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Is your firm ready for change?




Law firms are increasingly sinking valuable time and resources into organisational transformation to facilitate competitive advantage and to attract and retain innovative people. While the success of transformation depends on people’s ability to absorb and adapt to change, little attention is often given to assessing the readiness of the firm for change. Is your firm ready for change?   


The initial stages of any program for change provides the opportune time to establish a communications strategy that should be designed to facilitate educating people and managing expectations. Clear communication of not only what is changing and required from the change but explaining the reasons why the change is required should not be underestimated. Consideration of who is delivering the communications is vital and should depend on the nature and impact of the change.


Organisational change, including the propensity for resistance to change, is often best communicated by the leaders at the top. Individual change is best communicated by the leaders directly involved in facilitating its success. To embrace change, innovation and new ways of working requires communication and influence by those who are capable of assisting people to normalise the change through leading by example. Is your communication strategy visible and providing opportunity for your people, or are you merely delivering a message?  


Incorporating the assessment of readiness for change in the communications strategy is essential. In today’s age, this should involve thinking through whether the anticipated change is right for the firm in its current state. Are the right people on the bus before the change cycle commences? Is the anticipated change too much? Can it be segmented into manageable and digestible phases? Is the approach aimed at minimising the impact of the change? Without considering readiness for change, transformation is fraught with risk for any firm from a reputation, budget and timing perspective.


Lauren Bartlett, Business Consultant

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