Daring to be Different

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to speak at an annual event attended by professionals from the fields of medicine, healthcare and ICT. The organisers asked me to speak on the topic of daring to be different.

I must admit that my first thought was whether I could dare to speak about anything other than the law. My next thought was whether I would be able to find things that I could say we have done differently.

People often consider lawyers to be fairly conservative, and I have to admit that sometimes it takes some effort to think outside your own little box. Moreover, it takes courage to break out of your comfort zone, which is why I had to do some introspection before I could tell the organisers that I’d love to speak at their event.

Being Different Takes Courage

In my opinion, having courage means being able to voice your own opinions and ideas without fear of embarrassing yourself (confidence) and getting a positive response in return (respect).

Choosing the less-trodden path usually requires passion (the spark) along with the time and energy to invest in plotting a new course (productive balance).

These four things—confidence, respect, the spark and productive balance—are the values that our staff agreed on together in 2008. Our values give us the courage to do things differently.

Searching for a Deeper Meaning

Employer branding company Universum’s recent survey results offered several interesting insights, but the most important was this: young people want their jobs to have a deeper meaning. Companies cannot focus solely on generating profits, but must take responsibility for how their actions affect their interest groups and environment.

We consider corporate responsibility from two points of view. On the one hand, corporate responsibility matters play a role in our everyday operations. On the other, we also help our clients to be more successful by taking corporate responsibility matters into account in our assignments.


What’s Next?

The desire to promote corporate responsibility has led us to take, among other things, the following steps here at Castrén & Snellman:

There is a lot of work still to be done, though, and travelling further down our chosen path will take courage and require us to break free from old patterns of thought.


Dare to Believe in Yourself

Sometimes courage doesn’t mean that things have to be done differently. It takes courage to keep your head when others are forging their own paths.

It has taken courage to keep making long-term investments in developing our expertise in niche fields of law so that we can provide our clients with a wide array of services to support their business operations. It would be easier to just focus on the more lucrative fields of law.

I am absolutely delighted that the way we do things has gained international recognition. A little while ago, Chambers Europe ranked eleven of our services in their highest tier, which is more than any other Finnish law firm. In addition, we won two of the most important awards in our field this spring:

The credit for these awards belongs to our clients, who shared their experiences of working with us with the researchers, and to my colleagues for their excellent client service.  The awards brighten our mood every day in our lobby.

So what’s next on my list of things that will pluck me from my safe little box and place me firmly outside my comfort zone? Here it comes: please continue reading my future blog posts and follow me on Twitter! I might be new to contributing to social media, but it’s never too late to learn!