5 Strategies to Minimize Change Management in Legal Operations

Brett Li
Brett Li
February 8, 2023
April 25, 2021
5
min read
5 Strategies to Minimize Change Management in Legal Operations

We’re excited to share a new resource designed specifically for operations professionals working in legal departments. It’s an eBook titled “5 Strategies To Minimize Change Management In Legal Operations.” It offers concrete steps that ops professionals can take to innovate and increase efficiency inside their companies without forcing employees to learn how to navigate new technology environments. Check out a snippet of the eBook below, and download it here.

Minimizing the costs of change management — such that we derive value from the technology we invest in at low costs of adoption — is an important goal for just about every department inside every organization. It’s also a huge challenge for every department.

But in no department is this more true than legal. Here unique challenges exist. One, for example, is persuading employees to embrace new technological systems and innovative processes even just theoretically. The reason this is hard has to do with the unique ethos of the legal profession, which roots itself even inside the legal departments of forward-thinking companies. Lawyers — for good reason! — are trained to focus on risk: reducing it, safeguarding companies against it, and combating it when it manifests into a real threat.

As a result, they can be wary of process-level innovations, such as those which require change management, because they introduce new variables of risk. Typically, they’ll prefer the predictability of “the devil they know,” even when that comes in the form of older processes that require more menial labor, such as time-consuming follow ups, manual data entry, or the use of older tech.

This preference translates into a second key challenge for legal ops teams when it comes to implementing and using new technology — and that’s getting employees to embrace the change management required of using that new tech when it’s adopted.

Change management is beguiling and tiresome for all employees, but this is especially true of folks in legal. Marketing, engineering, or sales professionals, for example, can be persuaded more easily to learn how to use new technological tools and systems because the ROI is clear and compelling: the ability to reach more customers, for example, or a chance at higher efficiency. But for legal professionals, what they care most about — when it comes to new technology — is whether the tool or system in question reduces risk.

Still, legal serves as a crucial business partner inside companies. Legal processes connect to and impact every part of the business. Systems for completing NDAs, for example, impact how quickly business conversations can start. Ensuring contracts are quickly signed impacts sales velocity. Employee agreements can influence hiring processes. What legal ops teams risk by resisting innovation or optimization when it comes to these mission-critical workflows are the workflows themselves becoming fossilized and incontrovertibly rooted in place, with innovations and improvements always failing to gain traction. They also risk forcing themselves to carry an outsized amount of the weight when it comes to working around the limitations created by manual work arounds and ad-hoc processes.

For legal operations teams to be highly strategic partners inside organizations, they should maintain a standard of operational excellence while at the same time assisting in pushing the organization forward.

One question that’s top of mind inside every legal operations department, then, is how to combat these challenges such that their companies benefit from the use of innovative technologies and improved operational systems? How do you overcome the pushback? And once you do that, how do you ensure the new systems create real, tangible, appreciable value?

The answer: reduce the need for change management when adopting new technology altogether.

This eBook — with advice derived from many years’ experience working with operations teams of all stripes and powering some of the most influential companies across the world — outlines how to do precisely that. These strategies will help you and your company get started designing, building, and maintaining tomorrow-ready processes and systems at minimal operational cost. Read: without mandating lots of change management.

Click here to learn more.

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