Most law firms don’t like change but what if change, specifically innovation, was the key to making more profits and staying ahead of your competitors? Law firms that encourage innovation amongst their associates and support staff can generate solutions and improvements faster than more conservative law firms. Just imagine if your employees felt that they were free to generate and share innovative ideas, new processes and systems, and genius ways of earning or saving money—you could literally tap into a goldmine. Let’s take a look at a few ways you can encourage this type of innovation at your law firm.
Listen to Staff and Client Complaints
If your associates or support staff are gripping about something, it doesn’t mean that they’re whiny or ungrateful, what it could mean is that there is a problem that they’ve noticed. It’s important that you listen to these complaints because they’re pointing to areas that can use improvement. And oftentimes, clients will complain directly to support staff such as secretaries and receptionists because they’re the first line of communication.
Encourage your staff to make a note of client complaints, and review the list at least once a year. Listening to these complaints will give you an idea of the most common complaints. For example, if you consistently hear clients complaining about how they can never get anyone on the phone, then you know you have a problem with your client communication system that needs to be fixed. Take note: It’s important that you don’t punish your employees for bringing their own complaints to the table. Remember, complaints are warning systems that a problem needs to be fixed.
Listen To Solutions
The most innovative solutions to problems come from the people suffering the consequences of the issue. This is why you must encourage your staff (and clients) to speak up about how you make improvements. Make a habit of asking for suggestions for problem solving at your firm meetings. And refrain from criticizing suggestions even if they seem unfeasible, and set rules for respectfully engaging with ideas that all employees must follow. But once you receive suggestions about solutions, take them seriously and consider at least trying them out.
If you want to drive innovation at your law firm, you must be prepared to experience and accept failure some of the time. Not every solution or system or process you try will work out. There has to be room for mistakes — even big mistakes if you want an innovative law firm. Remember, innovation can’t happen without risks.
Invest in Resources
While innovation can happen on a shoestring budget, it can’t thrive there. At some point you will need to invest money and staffing if you want to properly implement innovative solutions at your law firm. Once again, you must be prepared for the possibility of failure even if you’ve invested a significant amount of money into a new innovative solution. So if you’re law firm has limited funding, you can start with innovative solutions that require less financial risk.
No matter how large or small your law firm, making innovation a top priority will benefit your bottom-line. Smokeball legal practice management software helps increase profitability by over 30% on average. Learn more and get your customized demo today!