Time for success

"If you differ from me, far from hurting me, you enrich me."

Antoine de Saint Exupry

In times of growing globalisation, corporation are faced with a triple challenge.

    1. Succeed the co/operation between business units in dealing

        with the different objectives and ambitions of the counterparts

    2. Organize projects based in remote facilities in different countries

    3. Overcome misunderstandings due to cultural differences.

 

When business units in the same country have to work together, the success depends on the manager`s skills in defining business objectives compatible with the goals of both units and managing the hidden human agenda (power struggle and personal affinities). This management task is highly demanding, because the viruses poison the relationship and generate a climate of mistrust.

When two or more different countries are involved, the complexity is tremendously increased: the long-established, often unconscious mechanisms of interpreting other peoples behavior break down due to cultural differences in the value systems and the meaning of messages. This adds a new dimension to the process: misperceptions and misinterpretations of the intentions of the other party can lead of frustrations, suspicions and mistrust. As a result, the soft issues of human behavior, i.a. the ability to identify and treat the viruses, become a key factor for the make-or-break of a corporation.

 

It is now commonly recognize that it is not sufficient to handle mergers, co-operations and Joint Ventures by only treating "hard facts", i.e. legal aspects, organization, structure, financial elements. The non material reality, the soft facts such as hopes, fears, state of mind, considered as at least as important as the hard facts.

However, the standard way of treating the non material reality focus on optimizing mutual understanding and building of a common corporate culture by implementing methods having proven their efficiency, such as implementing of common procedures, joint action plans and shared commitments.

Such standard way of treating the non material reality is often not effective, especially on a long term basis. The expected return on investment disappears because human beings emotions such as fears, uncertainty and distrust, characteristic in such situation, are not professionally treated, or even worse, are ignored. However, its are especially those virus which prevent people from an open minded communication, i.e. from constructively discuss and elaborate common procedures, actions plans and commitments.

sec demonstrated that the most basic cause of failure of mergers, co-operations and Joint Ventures is ... mutual distrust.

This atmosphere of mutual distrust is even increased when carrying out a reorganization project affecting the current organization since generating a general feeling of sadness (loss of former identities) and, in addition to that, an overall uncertainty which will people to focus on their own survival.

Therefore, there will be no merger in operations in general and no constructive involvement in a reorganization project in particular if people do not merge mentally. This is a fundamental condition sine qua non for successfully implementing a new organization, shared commitments, common procedures and joint action plans is to build up a basis of real confidence among involved key-planers.

One of the key goals of each co/operation should therefore be to achieve the sec consulting as quick as possible, i.e. to durably implement>

    a basis of mutual confidence

    a positive co-operation spirit based on mutual respect and acceptance

    a professional way of managing inter-personal relations

 

To receive more documentation on our consultancy services, please give us an email or a telephone call. A sec consultant stays at your disposal for any further specific information you need.

We would be pleased to hear from you soon.

The sec team

sec

Bajscy Zs. Ut. 17

HUN - 3360 Heves

Tel.: 0036 36 545 099

Mobil: 0036 30 6868386

Fax.: 0036 36 445 027

email: info@s-eckert-consulting.com

 

 

Strategy

When we talk about developing a strategy, we mean

Understanding the current market position of the firm, and assessing it honestly

Understanding what it happening in the markets where the firms operates, and forming a view as to how they are likely to develop

Working out where the firm wants to be positioned in the future, and finding a realistic way of reaching that goal

Looking at the client base, analyzing it and identifying the key client groups and practice areas which will be the foundation of the future position, and those which need to be targeted in the future

A key part of the service which we offer concerning strategy is the on the ground help which we offer actually implementing an agreed strategy or project, in short, a form of interim management.

 

 

Client Relationship Management

This concept has been closely studied and adopted by many of the more successful Anglo Saxon firms. It involves the determined investment of time and resources in maintaining existing client relationships to protect them from other competitors, and to maximise of work in the firm receives.

