For me, one of the most memorable takeaways from our Managing Partner Institute last month was a comment from the strategic planning panel. “Our strategic plan is a list of things we won’t do.” Initially, I didn’t get it.
After all, a typical strategic plan is a proactive outline of the firm’s goals, providing a clear roadmap for implementation.
But when a firm has has dozens or even hundreds of partners (read: lots of cooks in the kitchen), and each has his/her own vision for the future and an agenda for the short term, it can easily produce a “shiny new toy” syndrome, where ideas and opinions come from multiple sources with too few controls to manage them. Unless there are clear guidelines in place, the firm will find itself pulled in opposing directions. So think, at a minimum, about these guidelines for your firm.
I will not charge any less than $___ for my services. I will not spend any more than ___ months pursuing a prospect. I will not try to manage any more than ___ marketing initiatives at one time. I will not allow an invoice to be delinquent for more than ___ before escalating.
Perhaps there are a few other policies to put in place so that you can control some of the hemorrhaging of time, money, and energy that often occurs when you don’t keep a list of things you will not do.