The following is an excerpt from a Gene Commander column examining how future-focused law firm leaders can embrace the mantra of “strategic slowness” as an effective planning lens to help firms achieve enduring financial success and build healthy workplaces. The article was published in Law Week Colorado and can be read in full here.

In a speed-driven business culture epitomized by the name of a leading publication — Fast Company — a Stanford management professor is promoting a new watchword in that very outlet: slowness. Robert I. Sutton has drawn wide attention for his seemingly unlikely advice that leaders who want to propel forward their organizations should adopt a mantra of “strategic slowness.” Forward-thinking law firm leaders searching for impactful, eye-catching ways to boost their struggling business models should not overlook this novel yet commonsense planning lens.

The concept of strategic slowness — a counterpoint to Mark Zuckerberg’s legendary “move fast and break things” philosophy — has been gaining remarkable currency since early January, when Katie Couric asked seven top thinkers to identify the “next big thing” for 2024. Sutton offered that “[s]trategic slowness will be the key to success for innovative leaders and companies in the coming year.” Citing debacles such as the overhasty firing of OpenAI’s Sam Altman and Sam Bankman-Fried’s transgressions at FTX, Sutton encouraged leaders “to become more adept at hitting the brakes.” He added, “Knowing when and how to slow down and fix things is the path to enduring financial success, to building healthy workplaces, and staying out of jail, too.”