Thursday, September 6, 2007

(Starship) Enterprise Management

Whether you are an in-house attorney at a busy corporation or in private practice, you can probably relate to this scenario:  your paralegal -- with whom you have a codepenency rivaling that of the most dysfunctional sitcom couple -- is finally off for a week-long vacation he/she planned a year ago.  Your desk is full of sticky reminders and your Outlook calender is peppered with a rainbow of conference calls, kid's soccer practice, cases due, and client follow-up calls.  You arrive Monday morning, optimistic but wary...and then all hell breaks loose.



By the time you are able to track the overnight you sent for the last minute filing (not your fault but the client's fault), you have 12 half-intelligible messages from the new receptionist, who isn't quite as detail-oriented as she presented herself to be when interviewed by your HR Director.  The school calls because your son is sick, you call your spouse, and when you get their voicemail, you remember that he/she is handling a big site visit today...and can't be interrupted.



By the time you have managed to pickup your son and take him home and arranged to have your daughter's friend's mom to drive her home after soccer practice, it is 5 p.m. and you've had to cancel two calls and two filings due tomorrow sit staring at you on your desk.



How the best laid plans so easily go awry, eh?



Now, compare your reality to Captain James Tiberius Kirk, he of the Starship Enterprise.  Your missing paralegal is his damaged deflector shield.  Your failing receptionist is his unstable dylithium crystal down in Engineering.  Your unattended and overdue casework is the humanoid planet relying on the Enterprise for protection from an imminant Klingon attack, and Scotty can't get the big girl up to light speed with the dylithium crystals acting up.



But note the difference between your enterprise and Kirk's Enterprise:  while all this is going on, Kirk stays on the bridge.  As Atticus' Mark Powers would say, he stays at his "dashboard".  His control center is built to preserve his stability and steadiness when the you-know-what hits the fan.  Kirk pesters Scotty, who's always "givin' her all she can take, Captain, she can't take much more".  He doesn't go through the sliding doors, get in the elevator, and get in Scotty's face to micromanage because he's not an engineer!  Kirk knows what his team is doing and knows what they can deliver.  He knows that the resolution of the problem is in the most competent hands and that's what makes him Captain: he's assembled a team of professionals upon which he can rely and for which the idea of micromanagement is unthinkable.



That, my friends, is what hybrid outsourcing operations can do for your in-house immigration department or private immigration  practice.  I sold my law practice four years ago; in the five preciding years, the crew of MY enterprise -- attorneys, paralegals, and other personnel -- did not need to be micromanaged.  While my life wasn't exactly a Corona commercial, I really did spend a great deal of time on the beach, laptop in hand, thousands of miles from where my team was making it happen.  Through scaling, we were able to handle international accounts firms our size would never dream of approaching; through systems engineering, training, and an unwavering commitment to client service, the firm continues to grow.



You went to law school to practice law, yet the delivery of legal expertise takes up perhaps 10% of your day; the other 90% is spent on things best handled by the Scottys and Uhuras of the world, not by you.  Simple as that.  And whether your ambition is to work less hours or to make more money, enterprise management is the key, and our profession is as adaptable to efficiency as any other.



Email me your questions and I'll show you how, using today's technologies and intelligent resource partnering, you really can transform your business immigration practice into a Corona commercial.



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