Successful Innovation Outcomes in Law
Successful Innovation Outcomes in Law

Successful Innovation Outcomes in Law

Table of Contents

PART I An Innovation Primer

1 Defining Innovation

I have difficulty calling something an innovation if it does not involve a rethinking of the existing business model. (Location 228)

2 Is Legal Innovation Different?

For some people, the term “legal innovation” brings up the notion of “legal exceptionalism.” Many lawyers have the belief that every single thing that they do is unique and cannot be duplicated because it can only be done by lawyers. (Location 278)

Tags: lawyers

Note: .lawyers many lawyers believe their craft is unique and cant be systemised or done by others

3 Optimization vs. Innovation

Process people are likely to think of innovation as improving an existing process rather than replacing an existing process. Idea people like to replace things or try something new. (Location 318)

Note: Process vs idea people

Some refer to optimization as “sustaining innovation” or “incremental innovation,” as we’ll learn later in this book. However, some actually separate optimization from innovation. (Location 322)

Tags: optimising

Note: .optimising incremental innovation

when you concentrate on optimization of processes, you tend to overlook possible changes to your business model. In fact, your business model is unlikely to change. You are, by definition and by temperament, looking to improve what you already do. (Location 325)

Tags: optimising

Note: .optimising optimising frequently overlooks the business model

4 The Adjacent Possible: Learning and Borrowing from Other Professions

Lawyers have an annoying tendency to think that everything that they do is unique, that it’s all custom, and that only lawyers can do it. As I mentioned, I tend to call this attitude “legal exceptionalism.” Others, maybe even you, use even less flattering terms. (Location 336)

Tags: lawyers

Note: .lawyers

Innovation rarely means something completely new. In most cases, it’s taking existing ideas and approaches and recombining them in new ways. (Location 341)

Tags: innovation

Note: .innovation take existing methods and recombine

“adjacent possible” to mean “a kind of shadow future, hovering on the edges of the present state of things, a map of all the ways in which the present can reinvent itself.” This is a useful concept and, in practical terms, encourages us to consider a wider range of possibilities and to look outside our own silo for inspiration, ideas, and examples that have worked elsewhere. (Location 342)

Tags: legalinnovation

Look outside the legal silo and learn the standard types of innovation and business models. Think more in terms of recombining ideas from other sources than creating completely new ideas out of thin air. (Location 375)

5 Innovation Models

disruptive product or service comes in at the very low end of the market. The incumbent players decide that the new product or service is not competition or a competitor, giving the new product or service time to establish itself and evolve. By the time the incumbents realize the competitive risk, it may well be too late for them to respond. (Location 405)

Tags: innovation

Note: .diruption .innovation

6 Ten Types of Innovation

Profit Model: making money Network: connecting with others to create value Structuring: organizing talent and assets Process: using unique or superior methods Product Performance: developing distinct features Product System: creating complementary products and services Service: supporting your offerings Channel: delivering your offerings Brand: creating unique branding Customer engagement: fostering compelling interactions (Location 428)

Tags: innovation

Note: .innovation

Models 1 through 4 are further categorized as “configuration” models, in which the focus is on the inner workings of the enterprise and its business system. Models 5 and 6 are “offerings” models, in which the focus is on your core product or service, or a specific collection of products and/or services. Models 7 thorough 10 are “experience” models, in which the focus is on customer-facing elements of the enterprise and its business system. (Location 440)

Tags: innovation

Note: .innovation

PART II Core Principles

useful concept is innovation is that there is a process of moving from WHY to WHAT to HOW. This is a sequence. (Location 458)

In legal, there is a push from customers for movement from billable hours models to flat fee, value, and subscription models. You will also get my attention if you talk about platforms, ecosystems, or “eliminate the middleman” business models. (Location 513)

Tags: innovation, subscription, lms

Note: .lms .subscription .innovation

Lawyers tend to be an inhibiting factor in brainstorming. They are quick to see problems, reluctant to participate, eager to impose restraints, like to dominate discussions, and are unwilling to offer spontaneous ideas. Lawyers will also overfocus on definitions and rules for the idea event, if they participate at all. The negative body language of a room of lawyers asked to “ideate” can be something to behold and psychologists could write volumes on the subject. (Location 674)

