On our 25th episode of The Geek In Review, Marlene Gebauer and Greg Lambert sit down and talk with Ivy Grey, Director of Business Strategy for WordRake. Ivy’s recent Above the Law article, “Curiosity Is The Foundation For Innovation” discusses the disconnect between employers who think they promote creativity in their employees (80% think they do), versus employees who think that their bosses actually stifle creativity in the workplace (some 60%.) Ivy breaks down the nuances between creativity and innovation. Innovation has become a buzzword that is actually having a negative effect in the workplace. Instead of trying to drive innovation, law firms should look at encouraging the creativity and curiosity of their employees (not to be limited to the lawyers, mind you.) Ivy points to law firms like Reed Smith, who are actually giving their attorneys and others (approved) time to come up with creative processes, and letting the employees build upon these ideas. The key is to allow people to think and be creative, and imagine possibilities that don’t even exist.
On that note, we’d like to point out that Baker McKenzie announced the hiring of a couple of creative and curious rock stars, fellow geek, Casey Flaherty as their new Director of Legal Project Management, and Geek in Review interviewee Jae Um, as their Director of Pricing Strategy. That’s a shed load of creativity coming Baker McKinzie’s way. Hope they are ready for long memos filled with emojis!
Greg flew through Dallas Love Field this week during a Herb Kelleher celebration. Southwest’s original CEO was well known for creative marketing, and Greg was a little disappointed that he didn’t get a free bottle of Chivas when we got off the plane. For a great story of how Southwest got its start, check out the Business War’s Podcast on Clearing the Runway.
Microsoft Assistant General Counsel, Jason Barnwell, wrote a timely piece called “Bricklayers and Architects.” His own experiences on being able to come up with a creative process to streamline and M&A deal back when he was an associate at a BigLaw firm, dovetails nicely with Ivy Grey’s discussion. That great idea which would have saved a lot of time in creating the closing binders??? Stifled. Why? You probably already guessed it. The billable hour.
We are all way too familiar with the phrase Fake News, but what do you know about Deepfakes? Pew Research discusses how well fake videos, created with artificial intelligence, are causing issues with understanding what is real, and what is fake. In an interview with Dartmouth Professor Hany Farid, a digital forensics expert who advises governments and the media on how to meet this growing threat, they discuss the implications for people and societies when we can’t necessarily believe what we see. Check out more at “Looks Can Be Deceiving: Deepfakes” on the Pew podcast.
Marlene likes gamification ideas, so the collaboration between Stanford and Suffolk law schools on the Learned Hand game is right up her alley. We all know that attorneys are issue spotters, and the Learned Hand game tests those skills with some natural language questions (typically gathered from Reddit.) It’s not just a game, however, it is used to train the Natural Language Processor of machine learning algorithms. So, you get to play, and the machines get to learn. You can read more about it at the Pew Research website, or at the Lawyerist.
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Thanks to Jerry David DiCicca for his original music.