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Featured Guest
Tom Lambotte

Tom Lambotte is currently the CEO of GlobalMac IT. Before founding GlobalMac IT, he studied Business Economics at the...

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Christopher T. Anderson

Christopher T. Anderson has authored numerous articles and speaks on a wide range of topics, including law firm management,...

Episode Notes

Do you struggle with your law firm tech, feeling like it really isn’t doing what you thought it would to make your life easier? It’s tempting to give up, but a simple shift in your mindset may help you get more out of your tech than you realized was possible. In this Un-Billable Hour, Christopher Anderson talks with Tom Lambotte about how Optimize Method helps lawyers approach technology with clarity and make better use of what they have.

Tom Lambotte is the founder and CEO of GlobalMac IT and the creator of the Optimize Method framework.

Special thanks to our sponsors, NexaSolo Practice UniversityScorpion, and Lawclerk.

Transcript

The Un-Billable Hour

Getting Optimized, or More, or Some Results From Your Law Firm Technology

06/17/2020

[Music]

Intro: Managing your law practice can be challenging. Marketing, time management, attracting clients, and all the things besides the cases that you need to do that aren’t billable. Welcome to this edition of The Un-Billable Hour, the Law Practice Advisory Podcast. This is where you will get the information you need from expert guests and host Christopher Anderson, here on Legal Talk Network.

[Music]

Christopher T. Anderson: Welcome to The Un-Billable Hour, the Law Practice Advisory Podcast helping attorneys achieve more success. We are glad you can listen today on Legal Talk Network.

Today’s episode is about the physical plant, it’s about the actual technology inside your business and specifically the technology in your law firm that you have acquired or that you are considering adding to your business.

I was just at ABA TECHSHOW in the past week, I think Tom you were there as well; Tom is our guest by the way, we will meet him in a second, and there is so much being offered there and you see attorneys acquiring this stuff and then they bring it back to their office and not much goes on with it. The thing is it’s not a magic bullet and we are going to learn today more from our guest about how to make that technology work for you.

So the title of the show is ‘Getting Optimized, or More, or Some Results From Your Law Firm Technology’. And my guest today is Tom Lambotte.

Tom is the CEO of GlobalMac IT, an IT company based out of Cleveland. And most recently he has also created what he calls the Optimize Method and we are going to learn more about that. It’s a process that helps entrepreneurs, including law firm owners, grow by leveraging technology. Tom is obsessed with helping others and simplifying the complex.

Finally, Tom also coaches a few heart-centered high performers by invitation and referral only. We will talk to him about that as well. He is the author of three books on technology most recently published by the American Bar Association. I am actually doing a decent introduction; usually the style of this show is to do a poor one, but he has also got four kids living with him there in Cleveland, all under nine years old, two English bulldogs, a mother-in-law and a bunny named Flip Flop.

And of course I am your host Christopher Anderson and I will spare you from the story of my pets.

I am an attorney with a singular passion for helping other lawyers achieve success with their law firm businesses.

In The Un-Billable Hour every month we explore an area important to help you be a more profitable lawyer, by growing your revenues, getting back more of your time and/or getting more professional satisfaction from your business.

The Un-Billable Hour is dedicated to bringing you guests each month to help you learn more about how you make your law firm business work for you instead of the other way around.

And of course before we get started I do want to say a thank you to our sponsors; Nexa, Solo Practice University, Scorpion and LAWCLERK.

Nexa, formerly known as Answer 1, is a leading virtual receptionist and answering service provider for law firms. Learn more by giving them a call at 800-267-9371 or online at www.nexa.com.

Solo Practice University is a great resource for solos no matter how long you have been practicing. Make sure you check out solopracticeuniversity.com and learn how to run your practice better.

Scorpion crushes the standard for law firm online marketing with proven campaign strategies to get attorneys better cases from the Internet. Partner with Scorpion to get an award-winning website and ROI-positive marketing programs today. Visit scorpionlegal.com/podcast.

LAWCLERK, where attorneys go to hire freelance lawyers. Visit lawclerk.legal to learn how to increase your productivity and your profits by working with talented freelance lawyers.