Typical elements include regular, open reviews with client about how to things are going, or a de/brief at the end of a transaction or matter. Inviting key clients to take part in a client satisfaction survey is widely welcomed and is seen as a key part of law firms understanding what their clients want, and delivering it as efficiently as possible.

The bottom line is that firms which do not constantly seek to improve the way they deliver their service to their clients, may find themselves vulnerable to attack from other firms seeking to acquire new clients.

We can help you by preparing for and conducting interviews with your most important clients, reviewing their comments with you and helping to put any necessary changes into place. An important element is delivering training to your people about building relationships with clients. Not every lawyer or partner needs it, but many would benefit from this.

 

Clint Care

We believe that client service is one of the biggest issues facing Hungary, Austrian law firms today. For some it presents a great opportunity to improve their competitiveness. For others who are unwilling to change the way the deal with their clients, it will be one of the biggest problems which they have to grapple with.

So what do we mean, when we talk about client service? This is about giving clients the best technical advice, presented in a commercially relevant way, which enables the client to achieve its business objectives.

Our German, English and American clients have highlighted a number of issues where they believe there are major differences in the general approach taken by lawyers from the different cultures. This range from a different view on delivering commercially relevant advice in the form and time scale required by Anglo Saxon clients, through to issues on engagement letters, and billing.

The demands of German, American or Anglo Saxon clients may from time to time be unreasonable, but the reality is that if you want to work successfully with them, then you must be able to understand what they want and why. We think that domestic Hungary and Austrian clients will also force change in the way in which legal services are delivered, and no firm can ignore this issue.

We are able to provide practical guidance and tailor made, in-house trading programs on how to work more effectively with international clients and law firms, and provide practical help in developing and implementing business development plans.

Coaching

Coaching is not only about problem solving, it is about improving performance, learning new skills, and enhancing career options /making the best better!

 

Whilst it is a commonly used facility in industry, few law firms have taken advantage of the benefits which it can offer to them. Lawyers often find themselves in situations for which they have never received any formal training, or may need guidance on their career path, or on how to deal with office politics. We can help!

The aim of our program

 

In House Training

 

Cultural differences

Leadership

Time management

Legal English& German

Client care

Team working

Marketing and client acquisition

Presentation skills

Working with English& American^ German lawyers and their clients

 

 

International Relationships

 

An increasing number of business are active on an international basis. This is both good and bad news for the law firms which advice them.

As the largest firms move into exclusive arrangements of one form or another, the options open to firms wanting to refer work into Hungary reduces. These firms may be reluctant to refer work to firms tied to their domestic competitors, and so are beginning to seek out firms who are independent and can offer top quality advice and the service which German or Anglo Saxon clients demand.

We have strong links to a number of German and American firms which are looking to develop relationships with Hungary firms. These range from firms wanting to find a safe pair of hands for their clients, through to those looking for exclusive referral relationships or merger. We can help you to find the right firm to build a relationship with.

The key themes are here:

Deciding on the nature of the international relationships your firm needs, and taking the necessary steps to put them in place

Making your position in the market known to your target audiences

Ensuring that you understand the requirements of these firms and can meet their expectations

We have our experience of this area together in our " " concept, aimed to helped both domestic and foreign law firms build an effective relationship.

 

 

 

Management Support

Industry makes extensive use of interim managers to accelerate progress, or to buy in additional expertise or capacity on an as "required basis". We have looked at this concept closely and have developed our own management support concept.

We are starting to see some firms take advantage of this concept, and expect to see more do so in the future - it can be an expedient and effective way of adding management expertise and capacity, without losing a significant amount of partner fee-earning time. Many firms take important operational and strategic decisions, but are sometimes unable to find the time or the resources to actually implement them.

We can help!

Typical projects include:

 

client research, and client satisfaction surveys

background market analysis

partner performance

financial analysis

helping in the preparation of marketing and business development plans

client care programmes

quality initiatives

helping the development of the firms international relationships

 

Marketing & PR

Marketing is not just about advertising, it is the means by which position your firms in the market place, and tell your target market what you stand for.

