Archive for June 5th, 2012
“I still don’t know what I was waiting for
And my time was running wild
A million dead-end streets
Every time I thought I’d got it made”
David Robert Jones (nee Bowie) - Changes
The annuls of history overflow with innumerable cases of failed attempts (A million dead-end streets) of changes for changes sake.
This weekend in the United Kingdom, we saw the Diamond Jubilee celebrating 60 years of Queen Elizabeth II being on the throne. Most of the nation, and by all evidence many other nations, joined in the celebration. Royalist or no, being only the second ever Monarch to pass 60 years at the helm in our history (the first being this queen’s great-great-grandmother) is a great achievement.
During these celebrations, there has been a still, small voice of rebellion from those who would prefer a Republic, disliking the status quo and calling for change.
As an innovator, the call for change always intrigues me. However, as an innovator, rather than a “curator of interesting ideas”, I know their needs to be both:
- The Case for Change; and
- The Case for the New Order.
Early last month, I had the privilege of being in the Faculty for Insight 2012. This was the annual European event for the International Legal Technology Association (ILTA) – the first legal industry event I have ever attended which took a serious look at innovation, with at least three sessions looking specifically at the subject – and not just from a technology angle.
Why? Because the technology guys more often than not have to deliver the New Order, when the Case for Change has never been fully made. They, too, take a realist’s view.
Turning to the legal service industry, the Case for Change has been made, over and over. There are fewer and fewer who argue that no change is needed.
The Case for the New Order, however, is more difficult. “We still don’t know what we were waiting for”. Today’s one model market will not be replaced by a single model tomorrow.
What client’s will need and the model that legal service providers will have to adopt to deliver to that need will depend on a number of factors. These will vary greatly from client to client and provider to provider.
There is, clearly, the opportunity to standardise and commoditise – but not for all, and this is not a model in itself but an output of the model. The key is for each provider to understand what their client needs and deliver to those needs. Understand your market and deliver to their needs and build your model to do this effectively and profitably.
A couple of bewares:
- There are books (some good books) but there is not THE book, there is no one answer – avoiding the symptoms of delusion arising from “guruitis”, is key; and
- Don’t confuse “price” and “value”…….”low cost”, if not necessarily “good value” – there are two entirely separate measurements and one is not related to the other.
This weekend, I asked those calling for a Republic what was the Case for Change and the Case for the New Order and got neither.
When faced with bold statements, always good to ask the right questions.