A couple of weeks ago I was having lunch with a friend. We were talking about Alfred Hitchcock movies - and she mentioned she had recently seen a silent film he had directed. "I had no idea he directed silent films", I said. "What was the name of the movie?" I asked.
She said "I can't remember, let me ask..." and picked up her phone. I thought she was going to call someone that knew the answer - but instead she went to her phone's browser and 'asked' Google! I had never heard anyone say that they were going to 'ask' the internet for information before - search yes, but 'ask'?
Then it struck me just how different our world has become.
It used to be we asked each other for information, now we ask the data available to us instead! And our expectation is that all data is available to be 'asked' - is your law firm's?
As a law firm manager, not only do you not have time to go and 'ask people' for the information you need to make decisions or strategy shifts, but the people you would have asked also don't have time to answer - at least not as quickly as you need the answer. It's ironic really - a big part of the reason we all seem so much more overwhelmed these days is because there is so much information coming at us all the time. That said, unstructured or unrelated information really isn't information at all - it's just a lot of data that we need to rationalize and analyze ourselves - taking even more time - so often we just go without. That, of course, increases the risk that you will make the wrong decision at the wrong time.
I bet if you added up all those spreadsheets you are using to try to keep all those little pieces of information organized and then added on all the emails traveling around the firm from people 'asking' for information that exists 'somewhere', you would discover just how much the lack of effective information flow in your firm makes up a good part of your overwhelmed feeling - not to mention inefficiencies. It's costing you a fortune - don't doubt it.
What if you could ask your most important questions from your firm's information and trust the answer? Imagine 'asking': "What clients do we have in the food & beverage industry?" and getting a response from your firm's information just like you would if Google could search your enterprise?
You can and it's a lot easier than you think - if you are a law firm manager and you can't, you should "ask" us!