All right, and again today’s episode of The Un-Billable Hour is ‘Getting Optimized, or More, or Some Results From Your Law Firm Technology’. And my guest today is Tom Lambotte. Tom is the CEO of GlobalMac IT.

And Tom, welcome to The Un-Billable Hour.

Tom Lambotte: Thank you very much Chris. I am excited to be here.

Christopher T. Anderson: Yeah, I am excited to have you on. This is a really great topic and I think for me anyway it’s timely and if any of our listeners were at — I know some of them were, were at TECHSHOW in the past week I think it’s timely for them because this is the time where you bring — you were excited about some technology, you bring it back and then you have been away for a week and so life hits you right between the eyes and you install the software and like you use 1% of it, if at all.

But first of all, before we even get to all of that, my introduction to you today went against The Un-Billable Hour’s standard procedures and was actually a little bit more in depth. But I thought I would ask you just to fill in a little bit more about your company and particularly about the background that led you to this topic about maximizing or optimizing the utilization of technology, how did you get there?

(00:04:58)

Tom Lambotte: So it’s funny, I spent 14 years getting back to where I started. So back in 2006 I was living in Santa Cruz and I was starting something new and I was like hey, I love Macs, I love business, let’s start a business of helping people with their Macs.

And so what I did a lot of at that time, what I really enjoyed was showing people all the things that Macs could do, right? So it’s like hey, look at all the technology you have got access to that’s right there and you are just a few recommendations away from getting way more out of what you already have. And so that’s how I started, started making house calls and grew the company over the past 14 years.

And so now we are a managed service provider. So we do outsourced IT, so we manage all the technology for law firms with 10 or more users for the most part. We have a smaller plan for some of the smaller firms with five to nine users as well.

I am fortunate that I have gotten the company to a place where it’s able to grow without a lot of my involvement and so I have got a lot of free time that I am able to invest back on the creative end and focusing on kind of what’s next, what am I most passionate about at the end of the day. And the managed service side of the business, again, it’s doing great, we have got a great product and systems in place, but it doesn’t light my fire. And so the past couple of years I have been working on getting back to that, like what really makes me tick, what’s my unique ability, what do I do best and that’s one comment.

Another one, I am going to tie these together in a minute.

Christopher T. Anderson: Sure, yeah.

Tom Lambotte: Last year, when I really started actually, the way this began is that I was tired of turning away Mac using attorneys that I couldn’t help. The majority of Mac using attorneys are solos, small firms, where they are one, two, three, four, five users, and all these people I was turning away. I was like yeah, I will make our time worthwhile and give you some good tips, but I can’t help you.

So last year I created a course, How to Start a Mac Law Firm, that was kind of all of our recommendations and best practices boiled down and simplified, so that solos could take it and know how to start it successfully.

And after that what I was going to do was create a membership community because I was like man, these solo attorneys, they can’t afford our full out service but what if I set it up in a way that would give them direction every month on how to get more out of their technology and that kind of thing.

And so I went through a course to create a membership and in the process I created the Optimize Method. And it really kind of captured and boiled down how we do what we do and I boiled it down to six core steps that it takes to really get way more out of your technology than the majority of people.

And when I took a step back I was like wait, none of this has anything to do with Macs. So all of a sudden I expanded my market size tremendously because I want to increase my impact.

And I also realized, I was like wait, none of this has anything to do with law. So we have worked in the legal vertical for over a decade so I can definitely make an impact there, but my true passion, the people I really want to be a hero to are entrepreneurs, small businesses that are growing and I have been fortunate to kind of work with and attract for the most part entrepreneurs who happen to be lawyers. And so that’s why it’s worked really well and I have been able to deliver value kind of in my work.

Christopher T. Anderson: Well, cool. Well, now you have got me intrigued. You are absolutely right, I don’t think the listeners of this show understand that law firm owners are entrepreneurs, whether they like it or not, they might not be very good ones, but if they are listening to the show they are getting better, which is a great thing.

