Note:  This is Part Two of a blog that was originally published as a guest blog on Kevin McKeown‘s Blog Leadership Close Up.  We wrote At the Edge–Avoiding the Fall to revisit a success story of a law firm dealing with transition and emerging stronger from a near crisis and how the lessons learned then have meaning today.


That Was Then. What About Today’s Changes?

Some basics never change.

The keys to surviving turbulent market shifts are the same today as in our real-life case — recognition, leadership and communication. However, one reality has changed the equation.

Social media has turned the old model of who controls timing and content of a message on its ear.

For law firm leaders dealing with issues of transition, this change means the time to recognize an issue and develop a solution is drastically compressed. The slightest hint of crisis today can spread through your organization; become the trending topic in other firms, and the fodder for tomorrow’s blog headlines.

Brian Dalton in a recent Above the Law post describes why the astute leader must use the new media as a communication asset, implementing the use of blogs, micro-blogs and other social media tools as a critical part of any communication plan.(See the 8,000+ blogs of LXBN.) We believe strategic blogging will:

Give “voice” to the firm’s proactive approach to transition, underscoring visionary leadership in the eyes of clients, other important business audiences and the legal marketplace.;

Drive the tone and content of conversation around a firm’s transition, minimizing the impact of the rumor mill; and,

Micro-blogging tools such as Twitter provide for real-time two-way communication with internal as well as external audiences.

Social media will be a part of the communication around any visible law firm transition. The only decision left to law firm leaders is the degree to which it will be used to the advantage of the transition plan.

Virtually every day in our work we see firms facing crisis. For some, the very existence of the firm hangs in the balance. And though the specifics may differ from case to case, transition is inevitable. The only question is how painful or successful might the impending transition be.

How is your firm adapting to change? What do you believe are the keys to a successful law firm transition?