On Tuesday 11 Sepember 2018, 76 delegates filled a room in the Ardencote Hotel. Minus a small fire and 3 people trying to fix a projector (thank you, Stephen Brown, for tweet) the event went to plan.
First off, saw a very insightful law firm leader’s panel with Abby Winkworth, IBB Solicitors, Vidisha Joshi, Hodge, Jones & Allen and Alex Bishop, Shoosmiths. Here the main takeaways from the panel were that lawyers wanted to be treated like business people. We also learnt that you should learn how they like to be communicated with, as we know Abby doesn’t like to be phoned ;) Another key point was that they need suppliers to be ahead of the game, they want to be taught what’s relevant, they don’t have the time to keep on top of everything so that’s where suppliers come in!
After the panel, the event moved onto 12-minute talks where the slides move on automatically, not an easy option that’s for sure, with slides changing every 30-40 seconds you have to keep on top and of course in time.
First off, we had Nicola Jones, Athena Professional on getting lawyers to ditch fear and caution and go for it. The main takeaway was that you should reach the open-minded and work with the willing. Then sort out what lawyers can ditch, what’s precious to them and what can they let go.
Second was Dorigen Sykes from iTrain Legal on user adoption: ensuring systems and enjoyed not endured. We learnt that change can be difficult in a law firm because people often don’t like change, or don’t want another new system or that they liked the old way. However, if you tell people what the problems are, e.g. Gareth Southgate during the world cup and don’t tell them bits they don’t want to know people will be more adaptable to learn. Also, another top take away was to ensure you communicate with your staff what you are going to do. Finally, we all learnt our own particular learning style.
Finally, for the last of these talks, we welcomed Peter Rosenwald to the stage from Chartered Developments. He spoke on selling the law: recurring revenue in the legal world. There was a slight cheat with repeating of one or two of the slides, but we will let him off for that as he kept us entertained during the ‘fire crisis’. The main takeaways included getting leads and how to convert them into sales. Also the key factors to success are keeping it simple, fab telemarketing, creative content and of course flogging more and more fries.
Then onto the first round of 30-minute talks by Mark Greenhouse from Levantar. Mark had us all playing with a bunch of coins to help explain ‘change’. He expanded on the point that time is money, which I’m sure any business person can understand. Also, that you should focus on the flow and there are seven daily frustrations which delay work from the flow. Check out the results from the coin challenge in his slide deck.
Our second 30-minute talk of the day came from George Steven at Nalytics. He spoke on the topic of whether legal firms can afford not to embrace legal tech? He also expressed on that fact that many of us are dealing with AI on a regular basis without knowing anything from Alexa to our banking apps. He then spoke about the benefits of AI and many lawyers fear of AI replacing their jobs. However how they should embrace AI and allow it to work with them. This enabling their own expertise and knowledge sparingly and at the right time allowing them to deliver better quality, higher value work.
Our first 12-minute talk of the day was from Tim Collins, Wow Thank You on values. In his red Kickers, he took to the stage as a last-minute stand in and what a talk it was. He showed the reason for having values in your business and sticking to them. The values of Tim’s business are honest, fun, challenging and creative. Being honest roots from a young boy and stealing money from a charity collection, Tim had awful shame afterwards so now ensures he’s always honest. The fun value is because life is too short, last year he followed his favourite band around and did talks where they were gigging. At the end of the talk, I personally was ready to buy a pair of red Kickers!
Next up was David Gilroy, Conscious Solutions talking on building relationships in a digital world (not Tinder). The main points from this talk where lawyers may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel. Also, are your clients satisfied or loyal? David would take a loyal customer anytime as the theory of satisfied customers shop anywhere, loyal customers will fight to do business with you. However, Chris Bull would prefer a satisfied wife (you had to be there!).
Our third and final 12-minute talk came from Sara Duxbury, Carter Corson in my eyes she was definitely not a “4 out of 10”. Here we learnt about imposter syndrome, a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments and has a persistent internalised fear of being exposed as a "fraud". Also, that you should choose to manage your thoughts and change your thinking by not listening to your inner critic, not getting stuck and not giving into fear. Another key interesting fact I gained from Sara was that psychologically you can think you’re stupid if you have been told when growing up, or you’re shy because when younger the phrase “little girls should be seen not heard” was a common phrase in someone’s upbringing.
Our last talk of the day, in her words the graveyard shift was from Claire Smith at Moneypenny. She talked about great culture = happy people = loyal clients and ultimately why Moneypenny is one of The Sunday Times top five companies to work for. There were some great points to take away from this talk, a few of my favourites include WOW cards, the Dog and Bone pub in their office and the rainy-day fund. I’ve also put in a request for a pub here at Conscious HQ, I can already think of a few orange beverages we can serve!
Take a look at the sides from the day by downloading the files below.