Alan tailors each presentation to the needs of his audience and is not limited to the topics we have listed below. These are subjects that have proven valuable to customers in the past and are meant only to suggest his range and interests. Please ask us about any subject that interests you; we are sure that we can accommodate you.
Innovation, Leadership and the Law Profession
The law profession is squarely in the cross-hairs where innovation and leadership intersect. Three major forces are upsetting the status quo — not just for lawyers, but for their clients, as well — and calling for effective leadership to guide the changes.
Firms, CMOs, and lawyers who meet these challenges will flourish; those who embrace the status quo may do well in the short run, but in the longer run they run a huge risk of becoming dinosaurs like the Big 3 and other industrial age companies and industries that have failed to adapt. The three major forces are: globalization, technology and human capital. In this presentation, Alan Webber explores these forces in depth.
He discusses how the world is becoming flat, a la Tom Friedman’s book, and the implications of this trend for clients and law firms alike.
As Web 2.0 expands, industries are converging. Everything is becoming connected and interactive and new forms of social communities and mass participation are emerging. This is shifting power to consumers.
You can no longer cut your way to greatness, or merge your way to greatness. The key to success now is knowledge and creativity—in a word, people. Clients now are under enormous pressure
to adapt, change culture, get customers to co-create their products and services and to attract talent in order to do all this. This is no less true for law firms.
What’s the punch line of all these trends? A major disconnect exists between the law firms (and clients) of today and those of the future. Lawyers traditionally are left brain to the max: logical, skeptical, a little distant, urgent, often not great listeners and not team players. But increasingly, clients want to be heard
and wooed; they want a relationship, not a transaction.
Optimism, Innovation and Leadership
The last decade has been a dizzying time of change: boom, bust, scandal, terrorism, war, disease—and who knows what comes next! It’s easy to lose focus and to get discouraged. In fact, much of the conventional wisdom today sounds pretty pessimistic. Webber’s message is different:
Three words define where we are today: optimism, innovation, and leadership.
Why Optimism? First, because conventional wisdom is wrong: much of the ‘90s was right! We built the technological infrastructure to change how business gets done, how people live and work, how value gets created. The next ten years will see an even more exciting, more demanding, more important business revolution — conversion to this new operating system — and the people who understand and respond first will win.
We should also be optimistic because, in each industry that conventional wisdom says is failing (airlines, retail...), one company stands out—through innovation. That’s the second key word.
Here are 10 rules for out-innovating the competition. Great companies:
- Don’t let lean times make them mean organizations.
- Practice “serious innovation.”
- Change customer expectations.
- Change the basis for competition—they reinvent the rules.
- Change the economics of their industry.
- Get more than their share of great people.
- Live inside their customers’ skins.
- Learn across the board, and learn at all levels.
- Create new opportunities for their partners; they have an “open system” approach to doing business.
- Have great leaders who “get it” when it comes to building a future.
Leadership is the key, especially in challenging times. Great leaders make sense for their people, their customers, and their business partners. They describe a future that is important, powerful, desirable, achievable, and reasonable; and they show people how to get there by working together. They adapt, they understand essentials, they understand the need for integrity and transparency in their operations, the value of values. They deliver productivity. They are honest.