How Managing a Firm During a Pandemic is like Coaching a Sports Team

Submitted by shp on Fri, 12/04/2020 - 09:38

Teamwork is Key

It’s no secret that the key to any successful sports team is working together. Teams need a number of players operating in many different roles, and a law firm is no different. Working together is crucial for all organizations at all times, and that necessity increases when a portion (or the entirety) of your staff is working remotely.

Teamwork takes on many forms, but the premier aspect is communication. With many sporting events now taking place without a cheering crowd, oftentimes you can hear the players’ communication while watching the game from your couch. Take some notes from those players, and make sure your firm is set up with multiple levels of communication. Whether it’s using an application like Zoom or Slack, these days you may have to utilize tools beyond emailing or talking in person. A great way to stay in touch with your employees is to have weekly check ins, or potentially sending out surveys to see everyone’s work from home needs.

Have a Playbook

Every great team has a playbook that can take on any opponent. It’s the reason coaches such as Bill Belichick or Gregg Popovich have remained successful for through the years. Law firm operations are similarly reliant on certain procedures and systems. That’s why each firm needs a playbook in order to most efficiently operate its business.

One of the most important weapons in your playbook should be a thorough follow up process for leads. Many claimants aren’t too proactive on their own, so you need to make sure you have a plan in place to ultimately make contact with a prospective client. A firm’s follow up strategy should be catered to their own capabilities, similar to how a coach’s playbook works with the strengths of their roster. Whether it’s daily emails or phone calls, having a plan of action is the best way to fully utilize a lead generation service.

Be Ready to Adapt

While an established system is the best way to ensure your firm’s success, adaptability is just as important. Sports teams have to be ready with backup players if a starter picks up an injury, and firms need to be similarly prepared.

Especially in the world we’re living in today, circumstances and regulations can change at any time. This may require adjustments, such as switching an in-person meeting with a client to a video call or providing flexible hours to help parents who may be dealing with online learning while trying to work from home. This might not sound ideal for every firm, but having a solid backup is certainly preferable to being caught unprepared when the first option falls through. If you don’t have a secondary plan in place for every system, a willingness to at least try is just as helpful.

As 2020 comes to a close and the uncertainty of the pandemic continues, keeping an open mind and taking notes from how other industries, such as sports teams, can help your firm continue its success. Sports organizations use the time in between seasons to retool their roster and adjust their playbook and law firms should take the opportunity to update their systems as we enter the new year.