I was at the MacLaren Memorial Lecture at Aston University this week. Tristram Hunt gave an interesting speech on the history and future of Birmingham, and the part of business in this.
Before his talk, there was a brief presentation from the CMI (co-organisers of the event) which raised once again the issue of the “accidental manager”. This is the manager who starts by doing something else, but becomes a manager without any training, and without being selected for management ability (but often for seniority). This is a particular problem for the legal and other professions, but far from confined to them. According to the CMI, 71% of businesses give little or no training to new managers.
The knock on effect is that 43% of line managers rate their own line managers as ineffective, and low levels of employee engagement lead to low productivity. If that applies to industry as a whole, it can be even more of a problem in people-centric professions such as the Law. Add a recession together with all the changes in the profession and this makes the situation worse.
The solution? Develop leadership and management skills at all levels. Even baby steps can help, provided that they are consistent, as these should lead to the ability to run. Do it now!
The last in our Spring Series of no-cost webinars for lawyers is on 28th June 2016. Lawyers are under pressure to constantly perform at a high level, yet stress can hamper performance.
Our webinar looks at how managing stress and developing mental toughness can help. Click here to register via Eventbrite.
Cyber security is very much in the news, with hacking of law firms, denial of service attacks and so on.
No security system is perfect, but there are some simple steps to start with.
- Use a reputable anti-virus/anti-malware software on all your devices, and keep it updated
- Similarly use a software firewall – they will often be packaged together with anti-virus software
- Keep your operating system and other software up to date, such as by allowing Microsoft automatic updates. It a software provider stops supporting a version of their software, buy the latest version (less of a problem as Microsoft is moving to a constant upgrade model)
- Backup! Ensure that your data is backed up at a minimum once a week, and preferably daily (it depends on how often your data changes). Ideally the backup data should be off site. Regularly check that your data can be restored to your system – if you cannot restore your data, the backup is useless.
- Use strong passwords, preferably a combination of letters (including capitals), numbers and symbols. Apart from “password” and “1234” the worst passwords are ones easily associated with the user. So the Liverpool FC mug on the desk may suggest that “Anfield” is the password. That said, the password needs to be memorable, so one technique is to substitute numbers and symbols for some of the letters in a memorable word.
- In most cases, not all your staff need full access to all your system. Restrict access to start with, then add access as necessary on a person by person basis.
- Keep your website secure, including access and passwords.
- Train your staff on security, and on such things as email vulnerability. Many are used to clicking on “you’ll never believe this!” links, which can be malicious.
- Think about encrypting important documents, or at least password protecting them.
- Cyber liability insurance is available to cover the costs of putting right problems arising from cyber attack. It is not necessarily expensive, and protects against loss.
For more information, visit the Government’s Cyber Essentials site here.
We are looking for 2 new business clients to help us with applying for business coaching certification with a different institute. The training element is complete, but we need to carry out a business assessment followed by the preparation of a coaching plan.
Since this involves some business details being disclosed to the Center for Executive Coaching (so below the usual standard of confidentiality) we are prepared to offer the assessment, plan and 6 months of business coaching at a substantially reduced rate.
This offer is only suitable for CEOs and business owners, ie for those running a business in any sector within the West Midlands.
If this of interest, please use the form below and we will contact you.
Many law firms have issues in creating a pipeline of fee earners with the appropriate skills, as well as a pipeline of leaders.
We are running a no-cost webinar on Tuesday 19th April 2016 at 5 pm. Access online or by phone.
To register via Eventbrite
From the ABA Journal – click here. A challenge for young lawyers to market by building relationships.
A requirement to maintain a register of PSC’s (People with Significant Control) came into force yesterday (6th April 2016). The information will need to be supplied to Companies House by 30th June 2016.
The requirement applies to LLP’s as well as companies (but not partnerships), so law firms arepotentially within the net.
The Government’s Guidelines are here. (Opens in new tab).