Edge International has the capability to conduct comprehensive assessments of individuals, groups, teams or entire organizations. Depending on the situation, our approach can combine a variety of sophisticated information-gathering methods, including personal interviews, standardized personality assessment instruments, multi-rater inventories (“360 assessments”) to get objective feedback from colleagues, or other forms of information-gathering.

Individual Assessment can be used to support:

  • Leadership development coaching
  • High-potential lawyer development
  • Business development skills
  • Assessment-for-hire of prospective lateral partners or associates
  • Coaching that addresses issues with interpersonal skills or conflicts
  • Self-awareness, self-presentation or emotional intelligence issues
  • Evaluation of subpar performance or motivation.

We are certified in and have decades of experience using such instruments as the extremely robust Birkman Method and Birkman Advanced Leadership Report, the Life Styles Inventory (LSI), the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, and the Emotional Intelligence Inventory (EQi). These tools, often combined with other templates and sources of information, can provide a candid and comprehensive picture of an individual’s leadership style, strengths and developmental needs, collaborative skills, interpersonal style and “game face,” decision-making style, ability to cope with change, motivational drivers, and organizational commitment.

Individual assessment and feedback are conducted online and via email or telephone discussions, and if necessary the assessment process can be completed over several days. Feedback can be informal or provided in a comprehensive written assessment summary. Individual assessment is often linked to an individual coaching program and incorporated into an Individual Development Plan (IDP).

Team/Group Assessment can be an effective and objective tool for groups of up to 20 respondents for supporting:

  • Team development, role/responsibility assignment, trust-building initiatives
  • Legal project management for specific groups or teams
  • Change initiatives
  • Assimilation of new members or hires
  • Merged, realigned or integrated cohorts
  • Improved collaboration or conflict resolution

This form of assessment can be an invaluable time-saver when a team is first created or when two or more groups are being integrated and most get up to speed quickly and smoothly (groups larger than 20 can better be assessed through an organizational culture assessment).

Team/Group Assessment can explore a group’s collective operative style, communication style, incentives, decision-making style, likely approach to coping with stress or change, level of organizational commitment and work-related attitudes and behaviors. It also is effective identifying individuals who may be “outliers” and to highlight areas or issues that threaten team performance.

Each team member completes an identical assessment protocol that may include standardized instruments, individual interviews and peer review processes. The Birkman Advanced report permits a particularly detailed analysis of team dynamics and culture. Team assessment can be structured to explore the full spectrum of leadership and followership styles and competencies, or assessment can be focused on targeted topics, concerns or priorities. Feedback can take the form of a detailed summary report and/or meetings with the team to translate assessment findings into action steps and team-building activity.

The Edge International Law Firm Cultural Assessment is designed to identify specific characteristics of a particular law firm’s culture or any of its subcultures [e.g., practice groups, offices, client teams or experience levels]. It is designed to identify and prioritze the informal norms and values that shape group behavior, impact morale, and provide incentives of the organization’s members.

Through a cultural assessment, it is possible to anticipate the impact of the Groups larger than 20 can better be assessed through an organizational culture assessment). se characteristics on the firm, its success and potential concerns related to certain types of strategic priorities, such as the integration of laterals, the ability to successfully merge or powerful positioning of the firm against market competitors.

The Edge International Law Firm Cultural Assessment is designed to recognize both highly significant and subtly nuanced differences that can be categorized into four specific areas:

  • Collegiality: The manner in which people within a law firm interact.
  • Strategic Focus: The degree to which the firm projects a clear identity, both to itself and in relation to other firms.
  • Governance: The manner in which the firm deals with it’s people, and the way that it’s lawyers and staff deal with the firm.
  • Values: The belief systems and incentives that represent the collective aspirations of the members of the firm.

The proprietary Edge survey instrument is administered online, using Zoomerang survey technology. It utilizes approximately 60 sample questions and requires less than 20 minutes for most respondents to complete. The client firm may select any cohort(s) it desires to respond to the survey, i.e., partners only, all lawyers, all timekeepers, and/or all members and employees of the firm regardless of level.

The results and implications of the Inventory are provided in a written summary report that includes a normative report and diagrams depicting the level of deviation of the firm from normative standards for similar law firms. Cultural assessments also are frequently fed back at firm retreats, providing a practical predicate for change-readiness or implementation of strategic objectives.