So you said the Optimize Method came out of your building this course, but I don’t think we really have an idea of what exactly it is. You said there are six key tenets or key areas. Could you just review them real quick?

Tom Lambotte: Yeah. So it started with six, it’s going to be three or four, because I always simplify things.

And so essentially step one is let’s Build a Vision, where do you really want to be three years from now, where do you want to go, what does that look like, what does your live practice day-to-day look like, what are your biggest opportunities, biggest challenges, your biggest strengths and kind of get really clear on where you want to go first.

And that’s not technology-focused, but it’s important to start with getting really clear on where we want to go, because a lot of times technology can play a significant role in attaining those outcomes. Plus, by getting really clear on the outcome it gets the emotional commitment and feeling to where you are working towards. And then after that it’s really a kind of continual process of defining the vital few from the trivial many.

So the second main idea is Optimize Your Core Toolset. So it’s like okay, out of all the software you have got access to, what are the three — the five or top three that make the biggest impact. If you got really good at using these or if you got better at using it versus how you are using it now, this will move the needle the most within your practice.

(00:09:57)

Christopher T. Anderson: Yeah. So like Microsoft Word, Excel and Netflix for instance.

Tom Lambotte: Yeah, that’s right. So it’s getting really clear on, okay, what are the software that makes the biggest impact.

Then the next module, so step three is Optimize Your Leverage. So once we kind of work through a few tools to get really clear on the top software titles and tools, let’s get really clear on the features that are going to make the biggest impact.

And then the fourth and final step is Optimize Your Automation. So automation is hot, everyone wants it. Most people have no clue where to start. They get overwhelmed by the complexity. They see Zapier and they are like oh, yeah, I want to use that, but they stop, they kind of stop there.

So it’s a process that walks you through and helps you get crystal clear on the next step to take and only by getting to that end, working through the process do you have the confidence of like hey, out of the 500 plus features I have got access to, these are the five that will move the needle the most. And so once you have that clarity it’s a lot easier to justify to invest the time. Oh, if I spend a couple of hours here for the next month, over the next year that’s going to make a significant shift and have a huge ROI. 

Christopher T. Anderson: I mean that all make sense. Like I was saying at the top of the show, I just came back from ABA TECHSHOW; for the listeners that don’t know what that is, that’s an annual conference in Chicago, it’s almost — I think it’s always been in Chicago, it’s run by the American Bar Association’s Law Practice Division. I think this year the count was about 1,200 attendees, but anyway, there is a lot of education there, a lot of learning and also a lot of vendors, a lot of companies there trying to introduce their technology to law firms that could benefit from it.

And I have no doubt that the law firms there could benefit from almost every technology that I saw there, but I am also continuously amazed at the — and there is a huge range of it, but I am amazed that when I talk to lawyers who have been there, who have bought whatever they have bought, I find that the utilization is like really, really low and their frustration with that is high and they become kind of burnt out on it and I start hearing like, I am not buying anything more because nothing works, nothing really moves the needle for me.

What’s going on with that? Like I mean is that part of what Optimize Method is there to help with, is the technology challenging to the point that it’s become overwhelming and too much for lawyers to handle?

Tom Lambotte: Yes, it absolutely is and that’s exactly what the Optimize Method, that’s its whole entire purpose. There is a pervasive problem that affects all of us, in all of our areas of our lives nowadays. We have a preponderance of choice. We have access to so many things and information that the problem is not do we have the tools that we need, but how do we actually use what we have access to.

On average, from going through the course a few times and some research I have done online, on average people use 30-40 apps for their business on a regular basis. That might sound super high at first, but when you go through, you are like okay, I have got Dropbox, I have got 365, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Outlook, my case management software, I have got my PDF Editor and Viewer and all of these different things. And so on average you get to about 37, and this was consistent, and if you have got 37 apps you have access to or are using, some more frequently than others obviously, how many features Chris do you think an app has on average?

Christopher T. Anderson: 50.

