• Jolanda Rose

#lawtechadvent - 24 ways to live (legal) innovation

Updated: Aug 22, 2020

Whether or not you are of Christian belief, the end of the year is a special time for most of us. Thinking back about all the things we have accomplished, planning the year ahead and above all being thankful for all the joy and loved ones in our lifes. For this special occasion I have prepared 24 quotes and tips that hopefully inspire you to implement (legal) innovation at your workplace.

#1 DREAM BIG - let the sky be the limit. Motivate yourself and your team by collecting and discussing your service's and product's best version.

#2 START SMALL - don't try to change everything at once. Evaluate all processes in your company and start innovating the most time consuming process. The results will motivate you to go further.

#3 TAKE IT SERIOUSLY - innovation isn't something you can implement doing one workshop and appointing someone innovation officer. Innovation needs time, energy and over all a mindset change. Be prepared to provide enough financial resources to make the change.

#4 QUESTION MANAGEMENT STRUCTURES - innovation rarely occurs in hierarchical 'top-down' organized companies. Create an open work environment with more options for exchange, collaboration and criticism between employees with different levels of experience.

#5 QUALITY OVER QUANTITY - you don't need to buy every tool that is on the market. Take time to evaluate your needs and try different tools to see wich one works for you and your employees. If necessary, seekt the support of a legal tech consultant to make the right decision.

#6 DIVERSITY IS INEVITABLE - not just 'nice to have'. Innovation thrives on the exchange of different ideas from different perspectives. Therefore your team should consist of talents from different disciplines, genders, age, experience and cultures.

#7 MAKE MISTAKES - and learn from them. Your goal should not be to make your company innovative in the most perfect way possible. On the contrary, innovation and perfection are mutually exclusive. Embrace mistakes, evaluate root causes and use the learnings to improve your innovation journey.

#8 USE DESIGN THINKING - not just as a buzzword to geht attention in your next meeting. Rather use it to identify and solve problems or to innovate processes in your firm. Train your team to understand and integrate the (legal) design thinking method - consisting of emphasizing, defining, ideating, prototyping and testing - into their daily workflow.

#9 INNOVATION IS NOT AN END TO ITSELF - don't overthrow a proven process for the sake of innovation. The right focus is crucial. Deciding which processes work and which need to be improved is a necessary if not the most important part of innovation management.

#10 COLLABORATE TO INNOVATE - with colleagues in your field. Get over the fear of competition and start sharing your knowledge. That way you can create positive, innovative synergies. Exceptional ideas and project will develop from sharing your experience and challenges with others.

#11 THE CLIENT (CUSTOMER) IS KING - not your (law) firm. It is time for the legal industry to understand lessons other industries to understand lessons other industries have learned a long time ago. Focus on the client and work on service innovation. Take every step on your innovation yourney with your client's needs in mind.

#12 INVEST IN MARKETING - and use it as a reminder of your values. Share your vision every day - with your colleagues, employees and most of all your clients (customers). Think of marketing as a support for your goals instead of jsut an annoying time waster.

#13 DEFINE NEW ROLES - for new challenges. To implement new structures new job profiles must be defined. Talents who drive change must combine different disciplines and work at the interface between departments. Create role in places where communication loses its most potential and where innovation is most possible.

#14 START TODAY - change is not waiting for you to overcome your resentments. The world is changing every day and so is the legal industry. Let go of your fear of the digital world and new business models. If your start today you will drive the change and shape your industry instead of being replaced by it.

#15 INVEST IN YOUR TEAM - and take them with you ont the innovation journey. Enable all team members to learn how to understand and shape the new digital business world. Leave room for professional development and participation in change.

#16 LEARN FROM OTHERS' - experiences with living innovation. Build a network with people who are open to share the upsides and downsides of their innovation journey. Take their learnings into account when rethinking your business.

#17 DON'T FOLLOW THE TREND - be the trend. Have the courage to pursue your ideas and take a different route towards progressive entrepreneurship. Being innovative means being different. Go your way confidently and you will succeed with it.

#18 FIND A MENTOR - or coach to support you along the way. Starting off in a new direction and changing is never easy. Seek the inspiration and help from a colleague, friend or professional coach. Don't even be afraid to ask for guidance by people you look up to. You will be amazed how honored your opposite will react and how much both of you will learn together on this journey.

#19 AUTOMATE THE ANNOYING - that nobody in your firm likes to work on. Automation is not the enemy of your work. Everyone will be relieved that machines and algorithms take over unpleasant, repetitive work steps. You will have more time, energy and creativity for important tasks that require your full attention.

#20 GET TO KNOW YOUR MARKET - don't drive innovation into the blue. Look for market gaps and evaluate your innovation potential based on these findings. Choose things that will make you both - innovative and superior to your competitors.

#21 RETHINK PROJECT STRUCTURES - and get to know new techniques. You don't need to go from conservative to agile, lean project management. However you can start simple with things like doing short project sprints with assigned tasks but open results instead of scheduling a project years ahead. It will do wonders for the creativity of the team and save money through the quick reaction possibilities during the project.

#23 HAVE EMPATHY - for your clients, customers and colleagues. Living in the digital era, we often need to remind ourselves that the real personal connection is the one that really counts. Innovation thrives in a positive culture - so make good vibes a priority.

#24 TAKE A BREAK - after implementing innovation in your (law) firm. Innovation is a never-ending step-by-step process. Let structures rest from time to time and give the new processes time to establish and develop. Breaks encourage creativity and this is crucial for an innovative thinking team.

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