Recalibrating to Achieve Radical Career and Business Growth: Michael Mogill

May 20, 2020

Crisp Video CEO Michael Mogill joins LitiCast to discuss how lawyers can achieve radical growth in their careers and in their business during times of uncertainty. He shares his take on the importance of brand, culture, and hiring, and explains how professionals can maximize the current market opportunities to their advantage.

Watch the entire conversation below, or read the highlights below.

Radical Growth Starts With Clear Vision

Mogill explains that radical growth is a level of growth that would change a person’s life, or perhaps many people’s lives. “There are goals and then there are transformational goals, and the ones that are transformational, achieving them will change your life.”

As an example, he says that growing a law firm’s practice by 5-10% would be nice, but it wouldn’t substantially change an attorney’s life. Tripling the practice, on the other hand, would qualify as radical and transformational growth.

As for how a law firm can reach this ambitious level of success, Mogill says, “I think it starts with having a clear vision for where you want to take the firm — clarity about who you are and what differentiates the practice, not just in terms of the practice areas, but why should someone choose your firm instead of another firm?”

“If you don’t run the practice like a business, you will get crushed.”

He also suggests identifying your strengths and weaknesses, then surrounding yourself with people who excel in the areas you struggle with. For example, if you’re a great trial attorney who doesn’t have a gift for business management, you should bring in someone to handle operations and run that side of things.

“It’s not enough to be a good lawyer,” he says. “If you don’t run the practice like a business, you will get crushed.”

“How Do We Come Out of This a Better Practice Than We Went In?”

Mogill says that the COVID-19 pandemic has been a catalyst for law firms in terms of their tech-friendliness, which is a win for them and their clients. “When you can be more efficient, you can free up time to work more creatively, to work more strategically. Perhaps your team should not be spending time on things that can be outsourced or automated. Now they can focus more on critical thinking and solving bigger challenges, or supporting your clients at a higher level.”

He also says the pandemic has been a clarifier in terms of firms’ leadership, culture, case management, and cash flow. “Businesses and business leaders have been exposed,” he says, for better or worse. “If you’re a great leader and you’ve got a great culture, this is a wonderful time for you because you’re strategic and creative and adaptable, which is an amazing benefit to have when everyone’s retracting.”

“How do we come out of this [crisis] a better practice than we went in? So when the smoke clears, we’re off to the races.”

On the other hand, many firms are realizing that they don’t have strong leadership or culture, and that short-term wins may have been covering up larger operational issues with the business. For them, this crisis is an opportunity to plug those holes.

For example, he says some firms may have been overly reliant on short-term business drivers. Others may have lacked a strong brand but didn’t realize it because their SEO was so effective. Now search is down and their business has dried up, and they realize they have a problem.

Mogill says that all law firms should be thinking long-term and asking themselves, “How do we come out of this [crisis] a better practice than we went in? So when the smoke clears, we’re off to the races.”

Using Process-Driven Hiring to Foster Company Culture

Mogill stresses the importance of not only outlining company values, but enforcing them. He says that if you claim to start work at 9am every day, but one employee consistently shows up at 9:10 or 9:15, that work ethic is a hollow value because you’re not enforcing it.

At his company, Crisp Video, they eventually learned that trusting their gut during the hiring process only panned out about half the time. So they made it more difficult, with detailed instructions (“Do not apply through this website… To apply, call this number”), role-specific tests, and assessments geared around Crisp’s core values (Results-Driven, Better Than Yesterday, Take Ownership).

“It’s a pain in the ass,” Mogill says. “We’re asking them to do a lot, and that’s intentional. We want the person that’s going to take all those extra steps, that’s more engaged, more committed.”

The new process has been much more effective, and it’s been key to Crisp’s radical growth as the company has expanded from branding videos for law firms to legal marketing, an annual conference, a book, and The Game Changing Attorney Podcast.

At the end of the day, Mogill says, “We’re trying to elevate the legal profession, to elevate the perception of lawyers and law firms in the general public. There are a lot of great trial lawyers and law firms who may not know how to scale their practice, grow the practice, and so on. But they do great work, and it only makes sense that they should be able to reach more people.”

To help your law firm reach more people and achieve radical growth, request a Litify demo.