Tags: lawyers

Note: .lawyers

often-observed lawyer trait of always needing to be right and never to look bad or wrong. (Location 681)

Tags: lawyer

Note: .lawyer

There is another source I’d like you consider. There are external experts, authors, and “thought leaders” who have unique experience, subject matter and industry expertise, insights, and perspectives. Simply tapping into that knowledge base, bringing one or two of these people into your sessions, might well supercharge your idea-generation process. In my experience, many of these people enjoy getting the chance to do this. Consider it. (Location 720)

Not all of the best ideas are contained within your organization. Look outside in thoughtful and strategic ways. (Location 724)

PART III Creating and Improving Innovation Programs (Location 726)

For me, a budget actually means three separate budgets, ideally shown in three columns for easy comparison. The first is what you think it will take to accomplish what you have in mind. The second is what you really would like to have. The third is a gasp-inducing “here’s what we could do if we jumped in feet first” budget. No surprise here: you want to move the decision-maker off of #1, closer to #2, and let them have the chance to think about #3. Psychologically, it’s difficult not to move to the middle option. Two important points. First, lawyers, as a group, hate math, so keep the numbers simple. Second, any reduction in proposed budget must clearly result in a deliverable in the plan being removed. Do not get caught in a “do more with less” game. Your message should be that you did your homework, and the numbers are solid. (Location 759)

Tags: budget

Note: .budget

PART IV A Taxonomy of Innovation Tools

Some Innovation KPIs With the caveats that you should create your own KPIs and I lean more to quantity than quality, which you might disagree with, here are a few KPIs I like. Client conversations per year Prototypes created per year Innovation presentations (internal and external), including RFP and panel convergence presentations, made per year Average cost of new customer acquisition New pilots per year Return customers (new projects from previous clients) per year External mentions of client projects per year Number of client-initiated meetings per year Revenues per year Savings per year New business won where client indicated that innovation efforts were an important factor in their decision per year Employee turnover on team per year Inquiries from other organization employees to join team per year Number of ideas per ideation session Number of management meetings head of innovation effort attended per year (Location 1554)

Tags: kpi, innovation

Note: .innovation .kpi

Let me end with one tool I’ve become especially intrigued by. It’s from William Duggan’s book, Creative Strategy: A Guide for Innovation. Duggan argues that some of the best innovation comes from adapting and combining techniques that have worked elsewhere. He advocated using a simple matrix to facilitate a simple three-step “rapid appraisal” process. First, you “chunk” or break your problem into a set of smaller problems or components. Some call this process “decomposition.” You place those problems on the vertical axis of your matrix. Second, you look at other industries, geography, times, and the like to see if anyone, anywhere has created a solution to any of the smaller “problems” on your vertical axis that you can use or adapt to your problem. Those solutions go at the top of the matrix on the horizontal axis. Third, for lack of a better term, you start slicing and dicing to find what interesting ideas come up at the intersections of problems and solutions. (Location 1747)

Note: Break into small pieces and look to other industries foor inspiration

PART V Examples of Innovation Efforts

Simple Dashboards. Far too often, basic information needed by a general counsel or in-house counsel is simply not readily at hand in an easy-to-find and easy-to-consume way. Talk to any general counsel and you are likely to hear a story about them being asked by a CEO or CFO simple business questions like year-to-date legal spend, spend compared to budget, total legal exposure, law firms with highest spend, and other standard metrics (let alone key performance indicators), and not having any answer other than, at best, that they needed to have some reports run to get this basic information. (Location 1780)

Tags: gc

Note: .gc gcs need good visibility of legal spend

The client does not want you to swoop in and save the day. You can do that when handling important legal work. Instead, clients want to be the heroes of their own innovation stories. They want a guide with a plan to help them win the prize while avoiding disaster. Think Yoda, not Superman. (Location 1848)

