June 07, 2022
E60: How To Lead Through Change with Kelly Harbour

On this installment of the RRH, we’ve got the fabulous Kelly Harbour. Kel is the Chief Business Development Officer at Goulston & Storrs. She’s a change agent extraordinaire and friend. And today, Kel and I dig into how to spearhead change, quickly.


On this installment of the RRH, we’ve got the fabulous Kelly Harbour. Kel is the Chief Business Development Officer at Goulston & Storrs. She’s a change agent extraordinaire and friend. And today, Kel and I dig into how to spearhead change, quickly. 

Topics Discussed: 

Who is Kelly Harbour? (1:11)

How to approach product launches or new client services? (5:10)

Stepping into the big C-level seat when your predecessor has really big shoes? (11:34)

Transcript

Kelly:

Uh,

Amy:

what's up human. Welcome to the revenue real hotline. I'm Amy Rahab check.

Kelly:

More

Amy:

importantly. I'm excited. You decided to join us. I know you've got a ton of options and I appreciate you. This is a show about all the hard and uncomfortable conversations that arise while generating revenue and how to think, or rethink what you're doing, why you're doing it. And then of course, how to execute differently. And like I said, I'm happy you decided to come along for this. Don't forget to follow the show wherever you listen. So you can be notified each time a new episode drops. And do me a favor friend. Don't tell anybody about the shell. Let's keep it our little secret. I'm Amy Rahab, Jack. This is the revenue real hotline.

Kelly:

Enjoy

Amy:

Kelly Harbor legal industry change agent extraordinaire. Welcome to the revenue real hotline friend. Thanks. It's been a long time Kel.

Kelly:

Oh my gosh. A long time. Yes. Yes. So

Amy:

why don't you share with our listeners a little bit about who you are and what you do every day and then we'll

Kelly:

dive in. Um, so I'm the chief business development officer at Goulston and Storrs, which is, um, the 240 lawyer firm based in, in Boston, New York and DC. And I oversee. Marketing business development, client servicing growth and practice group management in, in that capacity. Um, and then, because I'm just illegal industry geek. I have a couple of side gigs, but I'm really passionate about one. There's a relatively new standards body in the legal industry called the Sally Alliance. And we're working on a taxonomy to describe legal work, all the parties and the roles and, you know, kind of all of the different attributes of legal work that. You know, can be standardized between clients and law firms and tech companies so that we can really seamlessly communicate. We can get our arms around demand, better, all of that kind of stuff. So,

Amy:

Kelly, you're talking to you remembered view a bell. You're talking to the former chief of customer value of view of belts that you're doing the Lord's work there as far as. Oh, okay. So listeners, I'm going to translate here. So the legal industry is an interesting vertical. I loved it, frankly. I've I really miss Cal like some of the smartest people on the planet, like go into that profession. And I like that piece of it is very cool. But when you think about friends, what's going on with the legal vertical and. Like, if you come across something that you need help with, like most of us, our first thought is like, oh shit, how much is that going to cost? And the reason that that is happening is because of the billable hour business model. Right. Which is one of those, this is how we've always done it. But anyway, if you think about it from the frame of compensating, Right. And so when that business model is in play, then everyone is incentivized to take as long as humanly possible to accomplish every task, which presents a challenge Khalil when it comes to a customer delight

Kelly:

and, you know, it's, um, It's something that I have come to think of as just incredibly unhealthy, in addition to the fact that it's really at odds with what the client is likely looking for. Um, can I add one thing to that? And

Amy:

we've essentially priced that almost the entire thing of all the people that are just priced out from access to justice. Yup.

Kelly:

Yeah. Yeah. And so, law firms have, you know, great pro bono programs and then they have this great, you know, swath of, of really high end sophisticated work. And there are an awful lot of people in the middle, um, who are, who are priced out. And part of the problem is we haven't been able to articulate what the value of legal product is beyond the amount of time that it's going to take a human to get it done. Um, so trying to really flip that script and think about how to price something, because you can solve a very expensive problem very quickly. And, as a lawyer, you can make really short money on solving a million dollar problem in 15 minutes, if you know the right person to call. Right. So it's a. We need a new sort of paradigm for thinking about the value of the

