Radiant Law has been growing fast (we doubled revenue in 2014). To keep managing ourselves in the same way (as a company, not a partnership) in the face of this growth, it was becoming clear that we would have to implement layers of management. This isn’t a particularly attractive option – decisions would increasingly be made by people who weren’t directly involved in the relevant issue and we would run the risk of creating a potentially cumbersome bureaucracy. Most of all, we would blunt our ability to really meet our client’s needs. So in typical Radiant style, we looked further afield for ideas from other companies outside the law and came across Reinventing Organisations by Frederic Laloux. This is a relatively new theory of management which in our view makes a lot of sense and makes an organisation more human and collaborative.
In September, the leadership team announced (after widespread discussions, but don’t worry we get the irony) that decisions on who worked on which client matters, how work will be done and what projects the firm will prioritise will be decided by the broader team and not be reserved to just the management team as used to happen.
We introduced an advice process so that experienced team members are fully involved in decisions and the team is given full live access to financial information about the firm (other than individual salaries), to ensure that decisions have context. The team was given a month to figure out how to make this work. It was a conversation that everyone jumped into because the energy of deciding to do things in a new way causes us all to re-evaluate what we do and why we do it. This is the Radiant way
At a recent firm-wide meeting, the new processes for decision making were announced by team representatives. One of the consequences is that it requires team members to jump in and “pull” work rather than having it allocated to them. There is a real buzz in the organisation about this new way of working and a sense that it will help us to be more relevant to our clients – it’s an exciting time.
We’re going to keep learning about what works and how to keep getting better. I’m convinced, that we are on the right track and in striving to change and improve we can better help our clients achieve their objectives.