Innovation and Transformation Perspectives From Around the WorldAb: [00:00:00] Innovation and transformation perspectives from around the world There is tremendous variability in how the legal industry approaches innovation and technology initiatives, and the range is greater still when you expand t
Publish Date: Jan 16, 2021
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Innovation and Transformation Perspectives From Around the WorldAb: [00:00:00] Innovation and transformation perspectives from around the world There is tremendous variability in how the legal industry approaches innovation and technology initiatives, and the range is greater still when you expand the scope to different jurisdictions and regions worldwide. Through a series of interviews with innovation leaders and a review of published materials. I explored some of the factors that influence innovation levels across different regions. Namely, we focused on the UK., a number of African nations, Australia, and India. What I've found is that many interrelated factors are at play: regional regulations, the maturity of the legal services industry, competitive pressures, and willingness to make financial investments in innovation and technology initiatives. Of course, there are also significant variations across firms within the same region, mostly influenced by the business culture. Before we consider those factors in depth. We must define what we mean by innovation and evaluate the goals underlying innovative actions. The spectrum of innovation Innovation is not a monolith. It runs along a spectrum from the minuscule to the majestic and encompasses technology process or both. At one end are incremental changes to existing method or processes. These efficiency drivers are often small initially, yet over time they could produce marked results. On the other side of the spectrum are seismic disruptions, which may involve doing something in an entirely novel way or something that no one has done before. The disruption reinvents how a firm completes a task or follows a process. Innovation is, therefore, a process of both incremental changes and seismic shifts. It may affect technology and processes as each will have different primary challenges. With technological innovation adoption is often the biggest challenge. How do you get users engaged and active with technology so the business yields a positive return on investment. Process changes on the other hand may or may not involve technology. In these instances often change management is the obstacle to overcome. How do you introduce the change and convinced legal professionals to embrace it? This begs another question. Why innovate at all? What's the purpose behind innovation? Before a firm embarks on a transformation journey, the business needs to establish what it's looking to accomplish? There are regional factors that introduce a difference in approach, but also common ground to be found. I spoke with Caryn Sandler, Partner & Chief Knowledge and Innovation Officer at the leading Australian from Gilbert and Tobin, who explains. And I quote. There is a large variation within and between geographies. with some firms engaging and pushing the boundaries of what can be done in this space, and others only starting the transformation journey. There is now a general recognition in legal of the imperative for innovation and transformation globally, and we're seeing different ways of achieving that goal play out within law firms and in-house. End quote. These regional variations impact the type of initiative that a firm may undertake. In new and emerging legal markets, it's harder to justify spending money on technology where the business needs have yet to be proven. Instead, we find that these areas may readily embrace new processes- as they don't have the inertia of established methods to overcome. On the other hand, in mature and highly competitive legal markets, law firm and legal service providers can I add value for the client by making incremental efficiency improvements. Those firm's are likely focused on adopting technology, getting it off the shelf and into their practitioner's hand as quickly and as smoothly as possible. Lastly, some firms are looking to bring the client along on the transformation journey. They can do so by including the clients into technology and innovation design process. These firms often find value in adding a consultancy arm that can provide dedicated innovation services and digital transformation assistance. In all kinds of markets, firms are also exploring how they can pivot perhaps by setting up technology incubators, or otherwise investing in legal technology, startups. Factors driving innovation, UK, Australia, African nations, and IndiaWhile there are numerous forces influencing innovation around the world, I have roughly classified them into four broad categories. Number one, the legal system and regulatory structure</str