When it comes to the future of legal innovation, Olga Mack of Parley Pro at LexisNexis says that as the legal industry becomes more focused on being a ‘service’, legal technology will just become part of the overall design of products and services. It will not stand alone as a separate process, but rather legal innovation will be built into products such as HR tools that build in compliance processes, or financial tools build in legal components by design. Legal tech simply integrates into all technology processes.
Olga Mack is the CEO of Parley Pro and recently led the company through an acquisition with LexisNexis. Olga points out that while she was not a founder of Parley Pro, she took her role at leading the company of contract management and collaboration tools very seriously on how it handled its success during the pandemic. She points out that all startups go through a process of looking at its future and deciding do we go public, do we get acquired, or do we die and file for bankruptcy. Her previous relationship with LexisNexis helped her understand the value that Lexis’ content would bring to Parley Pro and she says the relationship is exactly what Parley Pro, and their customers needed.
Olga has a strong reputation within the legal community and she actually insists that she wakes up each day and works to live up to that reputation. It’s not a ‘brand’ that she presents to the world, but rather her authentic self as she presents at webinars, conferences, or even in TEDx speeches.
In both an upcoming (early 2023) release of her ABA book, Visual IQ for Lawyers, and a soon to be released third TEDx talk on the same subject, Olga’s current inspiration is the adding of visual aspects within documents and contracts. Companies such as Google and others are already using these visual processes in their contracts and it is a skill and concept that Olga thinks many lawyer currently lack. “I think visual intelligence is not something you’re born with. It’s like reading, writing and arguing. It’s something you learn, intentionally.” Olga Mack continues, “And this book is an attempt to, one, show the importance of visual intelligence in communications, and to give frameworks and basic concepts to allow legal professionals, not just lawyers, to understand, relate, interpret, communicate in an increasingly visual world.”
Listen on mobile platforms: Apple Podcasts | Spotify
- Parley Pro
- Olga Mack: How Smart Contracts Will Change the World – TED
- Olga Mack: Law as a Service for All | TED Talk
- Notes to my (Legal) Self
AALL Crystal Ball Answer:
We keep it within the LexisNexis family this week with Loyd Auerbach answering our Crystal Ball Question on how the industry, and law librarians specifically are changing the traditional work model as we make remote and hybrid work a part of our daily work process.
Check out Greg’s Newest Podcast, The SuperHuman Law Division.
Marlene Gebauer 0:23
welcome to The Geek in Review, podcast focused on innovative and creative ideas in the legal industry. I’m Marlene Gebauer,
Greg Lambert 0:30
And I’m Greg Lambert. So welcome back from ILTA, Marlene and I know you’ve had some some work trips. So I think this is our first episode in a couple of weeks.
Marlene Gebauer 0:40
Yes, it is. And I’m glad to be back. The trips were great. ilta was great fun. enjoyed my presentation with the net Schafer from traveling coaches. We had a blast, so Well, it’s
Greg Lambert 0:51
good to have you back.
Marlene Gebauer 0:52
Well, thank you. And speaking of having a blast, we have Olga Mack from Parley Pro at LexisNexis. today to talk about her recent merger with Lexis as well as her upcoming TED Talk and ABA book on visual IQ for lawyers. It’s always so much fun talking. Oh,
Greg Lambert 1:09
yes, it is. Yeah, she she definitely brings the entertainment. We’ll talk more about that.
Marlene Gebauer 1:14
Yes. But before we get started, let’s talk about your new podcast, Greg.
Greg Lambert 1:19
Yeah. So Joshua Lenon, from Clio and I had come up with an idea a few months ago as the new She-Hulk Attorney at Law show good show. Yeah, it’s great show. If you haven’t, haven’t caught it, catch it, we thought boy, it’d be really kind of cool to look at that show and other eventually, and other shows or comic books or pop culture references, and actually look at that and say, how does that kind of parallel to the big law, environment or to the legal environment, and we are I just dropped the third episode. And we’re just having a blast. I love the television show. And it’s the the law firm that she is working at. I mean, it’s there’s so much big law going on, you know, in the offices with the way everything is set up. And Joshua is just like me, super big geek when it comes to comic books. And so it’s really tugging on our on our heartstrings for a lot of things, both personally and professionally. And we’re just having a blast with it.
