For last year's words belong to last year's language
and next year's words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
To put the rather poetic quote above into simpler terms, you can’t fully embrace a new year without creating closure for the old one. As 2017 draws to an end, it’s a perfect time to take stock of your law firm—to evaluate what has gone well, what has gone wrong, and close out this chapter so you can begin another one.
While Forbes writer Tami Forman notes that many companies now forego the annual performance review for more instant feedback, she still recommends companies perform a year-end review on themselves: “There’s something to be said for looking back over a longer span of time to evaluate how we are doing. Fortunately, the end of the calendar year offers a natural opportunity to reflect.”
My perspective? Reviewing the successes and failures of the past year is critical to setting your law firm up for greater success in the next.
If you don’t look back and pinpoint your mistakes, you’re doomed to repeat them—and likewise, you can’t hope to capitalize and expand on positive moves unless you stop and acknowledge what is working for you.
As a starting point, take a few minutes with pen and paper and do the following homework. (Feel free to print out this blog post as a worksheet.)
List Your Three Greatest Triumphs of 2017
Let’s begin with the positive. Look over the past year and make note of at least three things that went right—three notable successes that added value to your law firm practice. Examples might include: a new sales strategy that added revenue; hiring new staff; opening a new location; or landing an extremely lucrative client. We’ll expand on these triumphs in a future post; for now, just jot them down.
List Your Three Greatest Blunders of 2017
Now comes the difficult part. In fact, it’s the part that causes many to avoid year-end reviews in the first place: Facing our failures. We all have them, and we don’t like them, but, in truth, they can be our greatest teachers.
What were the three worst mistakes you made in the past year? Again, we’ll elaborate later—just get them on paper for now.
Having identified three successes and three failures from 2017, in subsequent posts we’ll dive deeper into what you can learn from each going into 2018. As always, we’re here to help with any questions. Give us a call at (888) 375-2573.