Post #867 – November 7, 2020

15 Innovation Questions to Ask Yourself


It is my honor to be Chairing, for the third consecutive year, Ark’s Law Firm Innovation Summit, being conducted virtually.  In my opening remarks today, I posed the following provocative questions for the participants to ask themselves:


• Is our firm focused on innovative projects – or on creating an innovative culture?


• Are we paying as much attention to ”cognitive diversity” as we are to diversity of gender, race, culture and ethnicity?


• Does our innovation suffer because firm leadership requires ‘ironclad assurances’ of results?


• If asked, can we name a current management practice that does the most to insert a “NO” into InNOvation?


• How do we identify and neutralize the deadly and often hidden toxins that destroy innovation?


• Is innovation listed as a responsibility within our practice and industry group leader job descriptions?


• What is the tomorrow challenge that our firm needed to start working on . . . yesterday?


• Where might short-term profitability need to be sacrificed in order to achieve long-term market success?


• Is there a procedure and how easy is it for some lawyer to secure “experimental funding” for their idea?


• Does our firm have any organized process by which firm leadership monitors and reports on the trends impacting our firm’s possible future prosperity?


• How does our firm know that it isn’t over-investing in “what is” – at the expense of “what could be”?


• How easy do we make it for our valued clients to contribute their ideas and actually be heard?


• How do we pursue game-changing ideas without taking outsized risks?


• If failure is recognized as a necessary component of innovation, how does our firm deal with failure?


• Does firm leadership hold regular meetings to discuss the firm’s growth and innovation efforts; reflect on new strategic insights and ideas; and track ongoing innovation projects?


I am delighted to be welcoming participants from firms including Barnes and Thornburg; Baker Donelson; Benesch; Blake Cassels; Burns & Levinson; Butler Snow; Cooley; Crowell & Moring; Faegre; Fox Rothschild; Goodwin; Hogan Lovells; Husch Blackwell; Jackson Lewis; Levenfeld Pearlstein; Locke Lord; McAndrews Held; Norton Rose; Osler Hoskins; Paul Hastings; Reed Smith; Shearman & Sterling; Simpson Thacher; Thompson Hine; Vorys Sater; Waller Lansden; and many others


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