Welcome to the September 2017 ALPMA e-newsletter. Depending on what sort of desk you sit at you are either recovering form performance reviews, treading water in the year-end financial reporting wrap, arm-wrestling for more BD & marketing dollars from the firm’s budget or, for the tech guys, struggling to remain aware of the latest game changing development. Some will be across all of these, and good luck to you!
Wherever you are in your day-to-day work life, please don’t lose sight of Summit being just one month away. A few days in the warmth of Brisbane will do wonders, so register now if you haven’t already. The Summit Committee has set another fantastic program around a very topical and timely theme.
We are on the back end of another membership renewal cycle, which is always a challenging time. We have an ongoing churn in members every year, where around 15% do not renew due to no longer working in the profession or changing roles within their firms. To have this as a base churn and yet still grow in gross numbers over recent years is a very positive outcome, but not without its challenges. ALPMA has to balance between today’s membership requirements (the monthly seminar program, Summit, webinars, etc) and still do so whilst asking for the volunteers to have an eye to predict where the membership demographic will be in 3-5 years’ time. Difficult, but rewarding all the same.
If you would like to be part of our volunteer team and working to prepare for the next wave, please let us know. We have an information session at Summit where any number of current volunteers and Board members will be available to talk about the benefits of volunteering with ALPMA so please come along and join the discussion.
We are also well into a new year and for a number of partners this is their first year working with ALPMA. Firstly, welcome! Secondly, we are committed to helping you make the most of your partnership, so please keep in regular touch with your local committee members to make sure everything is working smoothly for you.
As we turn our attention from the September quarter through to December we have more than just Summit to be focussed on. We have commenced planning for our second Regional Law Firm Management Forum in Singapore, which we co-host with the Law Council of Australia’s Law Management Group.
We will be communicating separately with members about changes to our resourcing framework and how ALPMA will be positioned for its’ future. We also have our round of branch and national elections, hence the call for volunteers. I will be moving on from the President role in the lead up to the AGM in November and look forward to supporting the next Board, under the presidency of Dion Cusack, as ALPMA develops its’ next three year strategic plan. I hope you might be interested in stepping forward an being part of ALPMA’s new leadership. I also take this opportunity to thank the many people who I have worked with at ALPMA to help our Association stay more than relevant in a very tough market.
• You can watch every Summit presentation live via our livestream broadcast direct from the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre. Set up a mini-Summit in your boardroom and invite staff to attend! This is the next best thing to attending Summit in-person and costs just $550 (including GST). Register now.
• If you prefer to view the Summit presentations at your own pace, you can watch most of the sessions on-demand, by purchasing the Summit On-Demand package. This option is also the perfect way for Summit delegates to share key learnings back in the office. Buy now for just $350 (including GST).
If you have any questions about these options, please contact the Summit team.
Please join us in congratulating the four finalists of the 2017 ALPMA/LexisNexis Thought Leadership Awards:
• Proximity, recognised for their innovative Procurement-As-A-Service offering;
• Mills Oakley for their Innovation Accelerator program supporting legal entrepreneurs;
• Legal Economy - a new digital platform allowing solicitors to engage with barristers directly via tender; and
• Bannermans Lawyers for their compliance pack subscription to help NSW strata managers comply with changing legislation.
“After years of talk about how change is the ‘new normal’ and plenty of research to support the fact that the way clients buy, use and view legal services is transforming, we are pleased to see evidence that law firms are actively embracing innovation,” ALPMA President and CEO of Sladen Legal, Andrew Barnes said, citing a significant leap in the quality and breadth of projects nominated for the 2017 ALPMA/LexisNexis Thought Leadership Awards.
Mr Whit Lee, Executive Director - Strategy & Legal Software Solutions at LexisNexis Asia Pacific, and one of the judges of the Awards concurred with this assessment.
“There seems to have been a step-change in the legal industry’s approach to innovation this year, with many firms putting forward transformative projects that revamped the way their firms did business and went well beyond simply tinkering around the edges,” he said.
“We are also seeing an increased appetite for substantive innovation across our legal customer base,” he said.
“Developing an innovation mindset requires firms to allow staff time to just think, to experiment with doing things differently and a willingness to fail - which can be the antithesis of how firms have traditionally operated – yet a growing number of firms are successfully embracing this challenge,” Mr Barnes said.
The preliminary results of the ALPMA/InfoTrack research into "21st Century Thinking at Australasian Law Firms" are in - and they make compelling reading!\
The research measured how well Australasian law firms were embracing the key 21st century learning skills of creativity, critical-thinking, communication and collaboration, as defined by the influential P21 organisation.
Most law firms highly valued communications (76%), followed by collaboration (66 %), then critical-thinking (59%). Only 40% of respondents said they valued creativity.
“Creativity is often undervalued in law firms. By not fostering creative thinking firms are missing the opportunity to tap into the minds of their own people, many of whom have unexplored potential,” ALPMA President, Mr Andrew Barnes.
“The reality is that creativity drives innovation.” Mr John Ahern, CEO at Infotrack said.
“Firms are aware of this, as evidenced by the greatest benefit measure to the business being innovation, however many still see no benefit to investing in creativity....”