The Ritz-Carlton of Law Firms?

What would happen if a major law firm appointed a managing partner with no legal experience?  Couldn’t happen, you say?  At the Henry Ford Health System in Michigan, CEO Nancy Schlichting named an executive from The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company (and expert in service excellence) as the president of one of the health system’s hospitals.

Why hire someone outside of healthcare to run a major hospital?  How about to jettison any preconceived notions while creating a “Hospital of the Future” that differentiates itself from the competition by:

  • Has prototype rooms for planning and community input.
  • Incorporates green features in the architecture and construction.
  • Consists of all private patient rooms, including in the emergency department.
  • Emphasizes wellness and healthy living.
  • Combines traditional clinical care with complementary therapies.
  • Creates a unique brand and inspiring staff to think differently.
  • Includes family space in each patient room, including intensive care.
  • Implements a new kind of food culture in health care.
  • Putts a focus on the special concerns of the elderly.
And the results?  Judge for yourself on the hospital’s website — a patient-focused portal that every major law firm should replicate.
I’d love to see a law firm take such an innovative approach.  Perhaps if there aren’t any former Ritz executives in the marketplace, the firm could at least send its management committee to one of the Ritz’s Executive Education Sessions.
One Response to The Ritz-Carlton of Law Firms?
  1. Robert Algeri
    July 21, 2011 | 10:20 pm

    I really enjoyed reading this post. Fascinating that the new CEO chose to focus her efforts on the institution’s website. I’m sure she knows from her experience at the RitzCarlton that first impressions are made here. The majority of people (read in-house counsel / potential clients) will never see the firm’s lobby or conference room. But I guarantee you that they will view the website.

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