This article appeared in Marketing the Law Firm, an ALM publication reporting on the latest, and most effective strategies. For Chief Marketing Officers, Managing Partners, Law Firm Marketing Directors, Administrators, Consultants.  Visit the website to learn more.

It’s time for “that” meeting again. Yes, the one where the Managing Partner, Executive Committee, and other top leaders complain about weak rainmaking efforts from a big chunk of the firm. You’ve provided training, offered significant marketing support services, invested in technology, and have even adjusted compensation, so why hasn’t the needle moved? What are we missing?

One answer may be found in research conducted by the Gallup organization. According to its surveys of millions of workers, the single most important determinant for improving performance is the engagement of the workforce. That means that while you, as leaders, may care about achieving revenue growth goals, most of your lawyers may not. Let’s get real … we’re dealing with very busy, highly paid people. Why should they want to do more?

More Obstacles

In addition to being busy and financially comfortable, there are other reasons why lawyers have not become selling machines. For some, they just don’t know how — they lack the necessary knowledge to make a sell happen. Others may have the tools, but not the habits — the kind of routines needed to make business development a high priority every single day. And for others, there is little motivation, satisfaction and enjoyment because the payoff feels so far off into the future.

What’s needed is a different management approach that can teach, remind and inspire. One that can motivate lawyers to do what we need them to do. One that can transform tedious, boring tasks into pleasurable activities. The answer, in a word, is “gamification,” one of the hottest management tools for increasing employee engagement.


Mary Poppins had it right: “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun.” If we make business development a game and make it enjoyable, they will come.

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