Tom Lambotte: 50, Right? So if we say — if we are conservative we will say okay, let’s say there is 20 features and 35 apps, that’s over 700 features that they have access to to make use of. What happens, and again this is not just my brain, this is from discussions I have had with lawyers is — I remember Neil Tyra shared this, the host of The Law Entrepreneur and he is like — and he is pretty tech savvy to begin with, so it doesn’t matter how tech confident you are, whether you are or not, people get overwhelmed because there is this amount of technology guilt that they have, that everyone has. Oh, I wish I did more with Clio. I wish I did more with fill-in-the-blank, right? Oh, I want to use that feature.

And we think about it for two years and never do anything with it, because whenever we actually have the time and oh, this year I am going to use — I am going to do more of my technology this year and then the time comes up and they go okay, where do I start, they have no clue. They are so bombarded with information and new features that come out every month and the new shiny things from TECHSHOW versus the core tools, like Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Word, right? How many attorneys actually take the time to learn how to use Word properly or use Outlook properly, right?

(00:14:48)

There is so much choice out there, everyone is stuck. And like you said, they go to TECHSHOW, they bring back a tool, they have got all these wonderful ideas, but then they just had a week away from work, they jump back into it and boom, they are back in the forest and months go by. And then they happen upon that Evernote they created three months back and they say oh yeah, I should do that. Oh, I am too busy right now, I will get to it later and it just keeps getting kicked further and further down the road.

Christopher T. Anderson: Yeah, if they even know how to use all the features of Evernote.

We are going to take a break. I am talking with Tom Lambotte. He is an author and the CEO of GlobalMac IT and we are talking about law firms and entrepreneurs really use of and adoption of technology in their businesses and the failure really to fully adopt the vast amount of features and capabilities that technology has.

When we come back I am going to ask him exactly what — Tom has invented this thing called the Optimize Method, I am going to ask him a little bit more about exactly how it addresses that and what law firm owners and other entrepreneurs can do to overcome this problem. But first, we will hear from our sponsors.

[Music]

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[Music]

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[Music]

Christopher T. Anderson: Welcome back to The Un-Billable Hour. I am talking with Tom Lambotte. He is the CEO of GlobalMac IT. But we are talking about a particular system that he has developed called the Optimize Method and the problem that we are talking about that I think most everybody listening to this podcast should identify with is, I mean I think Tom you said it, like Microsoft Word, I mean I wonder what percent of Microsoft Word the average user uses? I am probably at about 15% or something I bet, and it just does so much more.

But we are talking about that problem that we have so many and so many features in each one that we are really overwhelmed that we never fully implement and get the full value. So can you just describe like how does Optimize Method help to do that? You described what the four kind of processes are, but how does it help lawyers and other entrepreneurs really get ROI from their software and other technology?

Tom Lambotte: Yeah, so the outcome is not to use 100% of your software, right? And the example you just gave is awesome. You might use 15% of Microsoft Word. Now, I would challenge that no attorney needs to learn how to use a 100% right, but again, there is hundreds of features built into Microsoft Word and the problem is they don’t have a method, a process to go through and go okay, out of all these features, what are the three features that if I learned how to use would save me the most time? Maybe it’s going from 15 to 17% of using Microsoft Word, but defining that additional 2%, the right 2%, that’s what’s going to move the needle. That’s the Archimedes lever that you get.

And so if you can strategically go through and do that for each of your apps, so it’s like all right, I have got 40 apps, what are the few that make the biggest impact? These. Okay, out of these apps what are the three features that will move the needle the most?

And so what I want to do with Optimize Method is help people find ways to systematically tap into the hidden profits in their technology. I have always had this — there are just enormous amounts of dormant profits that lay within people’s technology they already have and are paying for and are sitting on it, but they don’t take the time to learn it. And so what this does, it shows you how to build a vision for what their technology leverage could be and how it will impact their big outcomes and then it breaks it down to the ridiculous.

Do you remember planning long distance trips before Google Maps?

Christopher T. Anderson: Oh yeah.

Tom Lambotte: You have to go to AAA, get maps.

Christopher T. Anderson: Get the triptychs from AAA, yeah.

