Kirk Bowman has become one of the leading voices on value billing. Kirk produces the “Art of Value” podcast. He has interviewed an range of people who have offered so many great ideas on value, pricing and billing, including Ed Kless, Michele Golden, Peter Carayannis, the great Ron Baker, John Chisholm, and so many others whose names I did not recognize but who taught me so much. So I was honored to be invited to participate in a podcast, which you can find here. Thanks Kirk! And if you are interested in value and value billing, you owe it yourself to listen to Kirk’s podcasts.
Make sure your outside law firm has a good (and consistent) answer when ask the lawyers how the firm has changed its handling of litigation as a result of the economic upheaval of the past several years. If they are handling things "the way it has always been done before," ask yourself how you and your company have changed the handling of litigation as a result of the economic upheaval. Are you and your firm on the same page?
Value Tips of the Day are reprinted here from the Valorem App, available for iPad and iPhone users through the App store.
Have you ever had one of those days where you planned things out, worked off a checklist and really accomplished a lot? Congratulations, you’ve just provided evidence of how project management works and why it is so important. In the value world, project management is as important a tool as a hammer is to a carpenter. Need to learn more? Here’s a partial list of law-related project management resources.
I can’t explain why any better than by my friend Anthony Kearns in this
Jeff Carr, the General Counsel of FMC Technologies, recently discussed the relationship between his department’s legal spend and his company’s earnings per share. In days when even a penny or two of increased EPS can positively influence share value, thinking about legal spend in the light of EPS really changes the focus. Each law firm should be cognizant of what it costs the company by this metric, and in-house lawyers should be thinking of this metric when focusing on what type of fee structure to utilize and what firm to engage.
In hospitals, they call it the "July effect." A recent study, described on NPR, shows that more people die of medical mistakes in July than any other month in hospitals. Not all hospitals, just teaching hospitals where a new crop of residents begin to learn how to be a real doctor every July. There is now proof that when it comes to doctors, experience matters. Does anyone doubt the same is true for lawyers?
Read Lessons From Private Equity Any Company Can Use (Memo to the CEO) by Orit Gadiesh and Hugh Macarthur. Gadiesh is the Chair of Bain and Company and Macarthur is a partner with the firm. They know private equity, and in this book they explain the simple rules that must be followed to extract maximum value from any operation, including a law department or a law firm. Here are the rules:
1. Define full potential.
2. Develop the blueprint.
3. Accelerate the performance.
4. Harness the talent.
5. Make equity sweat.
6. Foster a result-oriented mindset.
Does anyone really doubt that private equity would handle a law department or a law firm a bit differently?
Much has been said about John Wooden since his recent death. But two things John Wooden said have really stuck with me since I first heard them many years ago, and they are cornerstones of a value practice.
"Failing to prepare is preparing to fail."
"If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?"
The planning part of what we do is frequently given short shrift in favor of frenzied execution. Execution of what is rarely considered. Consider it. Learn from John Wooden.
You start a new matter and the emails fly in. So you open a folder in Outlook for the ABC Matter. Eventually, you get around to creating some sub-folders. Six months later, an issue arises and you have this nagging thought in the back of your mind that you have seen something about that issue before. Where to start? Well, there is no specific Outlook subfolder under the ABC Matter on this issue. So you start searching and hope you find what you were looking for. Hit and miss litigation is never good. Outlook was not designed to be a litigation support feature or an organizational tool. Wikis are a far superior tool for organizing information, but they don’t necessarily have all the tools needed for true collaboration across the spectrum of a lawsuit.
has designed SecureRamps as a tool to meet this need. But whether it is an LOR SecureRamp or some other tool, use the right tool for the job–and Outlook is not it.
At the request of Paul Lippe, I have begun posting periodic "Value Tips of the Day" on Legal OnRamp. These Value Tips of the Day (TOD) are directed to inside counsel, but sometimes to outside counsel too. I thought they might of some interest to those who read my blog but aren’t LOR members, so I am re-posting these Value Tips here. Here’s the first one:
1. Figure out what outcomes you want to encourage. You’ve heard the aphorism that "if you buy hours, you’ll get hours." So if you don’t want truckloads of hours, don’t buy them. Figure out what you want instead. Results? Efficiency? Low Cost? If you incentivize these outcomes, you will find yourself getting precisely these outcomes. You get what you pay for, so figure out what you want to pay for.