Kudos to Lawyers & Lattes – a community law office and café in North Toronto – for breaking down barriers and daring to serve clients in a different way.

Lawyers & Lattes is a fully functioning storefront café – but also offers a full range of flat-rate legal services, from incorporations, to wills, to real estate transactions. You can drop in or schedule an appointment. Their website is worth a peek.

What Lawyers & Lattes has done is flip the focus from “what’s best for us” to “what’s best for clients.” It sounds easy, but our way of doing things is sometimes so ingrained that it can be difficult to truly see things from a different perspective.

The power – and danger – of the status quo

For service providers, a chosen method of serving clients is often based on the status quo, using a process and a “client experience” that’s been in place for decades. For example, it took decades for Ontario’s government-run wine and liquor retailer (the LCBO) to open true “stores” that let you view and handle bottles yourself. As late as the 1970s, many stores still required you to fill out paper slips and take them to a counter where a worker would fetch the bottle for you. It seems ludicrous today, but few questioned it in the 1960s.

And innovating today doesn’t guarantee success forever. While department stores like Eaton’s and Sears were true innovators in customer service at the turn of the 20th century, they were dinosaurs by the turn of the 21st century and eaten up by “innovate or die” companies like Amazon.

Get outside of your zone

You may have a seen this diagram before – I think it sums up a worthy goal for all of us.

It’s not easy – leaving your “comfort zone” is, by definition, “uncomfortable.” But the results can be worth it. Lawyers & Lattes is a small example of what can result. So, next time you’re at a crossroads, ask yourself how you can do things differently, and how you can do them better. You might be surprised at that magic it creates.

Thanks for reading … Have a great day,

Suzana Popovic-Montag