The last year has seen saw numerous “big plays” by firms, both nationally and internationally, as they set about positioning themselves to take advantage of market opportunities or dealing decisively with challenging market conditions. Early indications are that 2013 will paint a similar picture with mergers, restructurings, redundancies and strategic repositioning dominating the headlines in the opening few weeks. It is also fair to say that the numbers of headline grabbing firms are small when viewed in the context of the whole market, but their influence in shaping that market and the thinking of other law firm leaders is huge.
Many other firms are active in reshaping their businesses incrementally but determinedly, moving towards clear goals and implementing strategies which are appropriate to their competitive position and demonstrating great resilience as well as delivering strong performance.
There is, however, a huge rump of firms who are metaphorically crossing their fingers and hoping against hope that the market will change, that the old business model will return or that a knight on a white charger will appear to rescue them. Their grips on both reality and economic survival are becoming increasingly tenuous.
I’m reminded of an old management saying that there are three types of business; those which make things happen, those which watch things happen and those which wonder what happened. Which are you?