Tom Lambotte: Yeah, use a marker, draw the line, map out your trip, check continuously as you are driving, all these additional steps.

Christopher T. Anderson: No, you give the maps to your wife and then when you get lost you yell at her.

Tom Lambotte: And you blame her for not paying attention.

Christopher T. Anderson: Absolutely.

Tom Lambotte: You have to look at the road signs. So what’s magical about Google Maps, Apple Maps or Waze is that you put the destination and it spits out the step-by-step, the play-by-play.

(00:19:57)

You know ultimately what your final destination is, but all you need to focus on is the next step, turn right here. You know exactly what you need to do.

So what if lawyers had a process they could follow where they invest the time upfront to define exactly where they want to go and then at the end they have a clear step-by-step directions to get far more leverage on their technology. So that’s what we do.

Christopher T. Anderson: That’s I think really cool. I love what you said though too is like, yes, you’re going to give them the step-by-step directions, but part of that is finding out where they are going to get maximum effect, because it would be a fool’s errand?

Indeed to say I’m going to learn 50% of Word and just like start going through the menus, and I’m looking at them right now, it’s like, well, I don’t know how to use any of that stuff for, but yeah, finding those three or four nuggets.

And then I think and you mentioned profit, to get profit out of them, because — and I think that’s really key because if you get value this way by step-by-step instructions and by picking the few features from a few apps or other technologies that you can use, I might have a few things on my phone system I need to use a little bit better, but if you do that it doesn’t cost you anything. I mean it’s just — you’ve already paid for it, you already own it, you already have a right to use it, you just not. So whatever it drives, the bottom line is yours.

Tom Lambotte: Yeah, and again, it comes down to time. I mean, law firms on average spent 64% of their revenues on labor. So it’s like, okay, well, let’s look at your labor budget, you are spending $280,000 on labor each year, what if we could keep that cost the same and make everyone 5% more productive?

Christopher T. Anderson: That’s all profit.

Tom Lambotte: Right. That goes straight to the bottom line, and then there’s so many inefficiencies out there, the things I have seen, doing what I do.

I remember, Christa is actually on our team, she used to be an office manager for a law firm we supported, and there was a case where one of the attorneys didn’t know how to merge a PDF and so every time she had to do that task, which comes up pretty often in that line of work, she would copy it onto a flash drive, walk across the office, interrupt the office manager, she would plug it in, open the files, merge the PDFs, copy it back on the flash drive and then they’d walk back, plug it into her computer and copy the file.

Christopher T. Anderson: Wow.

Tom Lambotte: So we learned about this and we showed them a better way, and all of a sudden, boom, we just freed up dozens of hours per year. So there’s so many little instances like that, some even far more impactful than that, but that’s what we want to tap into.

Christopher T. Anderson: What do you think your skill set is that enables you to come up with this and help these businesses; you would be successful helping the businesses be more successful?

Tom Lambotte: I don’t know if you’re familiar with Strategic Coach?

Christopher T. Anderson: Yeah.

Tom Lambotte: Yeah, so I’ve been in that organization for four years now, so it’s run by Dan Sullivan, brilliant guy, who coaches top entrepreneurs, and one of their biggest concepts is unique ability, and it’s that everyone in the world has unique ability and when you’re doing this thing, you feel like you can always learn, you can always improve, when you’re spending time doing this, time flies by, you’re lit — you’re on fire when you’re done.

And so my unique ability is to simplify the complex, help people identify strengths and weaknesses and then create a path to help them attain kind of the next level. And so I’ve gotten really clear on this in the past few years and so I’ve continually been spending more time there delegating everything which is not within my unique ability, and so again, going back full circle, back in Santa Cruz when I started making house calls, my passion was to help people get more out of what they already have.

And so I’m doing it now just on a different level, because I’ve really understood what do people need, what do people tick, and in terms of what’s helped me become successful, I just find what you love to do and you’ll never work a day in your life.

Christopher T. Anderson: Yeah.

Tom Lambotte: It’s always been one of my kind of core beliefs, and I love what I do.

