Are You Continuing to Look for Opportunities?
The unexpected challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic provided a reminder that some of the best opportunities arise in difficult times—personally and professionally. Firms that were quick to educate themselves on the legal issues arising from the economic fallout and to assist their clients stayed busy during the initial crises. Lawyers who came alongside their clients as they struggled with difficult decisions to keep their businesses afloat strengthened client relationships that will pay dividends in the future. Many firms also learned how to maintain operations in a period of severe disruption.
What are the opportunities for your firm as we enter the next phase of the pandemic? Perhaps there are innovative ways to ensure that your clients see you as remaining engaged in their struggles. Perhaps there are some expenses that were previously considered sacred cows that your colleagues have learned to live without during shelter in place. These opportunities will continue to present themselves if we remain vigilant to find them.
What Changes From the "New Normal" Need to Stick?
COVID-19 forced all of us to adjust and adapt—shelter in place, work from home, videoconferences, mask wearing, frequent handwashing. When the changes are required of us, they are easier to follow and maintain. But it is human nature that we revert to our normal tendencies when the rules are lifted, the emergency has passed or the pressure subsides. You know that handwashing remains the most important step that you can take to stop the spread of COVID-19. Do you still wash your hands every time for as long as it takes you to sing “Happy Birthday” to yourself twice? Most every time? Be honest.
What are the changes that you made during the initial stages of the pandemic that made a positive impact for your firm and you should have been doing all along, but that you are likely to let slide? Perhaps you were engaging your colleagues and staff in a manner that demonstrated genuine concern for their well-being. Perhaps you were regularly calling clients to check on them—off the clock. Perhaps you were getting the exercise that you had been neglecting. With a little effort, you can identify those changes and work to integrate them into your permanent way of managing your firm.
Whom Do You Need To Invest In Right Now?
Whether life settles into a true new normal, we resume shelter in place, or something in between, the upheaval from the pandemic will continue to impact your colleagues and staff for quite some time. We should all remember that times of pain and loss continue long after people around us have scattered. Are there people in your firm who are likely to fall through the cracks as the urgency of the pandemic recedes? Whom can you help? How can you encourage others to do the same?
Our circumstances may look very different when you read this column, but wherever we find ourselves, these three questions are worth giving some thought. Perhaps there are others that come to mind for you as well. Please spend some time reflecting and learning from the opening months of the pandemic and let us know what you learn. Good luck!