A field guide to planning out your firm’s priorities

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Last Updated September 29, 2023


*This blog is part of the June 2023 Thought Leader newsletter

In May, I attended our first-ever in-person Empower conference in Denver, Colorado. A recurring theme I heard throughout the conference was the importance of taking the time to plan out the next several months.

Your firm is likely not new to planning, but it never hurts to have a refresher on making the most of your planning sessions.

So, let me break down how to successfully plan out your firm’s priorities over the next several months.

  1. First, celebrate your recent accomplishments. Before you get to problems or issues, take the time to recognize what the firm has accomplished. It feels good to look back and reflect on the successes you’ve had—and appreciate the hard work that has gone into achieving those things.
  2. Next, it’s time to identify current issues. What are the top problems, challenges and issues your firm faces? Tiffany wrote in last month’s issue about how to use Rootworks Process Scorecards to help your team bring their ideas on improvement opportunities to the forefront.
  3. Now, you’re ready to evaluate the work needed to address current issues.
  4. Once you’ve evaluated the work needed, you can begin to plan and prioritize the necessary projects. Here are some pointers on making the most of this step:
    • Outline the specific goal of the project.
    • Break the project down into actionable steps.
    • Set deadlines for each actionable step.
    • Assign a point person.

If you’re a Rootworks member, you have access to our Firm Planning Worksheets (login required), which will help you with your firm’s planning.

The advantages of a firm retreat

A great way to kick off your firm’s planning session is by having a firm retreat. If your firm is new to having retreats, keep in mind the following:

  • What is the purpose of a firm retreat?
    • To be a time to reflect, celebrate, plan and bond as a firm.
    • To get away from desks, phones and daily demands with a thoughtful agenda and intentions.
  • Why would you have a firm retreat?
    • To focus on the state of the firm and plan for the year ahead.
    • To reflect, work on new initiatives, do action planning, learn and collaborate.
  • When should you have your retreat?
    • Annually, one to three days in length.
    • Length is determined by what you want to accomplish and the events and activities you’ve planned.
  • Who should attend?
    • All staff.
    • Include part-time, seasonal and virtual employees.

Now, go out there and make amazing things happen for yourself and your firms!

“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.”
– Alexander Graham Bell

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