One of the great challenges to busy lawyers in law firms, corporate and government law departments, and other legal services organizations is to work better together as a team and to promote teamwork throughout the organization.
Unfortunately, many lawyers waste large amounts of money and fee earner time every year attending “teamwork” workshops and seminars.
These generic events usually center around “team building exercises.” This description is only half correct. It is true that they are academic exercises roughly based on concepts of teamwork. However, they do little to build the kind of internal leadership and collaboration that their organizations actually need. When the participants return from the workshop or seminar, any lessons learned quickly fade away because of their irrelevance to the work at hand and the changing nature of the delivery of legal services in highly competitive markets.
We recommend that you save your money.
Instead, we suggest to you that the best way to build teamwork in all parts of your organization is to do real work together in better ways. Acquire new concepts, skills, and methods that are relevant to managing your work and to solving the problems that you face. This is the most cost-effective way to make teamwork a self-sustaining part of your workplace culture and an integral part of your internal operations.
The Walker Clark approach is through a demonstration project. This is not an exercise or hypothetical case study. Instead, a demonstration project involves real work to solve real problems and capture real opportunities. It produces real results.
Working closely with a group selected by you, our facilitator introduces the concepts, tools, and methods that are relevant to the problem at hand, and then helps the group apply them to solve a real-life problem or opportunity in the your organization's operations. Because we focus on the operational level – where the work gets done – rather than strategic concepts, a broad cross-section of the firm is actively involved, not just the people at the top.
After the completion of the first demonstration project, which typically takes 45 to 60 days, that project team is then available to introduce the concepts, tools, and methods to others and to help them to solve other problems. This develops self-sustaining capabilities within the organization, rather long-term dependence on external consultants. This is consistent with our belief that “the people who do the work are best qualified to improve the work.”