Andrew Hedley of leading boutique legal sector strategy consultancy Hedley Consulting helps the leaders of large law firms to create strategies, develop brands, forge robust client relationships and design compelling propositions.
Why is the SPS Fellowship important to you?
Fellowship is important from a number of perspectives. It is a validation of experience and expertise, but I also hope that it will provide a forum for the sharing of best-practice. Operating in a highly focused market brings the advantage of deep sector knowledge, but also the challenge of staying abreast of developments in the wider field of strategy. If Fellows are able to collaborate and discuss their own challenges, transfer knowledge across industries and develop their strategic thinking this will benefit everyone. It will also serve to raise the profile and influence of the Strategic Planning Society.
How important is the increasing professionalisation of strategy?
It’s crucial! Law firm strategy must seek to reconcile the requirements of a hugely complex and dynamic market, the challenging of historic cultural norms and the need to provide leadership in uncertain times. The ability to articulate a clear strategic vision, creating sustainable competitive advantage and a genuinely differentiated offer, will separate the leaders from the also-rans. A significant improvement in the ways in which strategy is developed, shaped and delivered will underpin the efforts of those that succeed.
What are the key strategic challenges you are dealing with at the moment?
The legal sector is facing unprecedented environmental turbulence: deregulation, inter-firm competition, the reshaping of legal processes through advances in IT and knowledge management and client demand for “better, faster and cheaper” services are combining to create a perfect storm – which many firms are ill equipped to respond to. These same firms have an ongoing challenge to identify, recruit, develop and retain the most talented young professionals. Creating strategies which align the potential of their human capital with emerging market opportunities and the delivery of consistent client experience will be crucial in creating sustainable competitive advantage.
What developments in strategic planning particularly interest you?
The alignment of strategy with core purpose and values leading to meaningful differentiation on the basis of client experience and “walking the talk” of the brand promise is of particular importance in the legal sector. Given the professional services context, I’m interested in developing strategy which engages key stakeholders in the change process and which is founded on the principles of logical incrementalism. The development of processes linking intellectual rigour, emotional engagement and operational delivery is a particular focus.
NB: Fellowship application is now available online, for more information please click here.