Building a Client-Focused Firm
A major international law firm established Client Focus and a corresponding Team Approach to clients as one of its major strategic initiatives. It needed to overcome several hurdles, however. These included organizationally distinct practice areas that rarely worked together, metrics and incentives that inadequately measured and rewarded team behavior, and a lack of a systematic client planning process.
Andrew and the firm’s executive committee worked together to create a multifaceted client focus program. Some of the elements included:
- A series of consistent, clear communications from the chairman—in a variety of media—to thousands of employees around the world.
- Establishment of a new and well-defined relationship management role and team structure to support a group of the firm’s most important or highest potential clients.
- Implementation of a professional development program to enhance partner’s trusted advisor skills and help the new client teams create their first-ever strategic client plans.
- The creation of senior partner “coaches” to help mentor the client teams.
- Revision of the firm’s partner review process and criteria to better support longterm investments in building client relationships.
This program has resulted in far-reaching changes to the way the organization’s professionals think about and manage their client relationships. Significant new opportunities with existing clients have been identified and captured as a result of the greater integration between disparate parts of the organization and a more strategic approach to managing major relationships. Revenues from clients with assigned teams have grown at three times the rate of the firm as a whole.