3 min read

Fringe Legal #23: change vs. transformation

Here are 3 things that were worth sharing. Grab a cup of ☕ this is a long(er) read.


We talk about transformation and change quite a lot - partly because things are constantly changing around us. I don’t know about you, but I’ve become sensitive to these words getting muddled and almost becoming interchangeable in recent conversations.

In reading Three Horizons (by Bill Sharpe), I came across a wonderful metaphor that helps to differentiate between the two:

A caterpillar grows by getting longer and fatter, but this can only go on for a while before it reaches the limit. The caterpillar cannot turn into a butterfly by eating more, taking exercise, or anything else - it has to go through a transformation in how it is organized and how it related to the world around it., The caterpillar changes the pattern of its life, abandoning the old and adopting the new.

There are two primary sorts of change:

  1. those that continue a learned pattern (change)
  2. those that start a new routine (transformation)

A lot goes into thinking about which type of change exercise to pursue, including timing, desired behavior, propensity to change, your audience, etc. Studying/observing companies we are familiar with provides excellent examples of the stickiness factor when these are employed right. Let’s consider IKEA...


Since its founding in 1943, IKEA has developed a unique innovation stack that is near impossible for competitors to copy. It has had to educate its customers on how they view the shopping experience and furniture assembly.

If you’ve ever been to IKEA, you’ll know that the shopping experience is unique. If it’s your second time visiting, you might also now notice a subtle change in your behavior - you’ll see that it’s quite fun, that you can get good food, and even be able to drop off your kids. Contrary to some shopping experiences, people visiting IKEA want to take their kids and go with the whole family.

Regarding building furniture - it has transformed behaviors so much that it has birthed a cognitive bias—the IKEA effect. The Decision Lab has an excellent summary and how to utilize it to get kids to eat more vegetables!!

The IKEA effect describes how we put more value on things that we’ve built ourselves.
Why it happens
Making things, even if it’s just assembling a dresser with a crazy Swedish name, satisfies our need to feel competent. Our improved opinions of our creations might also happen because we want to feel justified in having put in so much work, and because our positive self-concepts spill over into our projects.
Example 1 – Kids’ diets
Parents can capitalize on the IKEA effect by getting their kids involved in cooking dinner. Research shows that kids who help prepare food tend to like vegetables more, and eat more of them as a result.



Last week, I hosted the biggest episode of Fringe Legal Edge - we had six outstanding women guests. They had all met at the start of the pandemic and joined a LinkedIn group that impacted their lives.

I wrote about my takeaways to supplement the recording, both of which can be found below.

Watch the episode (30 minutes)


If you’re not already familiar with Quddus and FutureLab.Legal than he’s an individual worth knowing.

Quddus has been doing some exceptional work as part of FuberLab.Legal and thinking about the future of law. He writes a fantastic newsletter, which I look forward to reading each week - they are thought-provoking, varied, and insightful. Here’s the description from the site:

This Newsletter is a taste into the world of Law on its journey through a wave of disruption and transition. I shed light on systemic connections and holistic insights gained through serving clients, partners and groups globally through my business: FutureLab.Legal.

Check out the FutureofLaw Newsletter

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