So here we are on the ‘eve of’ ABA TECHSHOW and day of the fourth annual LexThink.1 event. It used to be called Ignite Law inspired by the Ignite-format events springing up in the 1000s all over the world, but regardless of name, venue or geography, the general premise has remained consistent - deliver an inspiring and passionate plea for change (insert ‘type of change’ details here) in oh yeah, 5 minutes, or in the case of LexThink.1, 6 minutes or a 1/10th of a billable hour.
For those of you that have attended previous editions or seen any of the 45+ presentation videos online, you'll notice an annual theme chosen by the producers Matt Homann of LexThink and JoAnna Forshee, InsideLegal CEO. This year the 10 LexThink.1 talks are all about market disruption in our profession; stuff that is starting to get ‘sticky’ now and concepts on the horizon that could have major impact. I took a closer look at the topics (everything from big data to legal zoom and the death of the office as we know it) and discovered some intriguing themes and ‘take-aways’:
- What can we learn from disruptive technologies and business strategies making their way into legal? Why are they disruptive? Why now? How can we learn from this so we can a) ‘join em’; b) ‘beat em’; c) ‘prove em wrong’; d) wait it out and hope the disruption ends up being a mere distraction?
- ‘Force feeding’ innovation and disruption: You know the saying ‘it takes a village’ and while disruptions are often born as a single idea based on the conviction of a sole believer, the real push and momentum comes with group think and group buy-in. That’s where LexThink.1 attendees come in. We’ll have 200+ legal professionals on hand, all with the power to turn these 6 minute disruption ‘pitches’ into deeper conversations with real deliverables. Why not setup some ‘work groups’ that collaborate to see how far they can take one of these ideas. Kick-off a 12 month ‘experiment’ to prove the impact of a ‘little’ idea and present the findings at LexThink.1 2014?
- “Build it and they will come”: This works if the ‘it’ is worth the trip. It didn’t really work for the 1000’s of ‘as seen on TV’ chachkies that are collecting dust in our drawers and shelves as we speak but it did for many others. Case in point, LexThink.1 which four years ago started as an idea in Matt’s head, and with JoAnna’s string pulling and execution (they pulled this off in about 3 weeks), and an online community ‘chomping at the bit’ for a new version of the old meetings and conference sessions, Ignite Law was launched. 200+ legal professionals witnessed the first conference focused on legal technology futures and since over 7,500 have voted online to nominate their favorite speaker.
So, with LexThink.1 a mere 5 hours away, I challenge all of us to be disruptive tonight … whether it’s engaging the speakers in their disruption topics, collaborating with other attendees on your own version of disruption, and most definitely sharing your own thoughts on how we can rock the legal status quo via our social networks and online resources.
See you tonight. Jobst