Hat tip to Patrick Lamb for his post discussing Richard Susskind‘s The Stages of Change:

Stage 1:  “What you’re saying is worthless nonsense.”

Stage 2:  “What you’re saying is an interesting but perverted point of view.”

Stage 3:  “What you’re saying is true but quite unimportant.”

Stage 4:  “I have always said so.”

For those of us (current or former) in-house  legal marketers, we can all recount stories on the evolution of change (or buy-in) that takes place within our firms.

Stage 1:  An idea is presented at a partner/practice group meeting, eyes peeking up from smart phones, feigning interest in the PowerPoint slides/handouts, waiting to bolt out of the room once “Do you have any questions?” is uttered.

Stage 2:  One-on-one with a partner you begin to notice that shoulders do not bristle when said idea is mentioned in casual conversation around the water cooler, or across the desk when discussing business development opportunities.

Stage 3:  Acknowledgment that competitive law firm is doing said idea, but lack of confidence that it will work HERE.

Stage 4:  Attorney walks into office excitedly announcing: “I have this GREAT idea!!!”

For me, I’ve come to find it takes 18-months, give or take, to get from Stage 1 to Stage 4.

Legal marketers just need to have patience, and the fortitude to know, that what appears to be lack of support for an idea does not necessarily mean the out right dismissal of that same idea.