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When it comes to practice management, a strategic approach to getting your staff right is as important as getting your systems right.

Sometimes it’s the little things that help you see the big picture. In Tony Macvean’s case, you might call it a “wake up and smell the coffee” moment. The managing partner at Hall & Wilcox recently logged onto the firm’s internal Yammer network and found there was a call for the high-end coffee machine to be replaced because of its environmental effects. His surprise, however, didn’t come from the realisation that his caffeine fix came with a side of eco-unfriendliness; it was that the demand was coming from a young staff member.

“As a young lawyer, I would have held my tongue,” he says. “But I really admire the boldness and the belief behind the conversation.”

Macvean admits he hasn’t always paid a lot of attention to the idea of generational change.

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