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Here’s to the crazy ones

It’s been over 60 years since Bob Dylan first proclaimed how the times are a-changin’, but you must wonder if he ever imagined the pace of change we’ve reached today. At CLOC Institute 2018 we heard from some of those at the forefront of change in the legal sector. Our traditionally sceptical and risk averse roles have flipped to become leaders of organisations moving into a new cross-functional, multifaceted, digital era.

Don’t fall for the fallacy of luddites

With so much talk of AI and automation it’s easy to get caught up in all the hype. People can become fearful of robots taking their jobs or entering an era of limited working opportunities – after all barely a day goes by without a newspaper headline publishing the latest at-risk jobs. This scepticism has been with us since the first industrial revolution and we should’ve learnt new technology doesn’t destroy jobs, it just changes the composition of them.

At CLOC we heard from speakers that the arrival of AI has reduced error rates by 30% and automation resulting in six times faster processing speeds. The developments of legal tech should offer an opportunity for in-house teams to get rid of the routine, repetitive and predictable aspect of their jobs. These process orientated jobs may fill your team’s time, creating a sense of ‘busy-ness’ – but are they adding value?

Is your team driving competitive advantage?

In-house legal teams can drive competitive advantage, but to do so they need to become integrated into the business. The more deeply integrated they become the better their understanding of where specific product teams or business units want to be in five years’ time. Working collaboratively to figure out how to achieve these aims will position your team as value generators in real terms.

You should focus on the specific benefit your business is able to provide that meet’s your target customer’s need. And it’s worth remembering that in today’s rapidly changing market, a competitor isn’t necessarily a business that’s like yours – just one that can service the same need.

The greatest risk is to do nothing

As we’ve already mentioned, the developments in legal tech mean there will be ways to complete the basic tasks your team manages today – NDAs, generating electronic signatures et al – implemented if not already, soon. But, this is a change your team needs to embrace along the way.

As discussed in our inspire your team toolkit, giving your team the opportunity to grow, develop and change with your business’ needs will increase the whole legal teams’ value to the business.

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