Some of the overarching goals of a panel convergence effort are: “Rationalizing” and “right-sourcing” legal service providers (reducing number of firms and directing lawyers to the law firms (or, increasingly, alternative legal services providers) best suited for types of work) Reducing or controlling costs, including discounts, flat fees, staffing changes, and alternative billing arrangements. Creating long-term relationships with outside firms so they can understand the business and its goals and strategies. Aligning outside firms with legal and business goals, objectives, strategies, and risk tolerance. Maintaining consistent legal approaches Incentivizing outside firms to bring new ideas, innovation, and value to the client Addressing diversity and inclusion objectives. Generating measurable value. (Location 1906)

Tags: legalpanel

Note: .legalpanel

RFP response stage than (1) what are examples of what a firm actually has done and are currently working on, (2) what would the firm plan to do specifically for the law department, (3) what people and infrastructure does the firm have for delivering innovation projects, and (4) what data demonstrates the firm’s level of commitment to innovation? (Location 1949)

Tags: rfp, legalpanel

Note: .legalpanel .rfp

In RFP evaluations, you might want to get an outside opinion to help you make the screen on innovation. The odds of any evaluator reading the innovation section in each of 50 several-hundred-page RFP responses are not good. That’s not a criticism—it’s a recognition of reality. If innovation is a goal of your panel convergence effort, you will want not just examples, but you will want to meet the innovation team. It is reasonable and prudent to request that the firm’s Chief Innovation Officer or head of innovation take 10—15 minutes of a pitch presentation. Again, depending on your comfort level, this might be a place where you want to get an outside second opinion. You will ultimately make the final decision, but sometimes it’s good to have someone interpret and validate what you are hearing. (Location 1976)

Tags: leglconsulting, legalpanel, rfp

Note: .rfp .legalpanel .leglconsulting

PART VI Risk and Portfolio Management

PART VII Handling a Few Hard Things

Legal Exceptionalism. Many lawyers believe that everything they do is unique and cannot be standardized. Sometimes this belief is summed up by saying that law is a profession, not a business. There is a tendency to see every aspect of legal work as custom and unique. (Location 2502)

Tags: lawyerpost, lawyers

Note: .lawyers .lawyerpost

40,000 highway deaths a year in the United States. (Location 2532)

Tags: cars

Note: .cars

Not Looking at Other Businesses and Professions. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, doctors have done a great job with online portals in ways that benefit both doctors and their patients. There are many innovations happening in professions and businesses similar to law, and also in those not similar to law: online portals, productization of services, use of video, self-service of all sorts, and much more. Sometimes a fresh perspective is required. How often do you look at the changes in your other customer experiences and wonder how you might try them in your practice? (Location 2551)

Tags: outsideinnovation

Note: .outsideinnovation

Look at What Works Elsewhere. Start to pay attention to your customer experience in other settings. Your doctor’s online portal might be an eye-opener. What frustrates you? What do you like? Can you try something like that in your practice? (Location 2575)

Tags: outsideinnovation

Note: .outsideinnovation

PART VIII Action Steps, Tips, and Resources (Location 2631)

It’s called Successful Innovation Outcomes in Law and can be found at (Location 2632)

Tags: linkedingroup

Note: .linkedingroup

Legal innovation simply means applying innovation techniques in the legal world, in a variety of different dimensions. (Location 2655)

Look outside the legal silo and learn the standard types of innovation and business models. Think more in terms of recombining ideas from other sources than creating completely new ideas out of thin air. (Location 2658)

Tags: outisdeinnovation

Note: .outisdeinnovation

Dennis Kennedy’s List of Innovation Resources— (Location 2831)

Michigan State University Center for Law, Technology & Innovation (and LegalRnD Lab)— (Location 2858)

On KIPL’s current roadmap are: Panel convergence assistance packages LegalTech Vendor Insights packages TechPrompts—a product for getting in-house counsel up-to-speed on important technologies Innovation portfolio management tools Online courses To learn more about KIPL, KIPL products and services, partnering, and custom consulting services, contact Dennis Kennedy at 734-926-5197 or (Location 2910)