Is your firm experiencing any of these symptoms?
- Decrease in morale and increased workload with less work/life flexibility?
- More than usual risk-averse behavior on the part of the attorneys?
- Cutbacks in the training and coaching that especially the younger professionals need, but also needed by the mid-level through junior partners groups that should be the foundation of the firm in future years?
- Underlying tension among the generations* regarding approaches to work, roles and facetime?
- Neglect of succession planning for all critical roles, including all key client relationship leaders?
Exacerbated by recession, these symptoms are not just the result of short-term economic conditions. These are just a few of the signals that standards of professionalism are being sacrificed to short-term and reactive thinking. This should be a major concern today.
Differences in generational perspectives can bring frustrations, resentments, inefficiencies and threaten professionalism (“collidescope”) – but don’t have to. Handled positively, differences can produce great creativity (kaleidoscope) with productive, engaging, harmonious, career enhancing outcomes. I suggest we pursue sustainable professionalism within a flexible framework that still upholds ethical values. Our model must be dynamic to adjust to changing styles of competency models and leadership that appropriately suit each generation and foster collaboration.
— Phyllis Weiss Haserot