The Touchstone Partners team defined and shared views on a vital aspect of what makes Touchstone truly Touchstone. We named our three pillars – our culture, our values, and ourselves as the bedrock for who we are and what we do. Critical conversations such as this emphasize our beliefs, commitment and accountability for our roles in building an accomplished team, profound purpose at Touchstone, and the far-reaching impact we come to bear.
Our Culture, Our Team, and Ourselves
February 2, 2022
Our Touchstone team met to define and share views on a vital aspect of what makes Touchstone truly Touchstone, namely, our three pillars. At the broadest level, we discussed firm culture and its importance, narrowing it to what sustains culture, which is our team, followed by the ‘self’ which is the bedrock for both our team and our culture. Our exchange centered around this continuum how each of these three pillars relate.
We identify as a firm of highly ambitious, deeply collaborative, and intensely disciplined lawyers. Who we are is clearly emphasized by our core values and intent. We acknowledged that the compelling purpose to shape our organizational culture through the cohesion of our resources, processes, and priorities is for a shared vision to:
- Transact significant matters of immense size and value.
- Serve our blue-chip clientele with a cross border emphasis.
- Create enduring client relationships.
- Develop accomplished lawyers who build our invaluable team.
- Sustain our larger community by engaging in Pro Bono work.
Having a shared identity necessitates a working framework for success. We recognize that robust teams have the capacity to motivate, both individually and collectively, and to guide and integrate efforts towards a common goal. In a pre-session survey, our Managing Partner, Karam Daulet-Singh defined teamwork with exactness as where “Everyone knows their role and function in working towards an agreed upon goal.” This definition was reiterated in a similar comment by our Partner, Gaurav Desai, saying that teamwork involves, “setting precise unambiguous goals and working in the same direction towards the common goal.”
Founded on research, we identified attributes of wholesome teams in that, “one particular culture style differentiated the diverse and inclusive organizations from those that were not: a learning-oriented culture that emphasizes flexibility, open-mindedness and exploration, and can equip organizations with the ability to adapt and innovate.
This understanding reinforces the interrelatedness of each of our pillars, pointing to a conversation on the “self,” while taking a view on self- management as a constructive tool for one’s performance and productivity. In examining personality traits at the workplace that inspire versus infuriate, positive ones such as being collaborative and calm scored, while self-centeredness, disrespectfulness, and a lazy-shirking attitude were named as unfavorable. In considering self-management as an art, we drew from the seminal article, Managing Oneself, by Peter F. Drucker, leader in the field of management education, to illustrate working habits that gratify and help succeed. In his article, Drucker suggests probing questions through self-inquiry, such as:
- What are my strengths?
- How do I perform?
- What are my values?
- Where do I belong?
- What should my contribution be?
In support of Drucker’s theory, we believe, “successful careers develop when people are prepared for opportunities because they have asked themselves those questions and have rigorously assessed their unique characteristics”. In transferring theory to practice, we incorporated the idea of self- management as a science, as these competencies can be modeled and measured through practice and feedback for valuable analysis. Towards maximizing one’s potential, we shared an inspiring quote from Alan Mullaly, former CEO at Ford, confirming, “self-awareness is the single greatest opportunity for continual growth, improvement and performance.” On preserving one’s authenticity, we agreed on Drucker’s emphasis in maintaining one’s individuality as a hallmark while playing to one’s strengths and that of one’s team.
Critical conversations such as this emphasize our beliefs, commitment and accountability for our roles in building an accomplished team, profound purpose at Touchstone, and the far-reaching impact we come to bear.
 Groysberg, J. “Research: What Inclusive Companies Have in Common.” Harvard business review (2021): 1-8
 Drucker, Peter F. “Managing oneself.” Harvard business review 83.1 (2005): 100-109.