Thank you for considering contributing content to the Dezurve BD Education library. Here's an explanation of how it works, and what's in it for you.
Last Fall, before building this app, I discussed the Dezurve concept and execution with CMOs, BDOs, Managing Partners, Practice Group leaders, and Executive Directors at 85 law firms across the spectrum of size and geography. Every one of them said it was a great idea that solves a longstanding problem. 65 of those said they'd probably buy it, assuming that what I built was as good as they envisioned it being. Two firms were so enthusiastic that they purchased it sight-unseen to make sure I built it.
Just think how successful your client firms and you would be if firms only invested in, and you only worked with, the lawyers who really want to learn. Firms wouldn’t waste money on the wrong lawyers, or miss out on the right ones whom they might not have chosen. You’d produce dramatic results (and wouldn’t be stuck babysitting the unwilling).
Dezurve is an opportunity for you to re-purpose your published BD content and establish a presence and earn preference with hundreds of law firms and thousands of lawyers -- free.
Law firms acknowledge the criticality of having more lawyers bring in business, and lawyers are beginning to acknowledge that they’ve got to devote more than lip service and episodic effort to attracting clients. In many firms, this has resulted in a larger number of anxious lawyers who, fearing for their future at their current firm, and overall, are requesting business development training, coaching, and other forms of support.
When it comes to biz dev training, firms struggle with three problems:
Training and coaching can get expensive, and firms can’t afford to provide it to all their lawyers
There’s no reliable way to predict which lawyers will be good training investments, i.e., will take the training seriously, stick with it, and apply it vs. waste it.
Whatever way the training resource gets allocated, lawyers who wanted it but were excluded will feel slighted
Can't afford to provide training for everyone
Firms have to choose who to include and who to exclude. There is legitimate demand, i.e., by lawyers who will take advantage of the training and produce results, and there is false demand based on ego, status, and political considerations. Only an unknown percentage deserve meaningful investment.
No reliable way to predict which lawyers are good training investments
- A high percentage of lawyers who enroll in training programs aren’t serious about developing skills and applying them diligently to produce a book of business.
- Many enroll because the internal optics are not good for those who don’t express a desire to get better at BD.
- Others enroll uninformed, not knowing the nature or degree of commitment required to succeed at BD, so they opt out after a short time when confronted with that reality.
- For others, it’s a lot like an exercise program: You’re gung-ho for awhile, then you skip a few workouts, then a few more, and then you quit. You want to be fit, but you don’t want to do what it takes to get fit.
You're probably nodding, having seen all this more often than you'd prefer.
Lawyers who are excluded feel slighted
With no objective inclusion/exclusion criteria for training, selection appears biased, arbitrary or subjective -- which it is.
- Lawyers are competitive. If something is being offered to some, they want it offered to them, too (even if they don’t really want it). “Hey, if the firm is funding a BD training program, I want it, too. Why wasn't I chosen? What am I, chopped liver?”
- They feel like second-class citizens, not in the club. Lower status. That plays havoc with lawyers’ already low resilience.
The allocation risk is both financial and strategic.
Historically, an unacceptable percentage of enrolled lawyers have wasted BD training, so the money was lost and, more importantly, during the time that elapses before the firm can expose the non-performers, they lose the opportunity for more committed lawyers to bring business into the firm and reinforce the firm’s market positions and brand.
Attempts to force lawyers to comply with training program requirements always fail, due at least in part to lawyers’ personalities, which put them in the top decile for autonomy and skepticism, and in the bottom third for resilience.
The only practical option is to improve the firm’s ability to identify performers and invest only in them, and do it in a way that’s viewed as objective enough that it doesn’t trigger the “why not me” reaction by those excluded.
The problem for trainers and coaches like you is that when this happens, firms don't blame themselves or the lawyers. They blame you.If you don't have to waste your training/coaching time (and the firm's money) on the dead weight, you'll be seen as more effective and successful.
The answer is a behavior-based approach by which lawyers qualify or disqualify themselves for training investment based on what they actually do, rather than what firm leaders think they’ll do or what lawyers claim they’ll do.
Skill development is a three-part mission:
Education produces an intellectual effect, e.g., awareness, understanding, perhaps attitude change, but no skills.
Training is the actual doing and practicing, which produces measurable skill. In this example, “modest cost" and “scalable” refer to technology-based training.
- Coaching is providing guidance for lawyers to apply what they learned in Training to real-world opportunity. It produces tangible results. This is where you shine.
Training and coaching are the more expensive resources, and are accessible one of two ways:
- Permanently: Lawyers fulfill the “graduation” requirements the firm assigns to the Education library.
- Temporarily: Lawyers have an imminent real-world opportunity that requires support from a higher-level resource. For example, Joe has made only modest progress within the Education library, but is going to a networking event next week. To maximize Joe’s chances of producing a worthwhile outcome at that event, the firm would grant him access to networking training and, once he’s completed that, a short coaching session to help him apply what he learned to the specific environment he'll face next week. After that, Joe reverts to back to the Education library until he completes those requirements.
Education Library of marketing/sales content, e.g., articles, white papers, podcasts, blog posts, etc.
- Available to everyone via sign-in
- Measurable consumption, activity.
- Each piece of content has a short quiz associated with it.
- Quiz automatically arrives 10 days after the content has been accessed. Lawyer has infinite amount of time to complete it. No human or electronic nagging. The idea isn't to coerce compliance, but to document voluntary performance to inform training/coaching investment decisions.
- Yelp-like rating function
Good content. That's it. Contribute as much or as little as you like, as often or seldom as you like. Remove content whenever you like.