Certainly over recent years there has been a strong focus in all types of organizations, law firms included, in developing and then harnessing the power of a shared purpose.
The number of non-equity partners in law firms has expanded dramatically. In the US it has more than tripled in the largest firms over the past decade and increases of a similar nature are apparent in other jurisdictions.
There is a fascinating irony about partnerships. While the notion of partnership is founded on the concept of shared interests, many firms undermine these interests with a laser-like focus on short-term results in the form of maximizing profits per partner.
Partnership, or an equivalent, is the predominant form of organization for law firms large and small. It is a structure that made sense when even the largest firms were under 200 lawyers and were primarily single office operations.
A team comprising only star players is not however sufficient to ensure success – the strengths and skills of the individuals need to be channelled and harnessed.