Marlene Gebauer 2:35
Yeah, we you can absolutely tell that you guys are having a lot of fun with it. And I know, you know, me and other people behind the scenes or just kind of what about this? What about this, and
Greg Lambert 2:47
there’s so much it’s funny, because we can, we can take a show. That’s really one of the complaints about the show is that the story is actually too short for each episode. Because it comes out to about 22 minutes or so we could do you know, two hours on that 22 minutes. So we have to, we have to really be careful on what we’re doing. But we’re getting a lot of really good feedback. And if the listeners of The Geek in Review, haven’t checked out the superhuman law division podcast, please check it out and let me know what you think. All right, but first up today, we have another one of our WWL crystal ball questions. And we just decided to make this a just a full on Lexis in the family episode. And we brought in Lloyd our back from Lexis. So we’ll hear from Loyd first, and then we’ll go right into our conversation with Olga Mack.
Loyd Auerbach 3:43
I’m Loyd Auerbach. I’m a knowledge and research consultant for LexisNexis. And I am looking into the future it’s always an interesting question, because we have to work our projections either are really psychic, oh, are you a weather guy and you’re miss all the time, or you’re really basing it on what you’ve seen over the years, and especially with a pandemic? I think there’s a couple of things that are gonna happen, one of which is there’s a lot of struggle back and forth. That’s happening right now. It’s going to continue with hybrid workplaces and with I’ve talked to librarians who just don’t want to go back to the office at all. And then I’ve talked to others who say, I do not want to be at home at all. I think they have kids. But it’s it’s This is happening all over the place. And of course, I’m also seeing that firms are shrinking their footprint, physical footprint
Greg Lambert 4:32
as well. Especially are you actually seeing firms do this. I’ve heard a number
Loyd Auerbach 4:36
of firms who have actually cut their leases or are planning on cutting back their space or even her couple librarians. They’ve talked about subleasing since they can’t get out of the releases and the
Greg Lambert 4:47
commercial. I was wondering if it’s come to that point yet, as I said, I’d heard rumor that it was on the horizon, but I hadn’t seen it yet.
Loyd Auerbach 4:54
It’s happening with a few firms that I’ve talked to you but it’s also um, it’s obviously happening in the commercial real estate market. Yeah, gen two So companies are just looking at that. Silicon Valley itself is having some sort of revolution. And there’s a lot of talk in the Bay Area since that’s where I’m from Silicon Valley kind of tanking a little bit since some of they are the people are moving away from there. Right. So that’s one area. I think that there’s a lot more concern with this particular community and other librarians outside the community. On social justice. Obviously, there’s more emphasis in that, and especially on what’s happening in libraries in general, with book burnings, essentially, you know, it’s just it’s getting to a point now, especially with a contentious Supreme Court and everything else, then, if this organization WWL and the ALA don’t get involved heavily, it’s going to really be a problem. I think the publishers are going to be coming in on this as well.
Greg Lambert 5:48
Make sense? Well, Lloyd, thank you very much for taking time to talk with You’re very welcome.
Marlene Gebauer 5:54
We are very happy to welcome back Olga Mack, Vice President and CEO of Parley Pro at LexisNexis. That bit about Lexis it’s new, Olga, welcome back to The Geek in Review.
Olga Mack 6:05
Hi, Marlene. Good to see.
Greg Lambert 6:09
So Olga, it’s been quite a year for you so far. And we want to congratulate you on your recent TEDx talk about law as a service for all and for being inducted in the ABA legal Technology Resource Center’s 2022 class of women of legal tech alongside Marlene this year. So congratulations. Tell us a little bit about how both of those experiences have impacted you this year.
