In Remaking News of the Week: Cole Silver’s timely statement of the obvious says: “Clients put food on your table and they’re the reason you exist. Having a client centric leadership is the key to driving superior performance and a competitive advantage” (LinkedIn).

One might well ask why make a statement like this newsworthy? Answer: Yes, it’s a self-evident truth, but still far from a reality for the majority of clients of BigLaw business model firms.

One recent piece of evidence comes from a recent publication by NAB, Australia’s largest banker to SMEs. NAB’s Australian Legal Services Industry Survey is a comprehensive study of 70 law firms and over 750 small and medium-sized businesses. The data shows a number of discrepancies between what lawyers provide (or think they are or should be providing) and what SMEs actually want and need. Click here for the whole report.

For example, only 1% of lawyers think they do work at the last minute for clients, but to the SME it feels like more than 20% of lawyers behave this way.

Cole Silver quotes the CEO’s Guide to Growth through Customer-Centered Management by Lynn Hunsaker published in January 2019. “In every company where customer experience is a hallmark of their success, the CEO is the ringleader of customer-centred management.

This type of leadership is indeed rare: it wasn’t the nucleus of your university’s business curriculum, it’s not yet central to Wall Street’s conversations about your company, and it’s not yet the focus of prominent business journals.

Yet it’s profitable, “Over a 10-year horizon, FoEs (firms of endearment) outperformed the Good to Great companies by a 3.1-to-1 ratio,” reports the book Firms of Endearment.

How many BigLaw firms would describe the managing partner as the ‘ringleader of customer-centred management‘?

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