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Legito Legal Disruptors 2020: Jana Blount, Radical Change in Legal Industry

Jana Blount of DLA Piper pushed the virtual envelope of the conference by connecting via mobile phone to discuss change, and how this pandemic is forcing law firms and legal service providers to adapt. Jana explored how changing one’s mindset and building an environment in which thinking about change is second nature will create a company culture that is geared to easily adapt to whatever may come.

Jana leads and drives strategic change at her firm, and the need for such change has never been greater with the pressures being placed upon legal service providers across the globe due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Although pandemics are not new, the coronavirus crisis has brought an unprecedented challenge to how companies are accustomed to doing business, and so an entire shift in mindset is needed. One of these changes, which has been a trend in recent years, is service providers working closer than ever with their customers to provide tailored solutions. In her talk, however, Jana states that shifts of this type are always required for true disruption and innovation, irrespective of current external factors.

Before working with customers, however, it is important to work internally to empower employees. Such empowerment does not mean simply providing the tools to collaborate, it means also creating a supportive framework for design thinking. Employing old methods is not likely to breed fresh results but, simply adapting one’s approach to innovation can result in true change.

Instead of only focusing on the actual challenge at hand, Jana encouraged people to look beyond the question, and consider the motivations, emotions, and other drivers behind the questions. Such deep thinking can bring amazing results. The next step is to take this analytical type of thinking and let it spread throughout an organization.

Jana also speaks to the importance of differentiating between a Pilot and a Prototype. The difference between committing to a concept versus testing a concept, but being open to making necessary adjustments, and to changing original assumptions and premises.

Taking a childlike, almost naïve approach to challenges, and not being afraid to question established norms, builds the foundations for truly divergent thinking and transformative innovation.

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