Olga Mack 6:39
Oh, thank you, Greg. And I love being part of all of that because I get to share it with people like Marlene, there’s so many people who are doing exciting things. revolutionising the way we practice law and changing our relationship with law, that it’s, you know, the best part and this goes, I’m not dodging your question, I will answer it. The vast part of all of those, you know, shiny objects is that you get a chance to interact and learn from and do things with people like Marlon, because we I know for sure is that law is very important. There’s a lot of folks who are building something every day, and collaborating with them as an opportunity to take one plus one and make it much, much greater than two. To me, that’s the value of being part of the ABA initiative part of, frankly, anything I’ve done in LA,
Marlene Gebauer 7:40
yeah, it really gets you too to meet a bunch of very inspiring people. So agreed. Now, you’ve done a number of TEDx talks over the last few years. Why is TEDx so important for women to get out and speak publicly? You know, TEDx
Olga Mack 7:55
is a very recognized visible platform form, not only in the United States, but everywhere in the world. And if you have ideas worth spreading, that is the place to go. My ideas happen to be around technology and law, I think they’re very important, because they go to the heart of and core of civil society. And as someone who was born and raised outside of the country, where this is a norm, I value it deeply. So my core mission of innovating and building the future of law really speaks to that need to make sure that the values of civil society spread everywhere. And so the reason I like to speak at TEDx is because, you know, it’s an appropriate authority to spread ideas for like, elementary school kids, my kids in middle school, watch it, adults, professionals, like you and I, but also to folks outside of United States, the folks outside of Western Europe, just folks outside of places like Japan, in Asia. And I think it’s very important, because the the social good of civil society, the importance of it multiplies exponentially. The more folks are part of that network. And I think that’s a that’s a very important way to use TEDx to contribute to the spread of that of that social good.
Greg Lambert 9:44
I’m curious as to how did the process of getting invited or seeking the platform for TEDx, how did you go about getting yourself on that platform?
Olga Mack 9:58
So I’ve done three TEDx talks, two of them are publicly available. The third one is coming out soon.
Marlene Gebauer 10:07
I heard it here.
Olga Mack 10:10
And it’ll be a good one. It’s worth waiting for. Look, every one of those experiences have been, have been unplanned, and sort of caught me in the, in the point of time, the very first time I was invited to give one was a TEDx San Francisco, when I was I just joined web three company, and was building some applications and protocols on blockchain. And at the time, and we’re talking about like, three or four years ago, I’ve been asked to talk about smart contracts. And the organizers looked for somebody who is passionate, knowledgeable, and likes to speak and really wants to do it. And they had a hard time finding someone, they really had to look hard. And they found me shortly after I just joined the company. I said, Yeah, sure. I’m passionate, all right, I just got here. But they said, Don’t worry, the talk is going to be in the year. And they sort of provided a lot of training and encouragement. And by the time the year was over, I was actually really very much knee deep and ready for it. So I sort of declined, because that was not necessarily the topic I consider talking about. But they had a lot of vision for me. And somehow they were right, they, you know, they had the vision for me, right. And I lived up to it. And that experience of giving that talk about smart contracts, when technology was still very early and unknown. And then being part of like, next few years, people watching the talk and coming back to me and thanking me for grading them at the gate. That was really inspiring. And I really did focus at the time, kind of not just on the technology, but the application that we all as a society would benefit. And people really, that part really resonated with people that this is not just like another efficiency to this is not just sort of about, you know, someone making money, it’s about how we can sort of all be better off. And that experience of people coming back to me and thanking me for those examples and explaining that technology and human language was something to me that wasn’t really just just very enlightening. And so and I thought about, well, if I can do this for technology, I surely should be able to do it for law. Because I feel like sometimes what lawyers do, is deeply misunderstood. And we all have a broken relationship with law. I felt like if I can do this, for this new technology that very few people understand I surely should be able to do it for law. And so that’s the reason for TEDx Talk number two and three. And hopefully, I’ve accomplished some of that.