Christopher T. Anderson: That’s super. And I have to follow up on that because one of the things you said was to get people to do the things they like to do. I mean, I’ll tell you, you go to tech show or any other trade show or gathering of lawyers, and you have a talk about maximizing your technology, like this one, and then there’s a talk about marketing to get more leads and a talk about sales to close more leads, and I promise you, the lawyers are going to pack into the room on marketing, that’s what they want to hear about.

What’s your pitch to lawyers? And I’ll tell you, they are the same things true about this show. When we do a show we do shows on seven main topics, we do shows on marketing, we do it on sales, we do it on hiring and firing people, we do it on physical plant like this one, we do it on production or actually automated and getting production to move through the factory, we do on financials and we do it on mindset, and actual personal growth, but I promise you, the best, the most popular, the most shared, the highest-rated shows are always the ones on marketing.

(00:24:59)

So what’s your pitch to folks that they need to be paying attention spending some more time in their technology when they seem to have this perception that sales and marketing have a higher ROI, and then of course, they have all the other priorities in their business?

Tom Lambotte: Yeah, so the key here again is mindset, just like you talked about, how are people thinking about the technology. For many technology is an expense that they try to minimize as much as they can. So they work with old computers that are four, five, six years old just because they keep on running. They do all these things that don’t make sense when you think about the value of someone’s time and there’s so many in it. People write multi-thousand dollar checks for marketing and website, and they’re happily writing these checks to outside vendors, but internally their systems are shit, their technology is shit. So it’s like, okay, we’re going to spend $30,000 on Google Ads this year.

Christopher T. Anderson: Right.

Tom Lambotte: But my whole team’s working on five-year-old computers, I’ve never taken the time to teach them how to use them, so they’re kind of hunt and pecking essentially on their keyboard. So you’re spending all this money on your marketing, on your sales to make the phone ring to get leads, but the people aren’t — let’s say you get the Clio full package with growing and you never take the time to configure it or set it up.

So they’re pumping a lot of money on the front end to get leads to come in, but then when they actually come in, the systems that your team is using are not working efficiently.

Christopher T. Anderson: Right.

Tom Lambotte: And so that’s why technology needs to be made a priority as well, because there’s a huge ROI on there.

Christopher T. Anderson: Right, because yeah, you spent all the money to get the business in and then you handle it with a low level of efficiency or productivity and you’re basically wasting overhead to get the business done, that makes total sense.

All right, we’re going to hear another word from our sponsors. We’ll be back in a minute with Tom Lambotte. He is the CEO of GlobalMac IT, and we’re talking about how to maximize or optimize the technology that a law firm or any other small business has to get more out of it and to drive more profit to the bottom line.

When we come back we’re going to ask Tom a little bit more about why people give up on this? Then get a few take-home tips for you, so you take away what you learned on this podcast and make it work for you right-away.

But first, we will hear from our sponsors.

[Music]

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[Music]

Christopher T. Anderson: Welcome back, this is Christopher Anderson to The Un-Billable Hour. We are talking with Tom Lambotte. He is the CEO of GlobalMac IT and we are talking about maximizing, optimizing the leverage that law firm owners, law firm businesses, other small businesses get from the technology you already have, and a method that he has developed to help do that.

So what I wanted to shift gears here, Tom, we’ve talked about kind of the problem and we’ve talked about the solution, is that we know that some people just kind of gave up on this. So I want to help inoculate the listeners like we’re going to do this, we’re going to get more out of our technology, what are the reasons they need to watch out for so they don’t give up what a lot of other people do?

Tom Lambotte: Two big reasons I think are impact and overwhelm. So first off most people again, don’t realize the potential impact. They don’t see what the ROI is going to be on learning how to use their technology better, learning to get more leverage out of it. And they know that they should, but without seeing a line-item it’s a lot harder to measure. And then in terms of overwhelm, again, people don’t know where to start, they’re so busy, there’s so many different hats, they’re already wearing so many responsibilities. When it comes to technology most of them think, well, it’s not blowing up, so we’re fine. I can’t put time there.

Christopher T. Anderson: Yeah.

