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The Importance of Firm Culture
Firm culture can either propel you towards achieving your goals or hold you back, there isn’t much middle ground. Firm culture can be described as the personality of your business, and it is embodied by you and your employees. Culture is often set as an example by the leaders of a firm, but it can be easily disrupted by a bad hire or an employee who does not fit with the rest of the team. As a leader in your firm, you should be thinking about what examples you set with your team as you make decisions, deal with conflict, and delegate.
An idea that we often hear when we start working with a firm is that the owner wants their team to be able to manage themselves with little oversight. Many firm owners want to work with people who can make decisions on their own without having to get approval from someone else. Sometimes those same owners will criticize or disapprove of decisions made by their employees, even when the decisions had little to no consequence on their clients or the firm as a whole. These owners are not embodying the culture that they say they want. If you want your team to self-manage, you must allow them to make decisions - even when you would have made a different decision.
When thinking about what kind of culture you want to have in your firm, it is important to think about what types of people you want to have working for you, and what would attract that personality type. If you want to hire a workhorse that can process a large amount of paperwork every day, that person would not fit well in an environment that has an absolute 0% error rate rule. Alternatively, if you want someone who has a very high attention to detail, that person will not work well in an environment that constantly pushes them to churn out more work. You should think about what message you want to send to your employees and what message you are actually sending. To attract employees who have the ability to manage themselves, you must give them the autonomy to do so.
If you want your firm culture to help you achieve your goals instead of hold you back, you must hire people that embody that culture. To attract those people to your business, you have to embody the culture before those employees ever get to your firm. You have to live and breathe the ideas that you want your team live by.
If you would like to talk about your own firm culture and how we can help you refine it and get your people on the right track, you can schedule a one hour complimentary call to discuss how we can help you.
Brian Luper, Partner, is an attorney licensed to practice law in California. Brian joined The Strategic Implementer in 2014. Brian graduated from the University of Tennessee in 2006 with a degree in Economics and after obtaining a JD from Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles in 2009, he went on to start his own law practice with two partners. Brian acted as managing partner of the firm, obtaining millions of dollars of recovery for his clients. He left the law firm life in 2014 to join The Strategic Implementer because his true passion is working with business owners and helping them achieve their goals and he wants to share that passion with other firms.