Larry Bodine has a post on his Legal Marketing Blog about a law firm that is going to "pare down" their partnership. If you read between the lines, what it is saying is that partners who do not market and develop business have no place in future of the law firm.
The most interesting quote from the managing partner was: "We're going to have to be more businesslike in the way we approach things," he said, citing an increasingly competitive environment.
This is happening in all types of professional services firms. The country-club atmosphere that existed in some organizations is disappearing and partners are scrutinizing each other's performance. If you are not bringing in new business, then your future is not secure just because you are a shareholder.
Many firms are experiencing record years and raising their billing rates, but those that want to continue growing realize that everyone must contribute, because when some rainmakers have a bad year, then someone else must pick up the slack (and they cant just keep increasing fees forever). Having too many non-producing senior people will make the pie slices very small in a downturn. Therefore there is only room for those who are producers.
When you talk to partners in firms you can tell who is secure in their own ability and those who are not. Aggressive business developers like the idea of cutting non-producers. Those who gripe at this trend are usually the non-producers. And rainmakers secretly are saying that if the dead weight does not get cut....they will eventually move to a firm where the culture rewards those who produce.
So start networking and marketing NOW. Don't wait until it is too late.
Have A Great Day.