Anyone involved in law firm management should be able to answer the ultimate question: “What’s the purpose of your job?” During the last ten years, finding the right answer grew more complex as law firms became incredibly busy, mushroomed in size and turned into what some perceived as “factories” or “sweatshops.” Sometime in that hectic age, firms may have lost their answer for what management’s job actually is. Many firms declared their sole ambition to be maximum partner profits and told management to figure out how to get there.
Isn’t it time we stepped back for a moment and remind ourselves of the purpose of management?
The fundamental function of any organism or organization is to increase its ability to survive in the future. If we are hungry, injured or in danger, our biological autopilot kicks in to ensure that we maximize our chances of survival. An organization does not have a biological autopilot; it has management.
A firm’s chances of survival in the future are entirely dependent on its ability to satisfy clients. If, one year from now, a firm is able to make more clients more satisfied, it increases its chances of survival. It is management’s sole purpose to put the firm in a position to accomplish just that.