Friday, 9 September 2011

Action before Strategy

One of the joys of working with lawyers and schools is that there is little reason to be in London in August since there is almost no-one to see. My last week, therefore, has been engaged in throwing myself back into the joy that is "sales" visits with clients. Sadly it didn't take long for me to have my head in my hands...

I was asked to speak with a small-to-medium sized set of barristers' chambers (and that's my description, rather than theirs) who were planning to establish themselves as an LLP and to set up a ProcureCo. This does seem to be the 'sexy' topic at the moment.  As is my way, I started the discussion by asking why members of chambers wanted to change structure. To my slight astonishment (well I have been on holiday), the response was "What do you mean. We're not really changing anything".

Ten minutes in, and I was still not sure what their strategy was - they seemed to be changing (and it is a change, as I kept trying to tell them) because they thought they should. So instead of plotting their LLP structure for them, I outlined some thoughts about how they might discuss and discover their strategy.

That didn't go down well...

They wanted action not, and I quote, "all that strategic nonsense". They wanted to do something - and an LLP and ProcureCo seemed to be the thing to do. Never mind that they were unsure about the need for a ProcureCo, how it would work, who it would employ, and what business it would bring. Never mind that they hadn't thought about - let alone discussed - funding the LLP.

Sadly I did not impress them - talking, as I did, "all that strategy nonsense" rather than about their cunning plan for an LLP. Oh well - there will be other clients, I'm sure...

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