As the legal futurist Richard Susskind notes in The End of Lawyers?, “I cannot imagine according to what scale it is cooler to be, say, a project manager than a lawyer (with all due respect to project managers).” But when you get right down to it, the practice of law, like many other professions revolves around the management of projects. As we move forward, it will be those lawyers who thrive at project management who survive and those who fail at project management who perish.
Timothy Johnson, author of GUST: The “Tale” Wind of Office Politics and Race Through the Forest, has just written a new book, SWAT – Seize the Accomplishment. SWAT uses a story/parable format to explain “systems” and how to leverage them in nearly any business. Systems include any discrete process, such as a meeting, which has inputs, transformations and outputs.
SWAT explains how to identify and foster constructive behaviors in these systems and eliminate destructive ones. As Johnson notes, “systems thinking can be applied in any profession and any setting.” Lawyers who take the time to examine and refine the systems in their law practice will reap the dividends for years to come.