Innovation is not limited to technology

Innovation is not limited to technology

Technology will often be part of the solution, but first it’s important to understand the problem it’s supposed to solve. Only then will innovation be possible and bring about meaningful change. Managed legal services offer legal teams a pathway through which to achieve this innovation.

Decipher what “innovation” means

“Innovation” is often a buzzword and synonymous with “technology”. The rhetoric around the benefits of lawtech has been so strong in recent years that many believe it is the best and only solution, especially if they want to take an innovative approach. Although lawtech has a huge range of benefits when implemented and used correctly, this is only a small part of what innovation is.

In many cases, innovation could and should simply mean doing things better every day. This can often be missed in favor of the shiny new thing – especially as the pressure mounts for companies to do things differently.

The past two years have created a unique environment that demanded innovation like never before: new risks had to be managed; teams have moved to working from home; decision-making hierarchies have been flattened; and teams interacted and collaborated like never before. As the global economic and political landscape continues to change, there is no doubt that this pressure to do things differently will continue for legal teams, especially as the role has grown and expanded in recent years, affecting all corners of a business. Assessing operational effectiveness to free up experienced lawyers to engage with the business on top priorities, intelligently managing a team and using a range of innovations to help achieve these efficiencies, will continue to be priorities post-pandemic.

Innovation can simply mean taking a process and re-examining it. Very often we see clients tempted to move to technology solutions without first assessing the context of the problem – whether it’s high staff turnover or trying to get more work done on a budget and reduced staff. Understanding what the problem is, why it is happening, and what the overall goals are should always be the vital first step. Taking innovation in its broadest definition – as discovering and implementing a new way of doing things – is the answer.

The ubiquity of technology as the solution to all of life’s problems isn’t the only reason it’s seen as encompassing innovation — it’s also because, sometimes, it’s superficially easier than technology. alternative.

Often processes are one of the biggest pain points for a struggling legal team, and changing behaviors and attitudes can dramatically change the way things are done, creating efficiencies and eliminating the waste. However, changing the way a human approaches a task, which may have been done the same way for a long time and often for good reasons, is difficult. Where to even begin can seem almost impossible. The neuroscience behind how we respond to change is complex, and introducing meaningful and positive changes to a team can take a long time.

The Role of Managed Legal Services

While technology has been a big help throughout the pandemic, it’s really people who have innovated the most, shifting priorities and changing the way things are done overnight. Maintaining the momentum and appetite to do things differently when so many of us want to get back to normal and find comfort in the way things have always been done is likely the next challenge for legal teams.

Pinsent Masons offers managed legal services. We guide our clients through a careful process of identifying all facets of their problem and what they want to achieve before suggesting an innovative solution. This often involves technology, but it’s rarely the only solution. Forgetting about the broadest definition of innovation could be to the detriment of finding a truly pioneering and feasible solution.