Greg Lambert 13:10
I like to the part of the story where in hopefully, I’m telling I’m retelling it correctly. But it sounds like they kind of gave you a topic that was just a little bit outside your comfort zone, but that they gave you the time to kind of rise to that challenge. And in the end, by taking that on something that at one point you were thinking about not doing, it actually kind of catapulted you and gave you the opportunity to do that TEDx number two and three, and also to, you know, to access a part of the community that you may not have been able to access without stepping out of that comfort zone is that
Olga Mack 13:54
Absolutely. That’s a great summary of what happened and you know, doing something that you wouldn’t you think just a little outside of your range forces you to grow. And that’s exactly what happened.
Marlene Gebauer 14:07
So Olga, your branding has been distinctly and wonderfully your own. Yes. Yeah, it is. So, so tell us how you came to the branding strategy you use? Because I think that that seems to be a hot topic now in terms of your brand, and like, you know, how do you figure out your brand? How do you and how do you promote your brand?
Olga Mack 14:30
Look, I mean, it’s really interesting. I sort of resent the word brand to describe it individual. I know that’s great.
Marlene Gebauer 14:41
But how would you describe it?
Olga Mack 14:43
I describe it as reputation. And that’s a very old school term that lawyers are familiar with. Your reputation, opens doors and closes doors. And your reputation allows you to do things that you haven’t done before and your past to propel you forward. And lawyers have been in reputation building. Now for a long, long time, I know the popular term is brand. To me, it’s a little bit like asking my height. It’s, it feels a little objectifying. I’m so much more than my brand. And to be completely honest with you, when I get up in the morning, I’m not thinking of Oh, God as a brand. What I’m thinking about is, how do I show up as myself what I value in life was getting up in the morning and showing up as older in my full colors. And, and I and that is important to me. And so, you know, it’s really interesting, you know, when people ask me, how do you build your brand, I mostly just get up in the morning, and ask myself, how I can show up as myself. And it turns out when you do it resonates with people, people can feel that you show up as yourself, they relate through that they if you share both your wins and your losses and how you grow through them, that is a very inherently human thing to do. And it’s sort of like having a conversation with your best friend, except here, you have one to many. And you get feedback in maybe not necessarily with, you know, an eye roll, or you know, some rumor, you get it through comments, or through some messages. Or maybe even sometimes, you know, which happens all the time, I’ll go now to a conference. And people wave at me knowingly, but I have no idea who they are. And that it’s really, you know, I now feel much more comfortable waving my Miss Universe hello to humans I’ve never met and asked them to tell me their story. And it turns out that, that they feel very comfortable sharing their experiences. And various things I’ve shared have been helpful to them and resonated. And it’s a very, very satisfying experience to not only show up as yourself, but that to be of use to other humans.
Marlene Gebauer 17:04
So just be you know, just Just be true to yourself be true. I mean, that’s really that’s really what the answer is.
Greg Lambert 17:09
And I like the idea and you know, being here in Houston, we use a lot of Brene Brown vernacular on vulnerability, but it sounds like in a way by being rather than, I wouldn’t say hiding behind a brand, but rather thinking of it as a brand and as you know, something that is a presentation for this online community or how how you’re presenting yourself that you’re actually being vulnerable by being your authentic self out there. And I think that that people are responding to that, but it is, it is putting yourself in a vulnerable position because you know, you’d hate for you to be out there like that and then get negative responses.
Olga Mack 17:56
Grad learning is a vulnerable place to be when you learned that by definition means you’re not an expert. And in my case, I never had the same job twice. So I am vulnerable pretty much 95% of the time and so I’m very comfortable with being vulnerable because to me that means I’m in a place of growth and learning and I value that very much and it’s funny I recently talked to somebody about how much I you know I value learning and this new uncomfortable situation is a learning opportunity. And this person who sort of known you for a long time you know, he said all the output you in any situation you will find the lesson probably would
Greg Lambert 18:44
Olga a few months ago, Parley Pro join forces with LexisNexis and is now part of the Lexis family. I know it’s a it’s a big deal. So you know what led you to decide to take your independent company and merge it with, you know, a well known legal corporation.
Olga Mack 19:04
I love that question. Fun fact, I was a LexisNexis rap for three years in law school,
Marlene Gebauer 19:15
didn’t know that.
