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The legal industry is changing but to what, for whom, where, why and how? Join us each month to learn about the next best practices in legal practice and how it applies to your firm or organisation. Learn from the people who are “walking the talk.” Hear what they are doing and what has driven them to do things differently for their clients, their people, their organisations and themselves and, how they measure and learn from success and failure. We’re going to get candid, super practical and yes, we’re going to get legally innovative too!

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Aug 6, 2019

The People Part of Change and Innovation – Ida Abbott on Succession Planning, Reverse Mentoring and a Whole Lot More!

In the discussion about legal innovation, we can sometimes forget to focus on the people part. People innovate, organisations do not! People find change hard and innovation is, essentially, a change process.  This is all complex enough but the people part is, itself, also changing right now. Baby Boomers are retiring, the legal workforce is increasingly mobility, employee have different expectations – the gig economy is alive and well for all legal professionals. So, how well is the legal industry coping with all of this?  

We spoke with Ida Abbot of Ida Abbott Consulting, an amazing human and guru on all things related to law firm succession planning and mentoring. We focussed our discussion on two of the most pressing people issues in the legal industry right now. These issues have been present for a long time but are finding their way onto the priority list at law firm strategic planning meetings, and will continue to do that with greater emphasis, as legal innovation takes a deeper and wider hold on the industry. These two critical issues are: the impact of the exodus of the Baby Boomer lawyers from legal practice and, the role that mentoring should/can/will play in the consequent “changing of the guard.” Topics covered in our conversation included:

  1. How law firms are preparing for the loss of their Baby Boomer leaders and managers.
  2. How law firms are preparing for a changing legal workforce more broadly and, how design thinking can be used to support this too!
  3. Where the loss of the Baby Boomers will be most/least likely to show up in legal practice.
  4. How firms are/are not working on bridging any potential gaps as Baby Boomers leave.
  5. Given how much legal practice has changed and will continue to change, is there a role to play for experienced practitioners to act as mentors in law firms today/tomorrow?
  6. Can/should the transfer of experience from senior lawyers be limited to other lawyers or should it be extended to the many emerging legal professions?
  7. How important is reverse mentoring in contemporary legal practice? What benefits can it bring?
  8. And finally, if we all could look from a 40,000 foot/metre height over the next 3 years and observe the depth and breadth of the change in the legal workforce, will we be looking at chaos or calm?

Thank you so much Ida  – we have all benefitted from your generous and incredible experience! By the way, we will let you know when Ida’s workbook “Retirement By Design” is published in early 2020!