Seth Godin on Change, and Law Firms

Well, actually, I don’t believe Seth mentioned law firms once in the most recent episode of his Akimbo podcast, but as he talked about bringing about change and introducing something new, I couldn’t help but think about law firms.

That’s because, when he talks about how very successful people in their chosen fields simply missed the point because they had already gotten success the “regular way”, it reminded me a lot of the lawyers I’ve known over the years. They aren’t stupid. Quite the contrary. They had been successful doing things the old, regular, way, and weren’t looking for a shift, so when it came, they were blind sided by it.

Think about the lawyers who’ve been hugely successful doing what they have done for 20-30+ years in law firms. They aren’t seeing the shift to needing to be technically competent, using technology to be more efficient, using social media to connect with potential clients, or restructuring their firm to take advantage of a variety of skills that may or may not live within their lawyer ranks. They aren’t seeing it because they’ve been doing it the regular way, and it’s been working. There hasn’t been anything that would shake them out of that.

For those of us trying to introduce new technology and new ways of doing things within the legal industry, it’s important to remember that we can’t change their paradigm overnight. It’s going to take time, and it’s going to take some push from outside of the firm to cause that paradigm to shift. But, as Seth says, we need to continue to talk to the people who are listening. The ones who are looking for new ways of doing things, and trying to find advantages that can be gained using technology need us to keep working with them, and continuing to educate them. That’s where we make our difference, and it might not come today, or tomorrow, but eventually, it will be part of doing business at law firms. Eventually the paradigms will shift, everywhere, the same way every school in the country serves tater tots. 😉

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