Looking to capitalise on their continued growth, and re-energise their strategic plan, entrepreneurial law firm Sherrards turned to WMT for help.
Since their last strategic review, Sherrards had expanded their business, invested in its infrastructure and its people, and relocated both their London and St Albans offices.
Having achieved a large part of what they set out to deliver four years ago, it was time to take a fresh look at their strategic plan and map out the next phase in their development.
Bringing it all together
Sherrards began by gathering information from every part of the business, covering all aspects of service delivery as well as service support. Combining this with client feedback and market information provided a view of the challenges and opportunities for different parts of the business.
To turn this information into a firm-wide plan that all the partners and business unit leaders were behind, Sherrards asked WMT’s Andrew Williamson to work with them.
Managing Partner, Alasdair McMillin, and CFO, Andy Mills-Baker had written a draft strategic plan that could form the basis of discussions with the partners. Andrew was asked to facilitate the discussions in a strategic planning workshop, which would help the partners to review their options and agree priorities in the context of the firm’s culture and financial performance.
Putting the plan in perspective
Every part of the business had its own aspirations. To succeed, the firm’s strategic plan must balance the entrepreneurial spirit of individual team members with the need to work together to achieve shared goals for the firm.
Andrew began the workshop by clarifying the context Sherrards were working in. They revisited the vision for the firm to check their guiding ambitions and values were aligned.
Using business models, charts and diagrams, the workshop enabled the partners to look at their business goals from different angles. It shed fresh light on the information the firm had gathered, highlighting the financial and operational effects of the decisions they were making.
The workshop helped the partners to find a consensus on questions such as: ‘What will we do and how will we do it in a way that is true to the culture of the firm?’ and ‘What do we agree we should change if we are going to achieve the plan?’
All their key decisions – vision, culture, goals, investments – were captured in a one-page strategic summary. This now acts as a guide for all strategic decisions and operational plans.
Set for success
Sherrards’ partners can now move forward with a clear picture of where they want to be as a business and the implications of the decisions embodied in their strategic plan.
Financial insights gained during the workshop have helped highlight the likely impact of decisions on profitability, which is helping the partners make the right investments at the right time.
The one-page summary and the charts and diagrams discussed in the workshop are being used to engage the wider team in the development of the firm.
All eyes on the future...
Alasdair McMillin, Managing Partner said:
WMT helped us to look at our business position from a fresh perspective and helped us focus on the key factors necessary to deliver the growth plans that we had. Andrew focussed on optimising the dynamics of the partner group to find consensus on important strategic points.