After writing a diversity plan, and hiring a Human Resources Diversity Director, a progressive New York based law firm still struggles to integrated inclusion-based behavior in to its competitive culture. Female and minority lawyer attrition, especially at senior levels, continues to increase. The firms managing partner is concerned about compliance and the ability to reflect his firms customers. He feels the firm is losing credibility, and business, with important corporate clients.
Based on an organizational assessment, which includes in-depth interviews and team sessions where openness and direct communication are modeled and fostered, Blackbird Leadership introduces a custom designed coaching and team program. We conduct voluntary coaching sessions with an identified cross-section of associates and partners over a six-month period. We work with a sponsorship team to design and communicate this program, and to integrate it in to the firms regular operations. Sponsors undertake an accelerated examination of practices, including recruitment, development, and case assignment, to support the individual and team-based culture change aims of the program.
The firm experiences a culture shift which includes acting on their own published diversity plan in day-to-day work. Retention of female and minority employees at all levels improves, and all firm members report higher than industry-average motivation and satisfaction levels. More people openly support minority and female lawyers in their daily work and career movement. Several female partners are named, and express commitment to their roles. Managing Partners notice that all senior associates seem more accountable in their work, and are acting more like leaders in the firm. The Diversity-Director is reassigned to a development and learning role.
"Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do."