Tom Lambotte: Right, again, but if they understand the ROI that they can actually gain from investing time in their technology, then I find it’s a lot easier for them to do that.

Christopher T. Anderson: When you work with someone, can you predict that for them, can you say, listen, I think we can get X percent more out of this, or can you like give them a — like you said you start with a vision, as part of that like seeing how much better they could do?

(00:30:04)

Tom Lambotte: Yes. I don’t have a process to really quantify it just yet, but just looking at simple numbers I think everyone can easily save say 10-15 minutes a day, and again what’s the impact of that over time? One hour per week, okay, you got four hours a month, you just save 50 hours right off the bat.

Christopher T. Anderson: Yeah, I was going to ask you, I mean, is there a way that a solo — like somebody’s got a really small law firm as a solo a super small law firm owner can at least get started and start doing this just by themselves?

Tom Lambotte: Yeah, definitely and one thing we haven’t talked about at all either is automation.

Christopher T. Anderson: Yeah.

Tom Lambotte: Where the Optimize Method goes into. What are the easy automations that are literally just flip the switch that you can start benefiting from right off the bat, like integrating your accounting software with your case management software, things like that. There’s so much tedious work, and so we identified the easy things and then the more advanced things as well. I have workflows in SAP here that literally save me hours that happen in minutes now. And so I am able to deliver better customer service, faster response, they don’t know it’s all robots, because there’s a human element still tied into it, and so when you get into automation, that’s a whole other level you can tap into.

So the way for solo or to kind of do a good job doing this on their own, the key is all about the preparation. Most lawyers are too busy so they end up using a slapstick text strategy, they have a need, they find a tool, they get sold on something at the ABA TECHSHOW, they go, yeah, okay, I will get it. They run through a rushed setup and then they plan to go back to it one day to use more of what it can do. Except like we said before the day never comes and it just gets added to the pile which is so overwhelming because there’s so many things they want to do. So what they have to do is define the vital few from the trivial many.

One of my favorite books is ‘Essentialism’, I read it at least once a year and this is the whole kind of methodology and it says “An essentialist spends a lot more time on the front end, they consider more things but then once they define what they need to do they really focus.” And so that’s what needs to be done here.

So with the Optimize Method there’s a set of tools and we work through that help to find that clear vision to develop the emotional commitment to the task and helps them see the big impact, and then they prioritize the top applications, top features, and top automations that they have access to and need to start working on.

So again for someone to do really well, like a solo who’s busy and wearing all these different hats and they say, okay, this is here, I really am, I am going to make a change, I am going to get more out of my technology, what they need to do first is spend a time upfront to get really clear on what’s going to be the most highest impacting area. Otherwise until they do that, they just keep spinning their wheels and using tech in a haphazard reactive manner.

Christopher T. Anderson: Yeah, that makes perfect sense. Listen, you have worked with people put them through the Optimize Method, so people can understand like how that helps, can you share a case study like is there anybody that stands out to you that went through and got real benefit?

Tom Lambotte: One person, let me see, Steve Burger he practices Elder Law. He has got about I think five or six people in his team and he went through the first course and he actually ended up going through the second time, I did the entire course as well because he saw the impact that it was making for him. And after he went through this a single item that he focused on that made it to the very top of the list of the features to implement, he spent three hours kind of completing the setup. He had wanted to do this for years. And his ROI on those three hours is that he freed up 220 hours per year, right off of bat.

Christopher T. Anderson: Wow. It’s pretty impressive. That’s a 70 to 1 return.

Tom Lambotte: Yeah. You look at those 700,000 features or whatever and say, okay, if you can define the 3 that will make the biggest impact. Once you go through the work and you are like, wow, that’s all, I don’t have to learn these 8,000 features. I don’t have to get the 87% of the software I am not using. I just have to do this 1% and if I do this 1% it’s going to make a huge impact, that was one win, that was pretty exciting.

Christopher T. Anderson: Yeah, that’s a great story. So we are coming up at the end of the show and one of the things I would like to do as often as possible is give our listeners something to go home or go back to their office or turn off the podcast and probably sitting at their desk right now and do. So what’s a strategy or an action item that you can leave with our listeners that they can go and do today?

