Conversations about winning clients (internally and externally), balancing budgets, paths to partnerships or C suite, talent and no talent swirled around me for years until a serendipitous discussion one Sunday in London. The topic was an audit firm’s success using business simulation as a tool to hedge their reputation with a client and manage their ‘scarce’ resources of time, money and talent more efficiently.
The simulation had provided a safe space to learn about how the mechanics of this corporate client’s business worked and identify challenges before the audit.
During the simulation (and in reality) it emerged that the senior trainees could manage the junior trainees freeing up the auditing managers to execute their tasks and achieve their budgets. The knock on was that the partners had capacity for client facing time and could identify areas of repeat business.
This way of learning also gave the trainees confidence to ask difficult questions of the client and there was consistency in the work of the team.
Using a simulation provided a “practise round” to ensure a profitable audit and embed a ‘one voice’ culture in the team when in the client’s space. Ultimately, it ensured the client signed off on ‘a reasonable audit’ and the partners collected their fees timeously.
During the discussion on this simulation the penny dropped!
What if the goal posts in a lawyers’ conversation could move from: “How do I achieve my target and manage my scarce resources?” to “How do I contribute to building a sustainable, reputable practice/department that generates an annual profit/return?”?
The ‘fear’ narrative (which dominates in law firms the world over) of not having enough clients, time, money or talent to achieve a target could be transformed into empowering collective responsibility.
At the same time this could create experience of the business challenges that a client faces ensuring insightful legal solutions. This, in turn, would lead to repeat business/bigger budgets/more influence and retained talent.
It has taken 18 months to identify the right business simulation partner to create a platform that can unlock the potential of legal professionals and the collective legal team.
At last, with the Corporate Counsel Association of South Africa (CCASA) and Business Today Simulations, we are launching our first “Game of Business” workshop for lawyers.
Simulation moves siloed thinking to collaborative solutions. It is a transparent method of gaining trust and buy-in from each team member;
It creates a safe, nonthreatening space that encourages participants to drop defenses built up over time. The ‘new’ environment allows a different way to experience a team and creates a shared vision;
It makes learning fun, fast and actionable with a dash of healthy competition in a live market. Participants experience how each business decision impacts a company’s bottom line over three finance cycles. The platform provides steps that can be implemented in a real working environment on Monday morning.
Game of Business uses the four most important skills that make a great lawyer: critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and communication.
Re-Engage Consulting and the Corporate Counsel Association of South Africa have partnered with Business Today Simulations to bring this innovative workshop to the legal profession in Johannesburg on 28th and 29th June 2019.
For: Corporate Legal Counsel, Corporate Senior Legal Counsel, Corporate General Counsel; Senior Associates and Partners
And, a bonus for CCASA members: Claim 12 CPD hours.
Accreditation: This course forms part of the CCASA’s Accreditation Curriculum.
Date: 28 & 29 June 2019
Venue:The Wanderers Club, North Street, Illovo, Johannesburg
Time: 08:30 – 16:00
Cost: Amounts quoted are per person and exclude VAT
CCASA Members: R8,500.00
Non CCASA Members: R10,500.00
Closing date for registrations: 21 June 2019
For many years Leonie Ellis worked as a legal recruiter in South Africa before moving her business to London in 2017. Despite this change in location she recognised that no matter where they are based, lawyers’ roles are transitioning to being pathfinders in a fast-paced world. The Game of Business lights the way.
Copyright : Re-publication of this article is authorised only in the following circumstances; the writer and Africa Legal are both recognised as the author and the website address www.africa-legal.com and original article link are back linked. A bio for the writer can be provided on request.