Today, we talk about The Practice. Years ago, “practice” referred to what an outside counsel called his work, for his clients, charging what he wanted, thank you very much. And yes it typically was a “he.”
Today, though, I am referring to practice not like that, but more like what a team does that wants to score better and win.
You know, like what Allen Iverson spoke eloquently about in 2002, when he had “creative differences” with 76ers coach Larry Brown about whether, he, “AI” (aka The Franchise) had to attend practice (like everyone else):
People who watch this video focus on the classic repetitions of the word “practice.” But the true lesson for today’s intrepid lawyers is in the single Q&A at the end of the video:
Is it possible though, from where he is coming from that, with practice, not you would be better, but your teammates would be better?
How the hell can I make teammates better by practicing?
I’m not saying that some superstar lawyers agree with Mr. Iverson, but at least he is a refreshingly honest person, who could not hew the company line if he tried.
We are entering an era when even superstar lawyers need a team. And to score well together requires some practice at key skills.
New technology (for project management or collaboration, for example) can’t easily take hold because people don’t know how to (or don’t want to) work together. In fact, I think many lawyers today think that technology is more often the problem, not the solution.
I know that “practice” is a hard concept to explain without it degrading into visions of firewalks and rope ladders and teams of people zip-lining over crocodile-infested waters.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
I will offer some examples of what to practice early in the new year.
For now, I think 2013 will show us that when a well-selected small group (a team) uses a few key metrics (the score) and takes seriously the importance of working together well (the practice), they are more likely to best the competition than those who continue with the status quo.
And they just might have a bit of fun in the process. Here’s to more fun in the new year.