Digital Transformation: Can it go Faster?

In the throes of the pandemic, both law firms and in-house legal teams rushed to embrace digital tools to enable remote work. However, despite video calls and remote working becoming the norm, too many organisations continue to fail to make the most of the potential for meaningful digital transformation.

Research shows that top performing organisations employ five times more data analytics than poor performers. However, for digital tools to deliver valuable change, they need to be deployed by individuals who not only know how to use technology, but also have the lateral thinking to understand how to make the most of the data insights generated by new digital processes. How, then, can firms and corporates ensure they equip their teams with the mindsets and skills for the digital age?

A willingness to experiment and to step out of one’s comfort zone is crucial when it comes to effective digital transformation, since this relies on individuals being open to learning and understanding new ways of doing things. The evidence suggests that hyper-specialists, commonly found in the legal profession, are less suited to this challenge, whilst those with a more generalist training tend to be better able to adapt their critical thinking.

Digital transformation is more than just about learning a new skillset – it’s about re-thinking the very way in which we learn. Organisations should, therefore, seek out thinkers and learners who are able to apply the deep knowledge they have gained in other areas of expertise to the new opportunities presented by digital technology.

The good news is that digital-first skills and an open mindset can be learned. So, GCs and law firm management teams would be wise to review their current training programmes to ensure there is sufficient scope to upskill their teams in the right way. In addition to exposure to digital skills, training on commercial acumen, systems thinking, and complex problem assessment / solving, for example, can prove particularly valuable.

If law firms or corporates invest in building a digital-ready team that can harness the potential offered by digital transformation to create real value for their clients, they will be extremely well placed to steal a march on their competitors.

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