Amy:

work. Do you remember that Dentons? I think it was Dentons and it could have been DLA. I always confuse the two, but it was a, it was a. Campaign around, like, isn't it time that we I'm trying to remember. So quote me if I'm a, if you remember this, but isn't it time that we figured out a better way of measuring success. And it was like a call to action for just coming up with, with new success metrics. And so Kel, like I it's been a couple of years since I played in, in this land. So what's changed. Like what, what are you most excited about? Like what has the past six years been like? Let's start with there. And then I want to come back to like, what does it look like to drive the organizational change? Like when you're physically rewire. The mindset and then of course the operations, but anyway, so what's one of the past six, eight years been like what what's, what's worked and what's hasn't

Kelly:

um, great questions. So. It's almost hard for me to think about what life was like more than two years ago at this point, that's, what's different in the last two years. So full of things that I think, that have been real positives that have come out of the last couple of years, um, in the legal industry. One is it's sort of widely bemoaned back law firms and lawyers are reluctant to change, slow to change risk averse in. When you think about it, we all moved from working in these offices and these high rises to working at home pretty seamlessly and quickly. And so, it demonstrates that the legal industry has the capacity to change and has the capacity to change quickly when needed. And so, I think it was just a good reminder that yes, in general, it can be a slow moving industry in. These are, we're talking about very smart people here who can't eat a love

Amy:

precedent if memory serves.

Kelly:

Exactly. So, that's one thing. And then thinking back to, you know, the, the early days, uh, of being at home and when businesses were shut down and things, we had incredibly frequent check-ins with clients and basically said, what do you need to know today? What, what can we do for you today? And realizing that the time horizon that our clients were planning for was incredibly shortened, it, it was dealing with all this sort of novel legislation and relief packages. And, not only were we moving from a model of thinking about, you know, the work that we traditionally had seen as a pipeline coming in. There was, there were these brand new sort of streams. Legal services that needed to be provided. We had to get people up to speed

Amy:

and that's up to translate listeners. That's a new product offering a new service is the new product that we've got to launch. Okay, cool. Right, exactly.

Kelly:

And so we had to sort of decode all of that. And we realized that the impact on individual client businesses in some cases dramatically different. And it was challenging for virtually everyone, but in different ways. And so we had to get very good at listening.

Amy:

It's just going to I'm so glad you said that because one of the first things I heard when you said that is that you didn't make any assumptions right. About your, your customer, your clients, right? And you went and asked them.. Yeah. And it's, so the website looks beautiful by the way. And, and to see the social proof of what the clients are saying, like, this is, it looks incredible Kelly, like, so when did you start asking them how deep into COVID was it? When did you start having those conversations and when did you have enough of them to the point where you realize, okay, this is a need, like whatever, this particular thing a bunch of people are saying. Now let's create something, some kind of offering around alleviating this, this problem, or maxing out this particular opportunity. Walk us through that.

Kelly:

Yeah. I would say we pivoted pretty quickly. Within the first one to two weeks of being home and seeing businesses shut down, where are my people?

Amy:

Okay.

Kelly:

You know, where we had to just be in touch on a regular basis. And one of the things that rose to the surface really quickly was just dealing with a host of employment issues. Having employees who were it's still required to be in person. Or when vaccine requirements started happening that, you know, has continued to evolve. And so we realized that there were individual approaches that needed to be taken on the employment front. And there were just general guidelines that we could give people about how to handle exposures and notifications and, you know, all sorts of things our employment lawyers hadn't contemplated before. Cause this was all evolving. So we have the client relations team at the firm and we were getting all of these client teams together to huddle and saying, what are we hearing from this client? What are we hearing from this client? And then we could synthesize, okay, there's a lot of employment stuff happening. Maybe we need to do a client webinar on here's some general guidelines. And then we can get into that's the sort of nitty gritty of, of specifically

Amy:

what each solving yeah. Solving different aspects of, of that. Interesting. Okay. So again, I heard that collaboration. We're bringing people together from different practice areas. Okay. So listeners, what's a little bit different about legal is that we call them like embedded. Professionals. And so, I mean, I guess it could be, it depends on how large your sales organization is, but if you represent a certain set of products and then you've got some AEs in a different part of the business that is also representing a certain set of products. And so that's what Kelly's talking about is bringing everybody together that are again client-facing and having those conversations, which is awesome. That's awesome. So Kelly, when I ask about what it was like to step into that top seat, Right. So you took that, that big job, right? What was it? December, 2021. So it was just, yes. And I, so first of all, I was celebrating so hard and, but, and awesome, but I don't think I've ever told you this about but when I was still in New York, when even this is pre viewable, this is Thomson Reuters. I. Had I loved Beth. I always love to Beth. And there were very few law firms, right. That I was, would have been open to. And Beth was one of them. And there was even a cycle where I was interviewing and met with a bunch of the partners in New York. But I just, I loved her. I loved Golston. And I envied you that you were working with her right when you first moved there, which in a good way. The scariness of taking over the big seat. Like what, like, okay. Walk me through that. What was that like