Olga Mack 19:18
It is on my LinkedIn. At the very, very bottom it requires you to scroll and
Greg Lambert 19:26
Olga Mack 19:30
Listen, I’m LexisNexis and I love being a LexisNexis rap. Like I now have told the story that I almost dropped out of law school after first year actually before the first year was over. And I went to dinner T’s office hours and I said you know I’m just too different. This law school, not for me. And she will she continue typing she didn’t even me like she didn’t even look Have me she said, yeah, oh God, I know you’re different. What’s your point one needs different, go do your thing. And I just stood there. And then she like she saw that she didn’t get rid of me. She said, she’s like, Well, okay, if you need a motivation, get yourself an internship or something. And so that led me to numerous internships and, and LexisNexis was one of the jobs I got, I also got a job at Yahoo labs, I was part of the clinics, I was I joined Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal, I did the California law revision Commission and the FTC, just to like really round it up. And what I loved about the LexisNexis experience is the technology. And I really this this part where like, as a lawyer, I enjoyed researching and they had this powerful tool, like it blew my mind, actually, no less than Yahoo’s acquisition of Flickr. And I thoroughly enjoyed it. And for me, that was very inspiring, and I not only excelled in knowing LexisNexis I, you know, they had a good collect points, I collected enough points to get myself a Gucci bag, which I went to my mother and give it to her. And she said, Where did you get it, I said, I got it was, you know, LexisNexis point she’s at admire could use Gucci bag you know, so I, you know, I had really great experiences with Lexis and I appreciate the contribution they make to the community, both from technology and informational products. And I continued using it as a lawyer and all of that. So with, with all of that in mind, operating a technology company, especially a startup, you know, that technology companies, startups are temporary structures, you know, you either get acquired, you go public, or you you know, you die, you go through bankruptcy one way or another. And it when I look at the landscape of legal technology, and how to really best serve our customers, I realize the power you have by combining content, data and technology. So Parley Pro, has built an amazing technology. And LexisNexis has a lot of great data and content. And so I’m thinking, this is the best way I can serve the community, the customers and really make a huge contribution. So for me, that was a very easy decision. And I’m very flattered that we have been on the same page with LexisNexis. And
Marlene Gebauer 22:33
Olga as people who have never had their own company go through a merger. Explain the process to us. Did you court many companies? Or was Lexis really your focal point? And what are the factors for a small business owner to consider when undertaking this sort of endeavor?
Olga Mack 22:50
Remember, I’m not the founder of Parley Pro, I’m a lateral CEO. And I’m very proud of this fact, you know, there, I believe, to raise a successful company and releases into the wild, it takes much, much more than the two or one or three dedicated founders. And in fact, I think we’ve put undue burden on founders to be everything this company needs to succeed. I believe the foster parents, like lateral CEOs, and numerous other professionals, are even more important. And in fact, I think that correlates with the success of the company. So as someone who came to the company when the product has been built, who my biggest contribution has been one and refining the product to making sure that the market knows about it. And three onboarding almost every customer we have, I routinely asked myself a question. How do I make sure that all stakeholders walk away with a bucket of happiness? I am not asking it from the point of view of oldest ego. Remember, I’m not the initial founder, I am trying to do the right thing. And the right thing here means yes, by my founders, yes. By my employees, yes, by my customers, yes, by my investors, and yes, by me. And if you ask that question yourself enough times, the answer materializes. You know, and you know, in my case, it materialized in the form of LexisNexis. You asked another question, Have we considered other options? Absolutely. That is what my job as a lateral CEO to do is to consider every and all options available to me. And I have in fact, thoroughly consider them and I couldn’t find a partner that is as good or better than LexisNexis. So, I believe we optimize our exit and most importantly, we’ll continue serving our customers and adding value to this world of giving legal advice and improving relationship with law for all stakeholders.
Greg Lambert 24:55
During the merger process, were there any take ways that you can share with us, you know, anything that kind of you expected or anything that kind of caught you off guard during the process.
Marlene Gebauer 25:09
Any fun facts?
Olga Mack 25:14
Oh, you know, it’s a process. It really is, it’s not an event, any exit, whether it’s you know, I’ve been part of IPOs, I’ve been part of mergers. This is not for us this there’s those not events, those are processes. And, you know, just like a good marriage, you know, dating is important. Getting to know the other side to make sure that there is synergies on the personnel technology, commitment, philosophy is very important. So I took my time to get to know LexisNexis. And study all options. And it was important to go through that, as when you build important relationships for the benefits of numerous others, right, which is what happens here, it’s important to take time and share as much as possible to make sure that you start the life together on the right foot. And sometimes, you know, you share things that you know, you may not be sharing elsewhere. But seeing your partner’s ability to react and work through that is important, because that tells you how successful you will be after everything is signed. So, you know, I was very grateful, we had really great investors who were very supportive, and who really wanted to make sure that we find the right partner for us. What I really appreciated was my lead investor who kept asking me all day, can you imagine your future there? Many, many times. And I, you know, I never thought of investors of really deeply caring, you know, can only imagine her future there. But we, you know, I was really grateful that I had and, you know, a very active investor on my board who asked that question many times, and it was really, really helpful for me, and for the company to make the right decision. And, and I’m glad we went through the process of doing it.
Greg Lambert 27:18
Yeah, we’ll, just out of curiosity, how long a process was it? And did the pandemic either, did it have any effect on the amount of time?
Olga Mack 27:28
Well, the pandemic predominantly helped Parley Pro to grow, we are, you know, a product that allows collaboration with your contracts virtually. So I joined fun fact that joined a few months before the pandemic, I was a first time CEO, who joined a few months before the pandemic. So that put a little bit stress on on my adventure. So I am in many ways grateful for the pandemic, because it allowed me to double click on virtual conversations and show the value of virtual collaboration to the community that I deeply care about. We have been approached for acquisition since actually, I’ve joined. So it was a process that initially was not seriously considered considered only because that’s what CEOs supposed to do. But over time, became seriously considered because I realize how much faster we can go, how much more value we can create, and how powerful the combination of technology content and analytics is. But I think once you once you really realize that you are under serving your customers by not doing the marriage, then that decision becomes easier. Remember, it wasn’t about me being the founder who only imagines one exit, it was less about ego. It is more about being of service. And so I realized that that marriage was important in terms of technology, content, and analytics being under one roof.
Marlene Gebauer 29:09
So I’m going to switch gears here for a second. It seems like your iltacon schedule was similar to mine, you’re kind of in there for a day and out for a day. So how was the experience being back in person? And can you share some takeaways from your presentation?
Olga Mack 29:23
Oh, it’ll tie was fun. It was fun. It was fun. Fun fact, I caught up with many people I knew before but also fun fact, I met some of my colleagues from LexisNexis in person there for the first time. So thank God for it. It’s like It’s like Switzerland. It’s a neutral territory where you can make your colleagues and friends. I love virtual interactions that allows me to have conversations with you in Australia, Europe, Asia, and Latin America all in one day and still kiss my kids. My kids go Night. So I really value and grateful for that. But there is something about working and seeing, you know, my, my my friend, Noah, or Bob and saying hello and giving them a hug. And being interviewed by, you know folks who do podcasts right there. And then there’s there’s a value on seeing and having a tangible experience. And that was valuable. It was no more or less valuable to me, because my virtual experiences are very valuable to me too. But it was just different. And it led to different conversations and different ways to connect.
Greg Lambert 30:42
What about your presentation? What what did you present on?
Olga Mack 30:45
You know, this is one of the conferences where I was not the entertainment. I was entertained. And I love that. There are very few conferences that I you know, in fact, I joke that I, I only go to conferences where I’m the entertainment. But this was a conference that I was entertained. And it turns out, I love being entertained, even more than the the entertainment. And mean, I did talk to Ari and he recorded a podcast. So I did say maybe that
Marlene Gebauer 31:19
maybe that’s what I was thinking. I was like I could have sworn she did.
Olga Mack 31:23
I was walking with that RA and he leaped out of his seat. He’s an older, let me interview you. And I said, I’m here to be entertained. And he said it will be entertaining. And so that’s how I ended up doing it. It was fun. It was really great to catch up with Ari this way.
Greg Lambert 31:40
Yeah. All right. Ari Kaplan is definitely entertaining. So I can verify that. But even though on this this time, you were not the the entertainment. You know, no moss grows on Olga Mack at all, because you already have an ABA publication on the horizon for 2023 on visual IQ for lawyers. So can you tell us a little bit about this project and what the book is going to be about?
Olga Mack 32:12
Yeah, the book is, as you said, scheduled for early 2023. I think that when we go through law school and practice, we overemphasize our analytical, written mind, and ability to communicate this way. And if you observe the world, the trend is away from words, and towards pictures and visuals. And so that just means that we as lawyers, missing various critical skills, to understand the world around us to relate to our clients, and generally being effective. And I think visual intelligence is not something you’re born with. It’s like reading, writing and arguing. It’s something you learn, intentionally. And this book is, is an attempt to, one show the importance of visual intelligence in communications, and to give frameworks and basic concepts to allow legal professionals not just lawyers, to understand, relate, interpret, communicate in an increasingly visual world.
Greg Lambert 33:34
That sounds really interesting.
Marlene Gebauer 33:36
Yes, I think that’s great. So when that comes out, we may have to, we may have to reach out to you again. So I saw that you you posted on LinkedIn today about how mentoring goes two ways. And you know, we’re starting some episodes on older colleagues in the workforce. So this is particularly interesting and timely, at least for us. Why is having more and less experienced colleagues, you know, on the teams, why is that so important?
Olga Mack 34:05
Yeah, it’s really interesting to good question. We are at the point of time in history where we have more generations working side by side, five
Marlene Gebauer 34:16
generations working side by side by
Olga Mack 34:19
side, and we no longer live in the world that you’re we understand that your age and intelligence are not always highly correlated, and experiences right, that is, you know, that is to say that diversity is as important as the actual cumulative effect. And then because we are products of our environments, in addition to being products of how we have been born, you know, different generations have had different experiences, and sometimes they may be more valuable or less valuable depending on the goal. So the hierarchical system of, you know, more senior professionals, bestowing their wisdom is really data. It just doesn’t work. It doesn’t reflect the realities of the world, it doesn’t reflect how knowledge is shared, it doesn’t reflect that the value of somebody’s narrow expertise, even if cumulative was smaller, may be super important. I think it’s very important to think of your interactions, especially at a workplace as learning experiences. And if you only gonna be thinking that you’re learning from people who are older than you, you will be missing out,
Marlene Gebauer 35:50
you’re going to stop learning eventually,
Olga Mack 35:53
eventually, just by definition, so you need to find a framework to move through life that is, you know, respectful of other people’s experiences, that allows you to continue working, and learning. And I do think that ability to be mentioned and learn from, you know, folks above and below is a way to do it. Because that really gives you a more 360 view of what’s happening in the world. And being a full participant. If you have been, you know, if you are just entering a field and you worry that you don’t have enough experiences, you talk to somebody who is more experienced, if you somehow worried that you are missing out on a technology skill, for whatever reason, age or something else, you talk to somebody who has that skill, and that person could be younger than you or older than you. And you have to have an open mind that you can learn from every experience. So I think it’s very important to to be able to move through live respectful in a way that you can learn from from every human.
Greg Lambert 37:00
Good advice. I think so. Absolutely. All right, I’ll go we’ve come to the part in the interview where we’re going to ask you our crystal ball questions. So I’m going to ask you to pull out your crystal ball and peer into the future for us. And given your experience here in the legal marketplace. What do you see is happening with within legal innovation, say in the next three to five years,
Olga Mack 37:26
Marlene Gebauer 37:27
Olga Mack 37:34
Look, I really believe that law is becoming of service, I think we owe gradually going toward the world, where a why, just like every every other industry has to serve. And that means improving relationship with law. For everyone, I think it’s very important for the civil society for us as humans. And we have technology to do that. So we’re definitely seeing that trend, and is that that’s happening. We also see related to that a lot of innovations in places we didn’t expect to see innovation, we see a lot of legal innovation, to be increasingly not called legal innovation. Someone is building HR software, they’re gonna build compliance by design, somebody’s building, you know, finance related software, or platform, they will have to build various legal components by design. So I think we’re moving away from the world of sort of legal innovation to sort of a broader world where legal innovation is built in, everything needs to have built in by design, some sort of compliance, some sort of nod to civil society, regulated by laws. And that’s in pretty much every aspect. And so I’m really excited about it. What I also see is a convergence of disruptive technologies, I see you know, things like AI, ML, blockchain, virtual reality, kind of converge in one place, and law will be affected by that as well. We’re gonna go from like, sort of two dimensional experience of just reading to very immersive three dimensional experiences in law, and hopefully that will help us really to create better understanding and relationship with law kind of a more three dimensional access to it. And finally, you know, in addition to various technologies convergence, we see the importance of technology, content, and data being under one roof I think that’s a very, very powerful combination, especially in the context of law, where as a lawyer, you’re you have a job, which is to take was in various content and synthesize it with the world facts. And we increasingly getting to a place where you can take technology content, analytics and facts and synthesize it in the most streamlined way. And to me, that’s a very exciting value that we can we can bring to the world to lawyers and their customers.
Greg Lambert 40:38
Alright, I like that. I like the idea of legal innovation is built in by design. I like that thought. So well, Olga Mack from Parley Pro at LexisNexis, we thank you so much for coming back and talking to us. And you’ve got an open offer that either when your new TEDx talk or your new book comes back comes out, you have to come back and talk to us.
Marlene Gebauer 41:03
Yes. Well, thank
Olga Mack 41:04
you, Merlin. Thank you, Greg. I’ll take you up on that. Fun fact, both the book and TEDx talk I talking about visual visuals and law. So we may just combine them it seems like semantically it makes sense.
Greg Lambert 41:19
Sounds like a great idea. All right. Thanks again, Olga. Thanks, Olga.
Marlene Gebauer 41:24
All right. So it’s always great to have Olga on the podcast. And you know, she just has so much going on right now. And she has so much to share with everyone. So I am glad that we got her on when we did. And looking forward to getting her on again.
Greg Lambert 41:41
Yeah, absolutely. It’s, uh, I, you know, there’s a couple of things that she did, or she mentioned. And that was one, I think that vulnerability of you know, it’s not, it’s not a brand. It’s my authentic self. And that’s who she is. And it really is, if you’ve ever met her, you know, this, what you see is what you get. And that’s really good. And I appreciate that. And then, and I’ll probably make this the title of this, and that is having legal innovation built in by design, on her projection for the crystal ball question. I think that that is so spot on, on what this industry is doing. And you see it in everywhere. There’s no longer these big, great releases of technology, it’s incremental, it’s built in is just expected that you’re going to see these advancements, and you’re not going to necessarily even know that they’re happening. It’s just the seamless transition of technology.
Marlene Gebauer 42:44
That’s it’s I think about when we talk about, oh, you know, having you know, smart lawyers is kind of table stakes and innovation would distinguish and I think you’re gonna get to the point where innovation like this is also table stakes.
Greg Lambert 42:57
Absolutely, absolutely. So it’s great to have Olga Mack back on on the show. And I think we probably got her lined up to do one. One more, at least one more, at least one more. So Thanks, Olga, for taking the time to talk with us. And of
Marlene Gebauer 43:12
course, thanks to all of you for taking the time to listen to The Geek in Review podcast. If you enjoy the show, share it with a colleague. We’d love to hear from you. So reach out to us on social media. I can be found at @gebauerm on Twitter,
Greg Lambert 43:25
And I can be reached @glambert on Twitter, or you
Marlene Gebauer 43:29
can leave us a voicemail on The Geek in Review Hotline at 713-487-7270 and as always, the music you hear is from Jerry David DeCicca Thank you Jerry.
Greg Lambert 43:39
Thank you Jerry. Alright, Marlene will talk with you later.
Marlene Gebauer 43:43
Okay, bye bye