or get work done is not always easy, but it is ALWAYS necessary. Find opportunities in your firm where ‘You can’t even imagine’ how you could do something differently, or more efficiently. Challenge your team to be innovative. Launch an innovation initiative, with prizes. Ask everyone to think about the things that take them the longest, or are the biggest thorns in their sides and brainstorm about how to do things better. Ask around. Ask your friends and colleagues. Ask me! Affinity is standing by ready to help you run your firms as efficiently as possible!