Even the best new tools may fail unless you have a good change management program.
In the last few years, chatter about change management in the legal profession has increased significantly.
Why do we need change management?
With so many great new legal technology products in the market, it is not difficult to license a product that can increase efficiency, improve work product, and reduce write downs. When a new product is introduced to attorneys, it will be an easy sell and they will be excited to use it…right? Not always.
Why is it difficult to introduce new tools?
Of course attorneys want to work better and faster. The problem is that change literally hurts and it can even register in the brain as fear or pain.
Imagine you must immediately—without notice or instruction—switch from Apple to Android (or Android to Apple depending on your preference). Without a debate over which system is better, most of us would dread losing our known preferred system and having to learn a new system—even if the new system were objectively better.
Now imagine an attorney practicing the same way for 5, 10, or 20-plus years is given a new tool and told, “Here you go, use this and do it this way from now on.” The response will not be favorable.
The situation mimics the cartoon with two cave dwellers pulling a cart with square wheels. A 3rd cave dweller comes by offering round wheels. The response: “No thanks, we’re good.” In fairness to the cart pullers, they have been using square wheels for years and they have gotten the job done, why change and endure the risk of something new?
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