By now, you’ve heard about the new ACC Value Champions and their incredible work in the value space. If not, you’ll find great stuff about the new ACC Value Champions named here (press release) and here (value champions stories). I don’t want to waste your time repeating all of those great stories. (I would encourage you to visit the second link and spend some time reading about each of the winners). Instead, I thought I’d list the top ten things we learned from launching this new initiative.
10. The value conversation is happening everywhere. From the moment we launched the initiative, we began to hear from folks all over the legal industry — inside law departments, law firms and third-party vendors — about the fabulous stuff they were doing to deliver results for their clients. Because we received so many inspiring nominations, we were unable to honor everybody. However, based on what we learned, there are still a lot of value champions just waiting to be named.
9. Value comes in all shapes and sizes. As you will see from the list of finalists, value is not the province of the large or small, the outside or inside. It’s something that every stakeholder in the legal ecosystem can deliver.
8. Fixed fees can drive the value equation. In addition to great partnering to prevent and win cases, some of our winners used value-based fees to reduce legal spending and obtain the kind of predictability their clients demand.
7. But value is more than just fixed fees. Using your imagination can increase value. In addition to value-based fees, many focused on a whole array of other value practices, such as those based on Lean and Six Sigma, and the latest and greatest in project management.
6. A law department can do it on its own. Choosing not to name outside law firms as co-winners, ACC identified five law department winners as finalists.
5. Collaboration never hurts. ACC selected seven law department/law firm collaborations as ACC Value Champions. There were some firms that could have been named on their own, because they delivered value for multiple clients. We also learned that many law departments have collaborated with third-party vendors, skipping over law firms altogether. It’s astonishing to see the legal sector change so much.
4. It’s not just happening in the United States. We kept hearing that the ACC Value Challenge has had supporters outside the United States. Now, the Value Champions program has proved without a doubt — via the nominations and actual finalists — that the United States is not the only country on the cutting edge.
3. It’s all about the savings. Up and down the list of finalists, you will find extraordinary savings delivered by the use of common sense value practices. These are the kind of savings that could make you a star at your company.
2. CEOs and CFOs care. As you read the stories about the Value Champions, you’ll see quotes from the top folks in the companies that were named. This is no coincidence. CEOs and CFOs want you to win your legal disputes, but they also want you to use the same business principles that make the rest of the company tick.
1. It’s time for you to get started for next year. We got a great reception to our first effort and we’re looking forward to announcing the next list of winners around this time next year. There were a lot of terrific projects left on the cutting-room floor, because the law departments (and law firms) may not have had enough time to provide hard data on their successes. We’re expecting to hear about their good news the next time around. Don’t be left out. Tell us your story, too.