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The 5x5x5 Program

For Senior Associates and Junior Partners

Ready. Set. Succeed!  Here's how it works:

 

Cohorts of five attorneys—a cross-practice mix works well—are selected by senior partners to commit to five one-hour facilitated sessions over five weeks on Zoom (or a similar platform). Each five-session flight consists of the following modules:

  • Business Development this Week: Any participant who has a pitch, a ‘lunch’, or any planned business development activity shares with the group for brainstorming and helpful input.

  • Elevator Speech Exchange: Each week after the first session (which will include instructions on effective elevator pitches), we have one participant “stand and deliver” their elevator speech, seeking input from colleagues.  (I was told, “they’ll never do that.” But the post-program surveys show that group members find it among the most valuable takeaways.)

  • Training: As the group’s facilitator, I share a useful insight from a menu of topics. This discussion uncovers further one-on-one coaching needs. Topics include:

    • Soliciting client feedback

    • Extraordinary client service

    • Current client development

    • Questions that uncover client need

    • Cross-selling—keys to client growth across practices

    • Developing a personal business plan

    • Competitive intelligence

    • Alternative Fee Arrangements (AFAs)

    • Networking and new client development

    • Public relations/social media

  • Tales from the Road: We conclude each session with ten minutes of insights from a more senior partner—a story about their career, the sale they won (or lost) and why, etc.

  • Follow up: Three weeks after “graduation” from the five sessions, we hold a class reunion—virtual drinks optional—to catch up on some of the topics we covered in the 5x5x5 sessions.  I send participants a brief survey to learn what they found most helpful and ask them if they want to continue to collaborate regularly, either with or without my facilitation.  (Every group I have worked with has asked for MORE frequent meetings and opportunities to collaborate on BD topics.) 

 

Why participants love 5x5x5:

  • A do-able commitment with a planned sunset: Five weeks, one hour per week—short and sweet (and virtual). Each flight has a beginning, middle and end with optional add-on sessions or one-on-one meetings with me.

  • Chosen/selected by the firm’s leaders: A senior partner selects participants for each flight of cohorts. Their takeaway: “My firm is investing in my business development abilities/acumen.”

  • Cross-practice collaboration:  Meet with attorneys from adjacent practices in a safe, Chatham House Rule environment.

  • Skill-building: While each session is only intended to give a brief training/tutorial on the subjects listed above (see “Training"), group members increase their basic awareness of key skills and can receive additional one-on-one coaching upon request.

  • Senior partner interaction:  The brief “Tales from the Road” segment (also above) gives group members a unique, candid view of business development challenges and successes.

  • On-call access to coaching:  I am here for your best and brightest.  When you are my client, my passion is to help members of your team succeed, no matter what.

 

This model works!  We have repeated this approach within the AmLaw 100 environment. It has garnered unsolicited high praise from senior partners and practice group leaders for the program’s effectiveness and efficiency. 

This is a very cost- and time-efficient way to meet a big need—developing attorney BD acumen and investment in your junior ranks for talent retention and focus on their success.

More about my experience with professional service firms (including EY, Ropes & Gray, Nixon Peabody, and Troutman Pepper) here My greatest passion, in 25+ years of business development, has been coaching partners and senior associates/managers on ways to help them build revenue.

philip@austin-windsor.com

617-653-5452

 

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