2 min read

Fringe Legal #24: making innovation everyone's business

As I wrote on LinkedIn recently, innovation has as many definitions as the number of people you ask to define it. Regardless of what you think of as “innovative,” the execution needs to permeate the business. With that in mind, I thought it might be useful to explore innovation from three different viewpoints.

Here are 3 things to help find some inspiration.



Allister Spencer is the Co-founder and Director of Altruistic Ventures (Alt-V). We spoke about:

  1. Some of the contributing factors that helped some firms/in-house teams thrive earlier this year
  2. What the focus is turning to now
  3. Becoming more operationally excellent

There were too many takeaways from our chat, so I created a blog post to supplement the episode. In which you will find commentary and quotes. Here’s a short snippet to whet the appetite:

The rhetoric from our perspective is what’s above the line and what’s below the line. You’ve got operational costs below the line that you can’t control, but you’ve got leverage model objects out there that are the leavers that you can pull, and you’ve got to bring senior stakeholders on board and educate them on what leavers they can pull, and what effect that has on their practice group for the entire business.
It’s a really important one because you’re essentially converting a partner into a business owner… getting them across the line is a difficult one because they don’t really want to understand the operations of the business. They just want to do legal work because that’s what they’ve done for 20 years. So bringing them on that journey and engaging with them on ‘yes, you can make 30% profit by doing what you’re currently doing, but do you want to make 40%, here’s the way you can do it’. So it’s a carrot rather than a stick.

Listen to the episode/read supplement here


The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) updated its legal operations maturity model, which includes a focus on Innovation Management.

The purpose of the tool is to be a reference that can be used to benchmark against. Be sure to scroll to the ‘Foundational Tools’ found at the bottom of the page.

Review the innovation management maturity model



It’s also worth reviewing the A&O Legal Innovation Benchmarking Report. In this report, the firm provides an analysis of survey responses from 90 in-house leaders across five different categories. I’m still digesting it and will likely be referencing some of the findings in future issues.

If anyone from the A&O team wants to chat, please reach out :).

Read the A&O Legal Innovation Benchmarking Report (email needs to be provided for access)

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