Hungary law firms are beginning to take advantage of the change in the rules and to actively market their practices. Those firms who market themselves effectively will enjoy a competitive advantage. Those who do not, are likely to loose clients.

We can help you to develop a marketing strategy and to implement it, or we can work closely with your in house team to help you achieve your goals.

In particular we concentrate on:

Developing the firm+ s brand and corporate identity

Agreeing on the target audiences

Deciding on how best to reach them

Designing and printing the right materials

Agreeing on the best way of presenting the firm on the internet

Media Relations

 

Outplacement

There are many reasons why people leave law firms, but whatever the reason, there needs to be process in place which ensures that the interests of all parties are protected.

From the employer+ s point of view there are issues of culture and reputation to protect, as well as avoiding unnecessary legal disputes and situations which can lead to the demotivation of other colleagues and employees. For the departing partner or employee, we can help them come to terms with the situation, coach them and give them guidance on the best options available to them, and how to progress them. We can if appropriate also work closely with recruitment consultants to improve their chances of finding new employment quickly.

 

Performance Management

Your people / from the partner cleaning team / are the largest and most expensive component in a modern law firm. Nevertheless, few firms have an effective plan in place to manage the development of their people+ s careers, and to ensure that they are working efficiently and profitably.

We see time and time again that firms carry under/performing partners, and inefficient fee earners. This a luxury which few firms can afford for long. It not only has a direct effect on profits, but the best people are quickly demotivated by seeing under performer working alongside them, with no action being taken by the management to address the problem. This can lead to the loss of valuable people, and can also ea a problem when trying to attract new high performers into the organisation.

Career Development Program

We recommend that firms take stock of their people, and beginning with the partners through to the support staff, undertake performance reviews which help define roles and the expected contribution to the firm, a persons+ s training needs, and which set out realistic and measurable objectives for the year ahead.

We find that proactive involvement in the development to people+s careers is being an increasingly important factor both in the recruitment process and in the retention of good people.

 

Project Management & Transaction Support

One of the practical services which we provide to our clients, is direct support to Hungary lawyers who may be handling a transaction or dispute for an German, Austrian or American client.

In such cases there a number of issues, where additional support can make a difference:

Ensuring that expectations are understood at the outset of the matter

English or German language documentation

Project Management

 

Expectation at the outset

In some circumstances there are cultural differences in terms of clients` commercial expectations and service delivery, which if not handled carefully can give rise problems.

We can help clarify the clients commercial objectives and service level requirement (including billing transparency) at the outset, and offer support to keep matters on track as the matter progress.

 

English and German Language Documents

Producing documentation in English or German, whether it be opinions, advice letters, due diligence reports, or contractual documents, takes a great deal of time, and carries the risk that errors or misunderstandings can arise. This can raise doubts in clients+ mind about the advice they are receiving, or in extreme situations , give rise negligence claims.

We can translate or interpret German or English documents, often saving a significant amount of time for the lawyer involved. You can report, or give instructions to us, in Hungary, and we will prepare an German or English language version for your approval before it is sent to the client.

 

Project Management

There are two main elements here:

Managing the project to ensure that the client receives what he wants and needs. We can help ensure that clients receive advice in the form that they require, and that it helps them take business decisions by ensuring that where problems arise, commercial solutions are put forward.

Ensuring that the project runs to schedule / the classic project management role

These roles generally involve our attending client meetings, and telephone conferences as required, and of course working closely with the team.

 

The Cost

Our experience is that clients find this service valuable, and a prepared to pay for it on the same terms as they are being charged for the legal technical advice. We are prepared to consider either hourly rates, or fixed fees, depending on the particular matter.

We have considerable experience of project management, which has proved to be a valuable service to many foreign law firms and their clients - we have pulled this together in the "Get together and trust in Europe" concept.

We can help you prepare your lawyers for this role, or in appropriate cases can work as a part of your team, and take over this role for you.