Technologist - The FindLaw Legal Technology Blog

No Innovation Without Proper Implementation

About 70 percent of organizational changes fail, including adaptations to new technology.

It's so predictable, everyone knows that today's innovation will be replaced -- or updated -- by tomorrow's. When it comes to law firm technology, however, it is a little more complicated.

It's not as hard for lawyers to buy tech, as it is to get them to use it. But innovation without implementation is a waste of time and money, right?

Innovation

Lawyers are known technophobes, and it takes more than logic to convince them to adapt new technology when old tricks still work. So why should they change?

If you are reading this, then you have your answer: it's a tech world now. Dinosaurs died about 65 million years ago.

Technology wouldn't have helped them, but it can help lawyers survive today. It's not enough to buy new tech; you have to know how it works.

In the everyday, it could be as simple as following set-up instructions on a smart device or rebooting a new system when it freezes.

Implementation

The next level of adaption comes through organizational restructuring. Ivy B. Grey, writing for Above the Law, says law firms need a change management plan. That includes:

  • A pilot program and roll-out
  • Training and realistic expectations
  • Policy changes where needed

A key organizational change is to identify change agents -- people from a variety of positions, skill levels, and levels of influence within the firm.

"A concentration of unattainably tech savvy or politically powerful people will hurt change efforts, because these types of outliers tend to demonstrate difference rather than build a sense of kinship," she said.

Productivity will not increase overnight, she said, because people need time to learn and retool. But with proper implementation, innovation can survive at least until the next upgrade.

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