© Copyright 2022 Vista Consulting Team. All Rights Reserved.
We hear from many firms that they know they “should” put together a firm mission/vision, but still view the project as unimportant at best and too “in your feelings” at most. At Vista, we believe having a defined vision for your law firm gives you and your team a focal point on which to base decisions, guide actions, and provide inspiration. Considering today’s job market, having a vision for the future may help your current team stay invested in your cause and may even attract talent who want to work toward something meaningful. Think about it…we are in the personal injury business. It’s personal, and you and your team enter the lives of your clients during some of their most difficult, painful, and heart wrenching moments. The work your firm does is not only meaningful, but also impactful in the lives of others and often serves to shape the future. Taking the time to define your firm’s vision helps your team understand their place in the greater scheme of things and can motivate, inspire, and guide.
So, how do you go about defining your firm’s purpose? Begin introspectively, but also consider involving your team. Surveying the people who work on your cases every day can uncover some fascinating points of view and thoughts about where the firm is headed. It also serves to help the team feel involved and invested. Best of all? Technology makes surveying your team quick, easy, and inexpensive!
Your vision for the firm is big picture and should give you a lofty point on which to focus – something you and your team will work hard toward accomplishing in the future. Some questions you can ask yourself to come up with a vision statement are:
Think hard about those questions and consider combining your answers into a short statement that spells out an aspiring vision for the firm. Don’t be afraid to go big!
Great! The vision should be inspiring and give you and your team meaning for the future.
Your mission helps determine the firm’s daily direction. Don’t think of your mission as a marketing statement or a way to tout your credentials as a lawyer or an outline of the firm’s big wins. Instead, your mission statement should focus on your clients. Consider their needs and determine how your firm will serve those needs in a way that sets you apart from your competitors. Again, it should be inspiring, both to you, your team, and your clients. Others should read the mission statement and think, “this is exactly why I want this firm to represent me.” The mission should be how you work every day to get you closer to achieving that lofty vision you’ve defined.
Many firms don’t stop at a mission and vision statement, but take it even further and develop performance standards and values. These are a set of guidelines for you and your team relating to how you act, how you treat each other, how you treat clients, and what is acceptable. Speaking about others as if they are listening to our conversation is one example. It serves to reduce gossip and ensure we talk about our clients and each other with kindness, even when they are not listening.
Developing your mission, vision, and values is not a one-and-done situation. While the statements themselves should have longevity, the process of developing them is fruitless if you don’t USE them. How can you make the most of the time spent developing your firm’s purpose?
Once you have developed your purpose, ensure the sentiments remain top of mind. Reinforce them regularly through signage. Consider framing and displaying your firm’s “why” in high traffic areas where team members and clients can see and be inspired by them. Some firms even use their purpose in swag for their team.
This is crucial. As a way to reinforce the importance of these statements, you should talk about them and encourage your leadership team to talk about them, as well. Remind team members when you can. Team members tend to gauge something’s importance by how often leaders talk about it. That means if you want your employees to remember your vision of stellar customer service, you need to talk about it whenever it’s possible and makes sense. Fortunately, there are many opportunities to remind your team about your firm’s purpose. Consider making it a part of:
You as a leader are the best example of the mission and vision in motion. Your buy-in and actions are the easiest way to remind your team and ensure they are aligned with the “why.” Let your leadership style, your everyday actions, and your decisions be an example of your firm’s mission and vision in action. Suggest ideas and procedures that align with the vision. Ensure your words and actions are purposeful and mindful and reinforce the goal of the firm.
Remember that your team is human, and humans need reminders. That’s why ongoing training is so important. Take the time to remind your team regularly about why you do what you do. Did you send an email to a case manager with no response? Remind that team member about your performance standards and values! Did you find a case with no client contact in two months? Remind that team member about our vision and who we are here to serve! Many conversations can be tied back to the firm’s mission and vision.
Many companies create a culture page on their website to describe what it’s like to work for them. It’s a recruiting tool, but it’s also a prime opportunity to promote your customer service-driven vision. You can promote this content on your social media pages too. This message is important, and incorporating it into your public-facing presence will mean something.
The work law firms do can take its toll. It can challenge us emotionally and put a heavy weight on our shoulders. Working with difficult, scared clients can be taxing for your case managers, paralegals, and attorneys. Team members can get burned out. It’s critical that we provide the team with inspiration and guidance and help them see the greater picture and how they fit into the larger firm “why.” That’s what a vision and mission statement can provide to your firm: inspiration, a cause to rally behind, and a guiding principle by which to make decisions and embrace roles. It’s a fundamental foundation of every successful business.
Click on the different category headings to find out more. You can also change some of your preferences. Note that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our websites and the services we are able to offer.
These cookies are strictly necessary to provide you with services available through our website and to use some of its features.
We provide you with a list of stored cookies on your computer in our domain so you can check what we stored. Due to security reasons we are not able to show or modify cookies from other domains. You can check these in your browser security settings.
We also use different external services like Google Webfonts, Google Maps, and external Video providers. Since these providers may collect personal data like your IP address we allow you to block them here. Please be aware that this might heavily reduce the functionality and appearance of our site. Changes will take effect once you reload the page.
Google Webfont Settings:
Google Map Settings:
Google reCaptcha Settings:
Vimeo and Youtube video embeds: