Five years ago, Dr. Heidi Gardner, Distinguished Fellow at Harvard Law School and co-founder, Gardner & Co, wrote the book, “Smart Collaboration” where she laid out the “why” behind smart collaboration efforts. In her upcoming sequel, “Smarter Collaboration: A New Approach to Breaking Down Barriers and Transforming Work,” Dr. Gardner explains the “who” and the “how” behind collaboration. The issues that law firms face today are incredibly complex and multifaceted. And in an industry famous for “going it alone,” that approach exposes firms to much greater risk than those who find ways of implementing “smarter collaboration” techniques. 
Smarter Collaboration helps increase revenues, profits, and efficiencies while reducing risks and improving client relationships and positive outcomes. While the idea of collaboration may sound like a “soft topic” for law firm leaders, Dr. Gardner points out that there is empirical data behind this and if firms are not engaging in smarter collaboration when doing the “real work” then they are either doing something that is pretty low value, or that falls into the realm of commodity work.  
In addition to data driven analysis, Smarter Collaboration also includes a number of examples of how companies and law firms thrive through the use of Smarter Collaboration. Plus, there is a test on determining behavioral tendencies when it comes to collaboration. This psychometric tool helps identify seven different dimensions which can lead to great collaboration within the organization, or may be barriers to collaboration. And, as strange as it may sound to those of us in the legal industry, law firms are not unique when it comes to collaborative behaviors. In fact, Dr. Gardner says law firms are more different from each other than they are from other professional services industries or large corporations.
Listen in for more details on the upcoming book, Smarter Collaboration.

Listen on mobile platforms:  Apple Podcasts LogoApple Podcasts |  Spotify LogoSpotify
AALL Crystal Ball Question
This week we have John Beatty from the University of Buffalo Law School answer our crystal ball question where he points out that the pipeline of traditional law librarians for law schools may be running dry.
Links Mentioned:
Contact Us:
Twitter: @gebauerm or @glambert
Voicemail: 713-487-7270
Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com
Transcript


Continue Reading Increased Revenue, Profits, and Efficiencies through “Smarter Collaboration” – Dr. Heidi Gardner (TGIR Ep. 169)

We talk shop with Litera’s Vice-President of Sales for North America, Ashley Miller, including Litera’s growth over the past few years, and how long it can stay in that Goldilocks’ stage of being just the right size to be a big player, yet still nimble enough to pivot when needed.
The recent Changing Lawyer Virtual Summit featured recognizable speakers like Richard Susskind and Seth Godin, but also had Litera’s traditional outside the norm type speaker with Mark Schulman, rock drummer for the likes of P!nk and Cher. Miller zeroed in on something that Richard Susskind discussed at the conference about the changes in technology adoption in law firms during the pandemic. Are the advancements we’ve seen since March 2020 really innovation, or are they really just acceleration of automation designed to keep work afloat?
Finally, we talk data and what is meant by the single source of truth when it comes to data. Are we all making informed decisions based on the same, accurate data? Ashley Miller then turns the tables on the hosts by asking where they see the single source of truth in data when it comes to how law firms are going to handle data in the future.

Listen on mobile platforms:  Apple Podcasts LogoApple Podcasts |  Spotify LogoSpotify
Contact Us
Twitter@gebauerm or @glambert.
Voicemail: 713-487-7270
Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com.
Music: As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca.
Transcript


Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 140 – Litera’s Ashley Miller on Data and the Single Source of Truth

Dentons Nextlaw LabsMaya Markovich understands that rational lawyers would observe market dynamics and client pressures to weigh the costs and benefits of adapting their behaviors to survive change, stay employed, and make their work more fulfilling. But, people don’t always make rational decisions. And, law firm’s economic structure incentivizes lower efficiency as a method of obtaining higher revenue. 
Wordrake‘s Ivy Grey thinks that firms need to stop thinking of short-term gains at the expense of necessary long-term changes that will help lawyers create more value with their time. This shift really helps clients with their overall legal needs, not just the immediate need.
Join us as we walk through issues of change management, behavioral science, ethical fading, and legal industry business models and where Markovich and Grey believe the industry is headed in the not too distant future.
Check out Maya and Ivy’s three-part blog series:

Apple Podcasts LogoApple Podcasts | Overcast LogoOvercast | Spotify LogoSpotify

Information Inspirations
It’s the legal innovation’s Oscars time of the year. Many of our friends and colleagues have made the list of this year’s Fastcase50 and College of Law Practice Management Fellowships. Congrats to them all!!
Legal Innovators have some habits they need to change. Victoria Hudgins addresses those in her article on CIOs Reveal 4 Mistakes Every Law Firm Innovation Leader Should Avoid.
Speaking of bad habits, Zack Needles discusses the very bad habit of law firms who want to bring in the hot new CINOs (Chief Innovation Officers) to help advance innovation within their firms, but cannot see past the yearly budget, revenues, and profits to let the innovators try things that may fail before they succeed. Needles worries that this will cause a revolving door for CINOs with little chance of being given enough room to actually bring about innovative change in the firms.
Listen, Subscribe, Comment
Please take the time to rate and review us on Apple Podcast. Contact us anytime by tweeting us at @gebauerm or @glambert. Or, you can call The Geek in Review hotline at 713-487-7270 and leave us a message. You can email us at geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com. As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca.
Transcript


Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 124 – Maya Markovich and Ivy Grey on Creating More Value with the Time You Have

Recently, I’ve encountered something that I’ve found unsettling. Compromising seems to be something that we equate with failure. In fact, people would rather watch something fail – even things they say they value – rather than take ownership of the change needed to make it succeed. I couldn’t understand why the current environment seems to promote and all-or-nothing approach in how we deal with other people, the management of processes, or the allocation of resources. I brought this up with a group of my peers, and I got a very insightful response from one person in the group.

Continue Reading No One Wants to Own the Change

Image [cc] evan p. cordes

One of the biggest question marks in the legal industry is around driving change in law firms. We all know change is needed, but it tends to come very slowly for law firms [insert shocked exclamation here, soaked in sarcasm]. There are a number of classic law firm change methods

Image [cc] Gail

A recent post on how law schools need to embrace technology (#1), along with a recent overblown debate on the law firm business model (#2), combined with a conversation with a colleague on “disruptive” technology for law firms (#3), got me thinking. So this time, it was three events instead of three