Leadership and performance

Leadership must permeate an organization—it's too important to leave only to those with a formal title. Our research delves into the tools, techniques and topics that are essential for leading high performing organizations.

What does it take to build an organization where leadership thrives throughout the ranks? What are the 'hard' and 'soft' levers that leaders can take to inspire people and optimize performance?  From examining hedge fund Bridgewater's culture of 'radical transparency' to unpacking the elements of an innovative consulting firm, from diving into decisions about compensation systems to proposing ways for professional firms to handle sticky succession issues, our research relies on in-depth studies of the ways leaders shape their organization's future.

Ongoing research: Our team is currently investigating the effects of different performance management systems and metrics intended to foster smart collaboration.  If you or your organization wants to participate, please contact Csilla Ilkei, our Research Director at Gardner & Co.

Leadership and performance
Publications
Leadership for Lawyers: Essential Strategies for Law Firm Success (2nd edition)

Lawyers face specific challenges when it comes to leadership. This new edition introduces topics that today's law firm leaders are grappling with, and revisits some prior subjects to bring fresh insights to help firms draw on the full range of capabilities and perspectives that are vital in our fast-changing world.

Source: Globe Business & Law Publishing

Year: 2019

Links:

Global Law and Business – http://bit.ly/2NfC2Rg

Amazon – https://amzn.to/2NJdCyu

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How Smart Succession Planning Can Separate a Law Firm

No longer can firms bury their heads in the sand, hoping that succession planning will sort itself out without firm-wide intervention. Integrative client service incorporates multiple generations and a layering of expertise and helps achieve continuity of service for the client, even when a senior partner moves on. The evidence is clear: Firms that prioritize their succession management strategy set the stage for long-term prosperity for all partners, clients and the firm itself.

Source: The American Lawyer (PDF)

Year: May 2019

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10 Steps to Improve Your Law Firm's Succession Planning

This article offers 10 easy-to-digest steps to help professional services firms analyze and uncover current gaps and opportunities in their systematic succession planning practices that is fully aligned with and integrated into their broader business planning and management strategies.

Source: The American Lawyer (PDF)

Year: June 2019

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Bridgewater Associates

The video-based case offers opportunity to explore the world's largest hedge fund's unusual firm culture of 'radical transparency' that leaders credit with its record breaking performance. It prompts discussion on how and to what extent the practices foster high performance and debate about their associated tradeoffs.

Source: Harvard Business School

Year: May 2013

Link: https://s.hbr.org/2pHT8OK

Gardner & Co
Marshall & Gordon: Designing an Effective Compensation System

To support their new strategy, CEO of PR firm Marshall & Gordon redesigns the compensation system to promote collaboration. The case focuses on re-defining, measuring, and evaluating the consultants' performance. The discussion explores the possibilities and limitations of using financial compensation as a lever to incentivize desired behaviors.

Source: Harvard Business School

Year: March 2012

Link: https://s.hbr.org/36wXrwS

Gardner & Co
Professional Development at DLA Piper – Building the Strength of Global Legal Talent

Structured around five vignettes by associates, the case highlights an important dimension of a leading law firm: professional development and the reward system. It discusses critical elements such as client and technical expertise, mentorship and sponsorship, professional reputation and honest feedback. One of the key takeaways is that aligned expectations, candid and frequent direct feedback by the leaders, and mutual accountability are essential additions to formal processes for career progression.

Source: Harvard Business School

Year: June 2014

Link: https://s.hbr.org/2WJ5a6x

Gardner & Co
Eden McCallum: A Network-Based Consulting Firm

This case about a network-based consulting firm—highly innovative at the time of its founding—demonstrates how the alignment between different organizational facets (strategy, people, culture, etc.) affects leaders' ability to adapt to changes in the competitive landscape.

Source: Harvard Business School

Year: July 2010

Link: https://store.hbr.org/product/eden-mccallum/409060?sku=409060-PDF-ENG

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Leadership for Lawyers book launch

At the launch of the 'Leadership for Lawyers' book (first edition), Dr. Gardner hosts discussions on various angles of legal leadership. She calls for collaboration as a means to an end: helping leaders to tackle challenges associated with clients and their own talent.

Event: Goodwin Procter: Leadership for Lawyers book release reception

Year: 2016

Link: https://youtu.be/eQ5pzG3kF7I

Gardner & Co