Kelly:

in December? You know, it's funny because I, um, I hadn't really, it hadn't occurred to me that Beth, you know, at some point was, I mean, it occurred to me that you would move on. It did not occur to me that it's going to be last year. Okay. And so it was incredibly overwhelming. At the same time, I had, I've been at the firm for seven and a half years. So, I had been sort of in, in that Lieutenant role for awhile. And at the same time, you know, any sort of. Assessment, you could give to Beth and I, we're going to be on polar opposite sides. If you give us disk, if you give us NBTI, we're just, we're just very different. And we were a really good complimentary sort of yin and yang. Um, you know, I am, I am data-driven. I am methodical. I am. How are people feeling about this? And, you know, Beth, it is visionary and take a risk. And let's do this. Um, operates from intuition. So, I had a moment of not only am I stepping into this role, um, you know, that this brilliant woman has had, but I'm also very different. Um, and so it was overwhelming. And at the same time, the team is awesome and that's a huge piece of it, right? If you have a really good team in place, then you kind of feel like you can do anything. And it's a great firm. And I remember clearly the first time something went wrong and my first thought was I have to call back. And when I realized, oh, no, actually stops here. Um, so it's. It's been a little bit of an adjustment for sure. Um, you know, and because of my history there, um, and, and it's just the kind of place that it is. It's been exciting to think about what the next chapter is and how I can infuse more data-driven decision-making and, um, just using data and information to surface opportunities to monitor. You know, client satisfaction and all of those things, that's, you know, something that I'm really excited to, to put into my.

Amy:

Ah, man. I'm I missed the date. Like I missed the legal data. I missed the, I don't know, this may have been before you and me, but this was like, I'm remembering back in 2010 days with like cleaning up all the court data at Thomson Reuters because they kind of left it to Lexis to just kinda own that piece of it. And then Bloomberg law came in and said, We kind of stepped into this, like, so listeners, what, when we say standards, when we say taxonomy, just take case types, right? Let's say you want to look at all the different types of cases around, I don't know, fucking fill in the blanks. It doesn't matter. IP litigation. Well, that's federal, so it doesn't really count. But when you are thinking about the way that the courts are structured, you got your federal courts and then you put your state courts and then all the municipal courts, and there's a ton of variation. However, each of those organizations have different ways to catalog the case types. And then when we introduce software into the mix, right, all those different software e-filing software, they, they solve different parts of the problem. There were hundreds of them all across the country. And so it was at such a massive undertaking that it just hadn't been done for many years. But anyway, it's a little bit easier to get your fingers on the pulse of one, just one firm. But at the same time, you've got all those, all those personalities, but something tells me. That wraps in other installment of the revenue real hotline. I'd like to thank my guest for being so damn real and for sharing their insights and for, of course, being so much fun. And I'd like to thank you to listen. It means the world. And I appreciate you. If you have any thoughts or comments or experiences, you feel inclined to share head straight over to revenue, rail.com, there's a new join. The conversation feature on the right side of the page. I am all damn ears. Final thought. We are introducing a coaching aspect to the show. So anyone who's brave enough to dig into an account strategy or outbound strategies that that's where we kick things. Please do follow the show wherever you listen to your podcasts. So you'll always have the latest episode. Download it. If you want to contact me, I'm at Amy ad revenue. real.com. If you want to follow me on social Twitter is Amy underscore Rahab check, and LinkedIn is linkedin.com. Backslash Amy rev. This episode was produced by the fabulous Nian Fiedler you rock, man. And I appreciate you too friend. And of course, whatever you do, don't tell anybody about the show. Let's keep it at our little. Until next time, all I'm Amy Rahab check. This is the revenue real hotline, happy selling.

Amy Hrehovcik Profile Photo

Amy Hrehovcik

Host of Revenue Real Hotline Podcast

Kelly Harbour Profile Photo

Kelly Harbour

Chief Business Development Officer @ Goulston & Storrs