Stephen Mabey

Stephen Mabey

Stephen Mabey, is managing director of Applied Strategies, Inc., which has a long-term contract to provide the chief operating officer function to Atlantic Canada law firm Stewart McKelvey. As well, Applied Strategies works with only small to mid-sized law firms outside of Atlantic Canada providing strategic tactics planning, crisis management, organizational development, financial analysis, and private coaching to lawyers involved in law-firm management. He has written articles on law firm management that have been published in various legal industry periodicals.


Column: Definitely Mabey
b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_Columnists_Stephen-Mabey-2013.jpgAt last count there were over 25 issues/reasons identified by the legal press (blogs, newspapers, magazines, etc.) that led to the unfortunate demise of Heenan Blaikie. To be clear, the misfortune I speak of is not the disappearance of the law firm itself, but of those who were affected as a result through no fault of their own but rather because of the seeming ineptness of others.
b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_Columnists_Stephen-Mabey-2013.jpgThis month’s column addresses the third “P” that today’s law firms need to tackle to ensure they are tomorrow’s law firms too. The January column addressed the need to have processes that ensure the efficient and effective delivery of legal services without which you could be out of step with clients’ needs. February’s dealt with the importance of having and sticking to a pricing strategy again without which you could be disengaging clients (unfortunately unknowingly).
b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_Columnists_Stephen-Mabey-2013.jpgLast November I was fortunate enough to share a panel at a Legal Marketing Association luncheon with a couple of colleagues who are truly knowledgeable in their field. During the free-flowing discussion I made a couple of comments I didn’t have time to expand upon then but will over the next couple of columns.
Monday, 20 January 2014 08:00

Let’s learn about legal process mapping

b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_Columnists_Stephen-Mabey-2013.jpgAt the risk of getting stomped, bitten, or kicked, I think it is important to start 2014 off by putting the horse before the cart. I apologize upfront for bursting the bubble of all those souls who have spent the last couple years espousing that the greatest issue facing law firms is their structure.

Monday, 16 December 2013 08:00

Out with the old in with the new (maybe)

b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_Columnists_Stephen-Mabey-2013.jpgDuring 2013 we talked about a number of challenges including:
Monday, 11 November 2013 08:00

2013 Key Performance Indicators

b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_Columnists_stephen-mabey.jpgThis column will deal with some of the results of the 2013 Canadian KPI Survey conducted by Law Firm KPI Inc., a for-profit company co-founded by Karen MacKay of Phoenix Legal Inc. and myself in 2010 to specifically undertake surveys of key performance indicators for law firms with up to 100 lawyers. The purpose of the survey is to provide Canadian law firms with industry information in order to benchmark their own performance against the performance of other firms of reasonably comparable size.  
b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_Columnists_stephen-mabey.jpgThe 2013 CBA Law Firm Leadership Conference is being held Nov. 4 and 5 in Halifax and is focused on the new economics facing law firms, with particular attention to mid-size Canadian firms. In addition to wanting a large turn out because I am on a panel on the last day of the conference, I think pricing decisions and the resulting economics will play a critical role in 2014 and beyond in law firm management.
Monday, 16 September 2013 09:00

Learned helplessness

b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_Columnists_stephen-mabey.jpgI ran across the term “learned helplessness” recently in an article by Dr. Larry Richard. Being a pragmatic kind of person I admit my first reaction was less than supportive, thinking this was simply another variety of sociology pabulum we were being fed to excuse ostrich-like behaviour by lawyers.
Monday, 19 August 2013 09:00

Cliff diving v. cliff jumping

b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_Columnists_stephen-mabey.jpgBefore exploring the difference between cliff diving and cliff jumping, I was reminded this week of a quote from the 1994 book Flight of the Buffalo: Soaring to Excellence, Learning to let Employees Lead that has not lost any meaning in today’s legal profession and has in fact become even more true. The quote runs along the lines of “change is hard because people overestimate the value of what they have — and underestimate the value of what they may gain by giving that up.”
b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-CANADIANLawyer_Columnists_stephen-mabey.jpgThis month’s column touches on a few topics, some new and some not so new.
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