Tom Lambotte: So one simple strategy, this is kind of early on, it’s not the whole tool but it’s an easy part they can start with. Start a timer and spend five minutes writing every single app that you use. So go in your Applications folder, go in your Password Manager, go in all your bookmarked websites. So an app is, it could be an application on your computer or it could be a web-based app, everything is Software as-a-Service anyway.

(00:35:01)

So make this entire list. You are going to be shocked, you are going to go, wow, I got way more than I thought I had. And so what you want to do now is, from the kind of mindset, okay, if I could only learn how to use one of these apps in a better way which would it be? So say 2020, you cannot work on any — you cannot learn any skills on any of these applications except for one, what would that one be? Grab a highlighter and highlight that. Do that two more times. Now, you have got potentially your three apps that will make the biggest impact, and so once you do that then you repeat the same process for features, and we have got a whole process that kind of dives a little bit deeper, but same things, okay, it’s my case management software. Okay, out of these what are the features you have wanted to implement, reach out to the vendor and say, hey, what are the top three features you wish every one of your clients used, because if they did you know that they wouldn’t cancel.

So many — I can’t tell you the amount — the number of conversations I have had over the years when a lawyer starts, he goes, oh, I hate blank app because it doesn’t do this and this and this.

Christopher T. Anderson: And it does, right?

Tom Lambotte: Yeah, and it does, it’s like, oh, actually it’s right there and they go, oh, okay.

Christopher T. Anderson: Yeah. I have been there and done that, I am guilty as charged.

Tom Lambotte: Yeah, majority of frustration is just from a lack of spending time learning how to do a thing. So one quick strategy, so pick one of the three apps and then out of those pick one feature for each app you are going to work on the next 90 days. Okay, one feature per month, is that what you can do.

Christopher T. Anderson: Perfect, yeah.

Tom Lambotte: I don’t care how busy you are. You can block off one hour once a month to spend a little bit of time learning how to use it, setting it up or implementing it.

Christopher T. Anderson: I think that’s a great takeaway. Thank you Tom, and of course, that now brings us to the end of the show and that wraps up this edition of The Un-Billable Hour, the Law Business Advisory Podcast.

Our guest today has been Tom Lambotte, he is an author, most recently published by the ABA and he is the CEO of GlobalMac IT.

We gave a lot on the show today and I think I would love to give people a way to reach back out to you, Tom. What are the best ways that if they want to learn more, what actions should they take to learn more about what you do?

Tom Lambotte: Yeah, if they want to reach out and ask me a question or something like that they are welcome to shoot me a direct email at [email protected] or I am going to create kind of a report directly linked to some of the strategies we talked about today, make that available and you can access that at optimizemethod.io/unbillable.

Christopher T. Anderson: Oh, how nice, name of the show, fantastic, that’s optimizemethod.io/unbillable.

Tom, thank you very much.

Tom Lambotte: Thank you. Thanks for having me.

Christopher T. Anderson: You bet, and of course this is Christopher Anderson, and I look forward to seeing you next month with another great guest as we learn more about topics that help us build the law firm business that works for you.

Remember, you can subscribe to all the editions of this podcast at legaltalknetwork.com or on iTunes. Thanks for joining us and we will see you again soon.

[Music]

 

Outro: The views expressed by the participants of this program are their own and do not represent the views of, nor are they endorsed by Legal Talk Network, its officers, directors, employees, agents, representatives, shareholders and subsidiaries. None of the content should be considered legal advice. As always, consult a lawyer.

 

[Music]

 

Thanks for listening to The Un-Billable Hour, the Law Practice Advisory Podcast. Join us again for the next edition, right here with Legal Talk Network.

 

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Episode Details
Published: June 17, 2020
Podcast: Un-Billable Hour
Category: Legal Technology
Podcast
Un-Billable Hour
Un-Billable Hour

Best practices regarding your marketing, time management, and all the things outside of your client responsibilities.

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