Tomorrow I am going to speak to a room full of Futurists – lawyers, economist, artists, teachers, entrepreneurs and I am lost for words….for now.
Even if I were to look into a crystal ball, the view of the future is not clear, except what is clear is there is uncertainty and the question of how we are going to live, is partly embracing that certainty.
If I were to look at the trends of the last few years, what is clear is that social media, not withstanding recent media attention, has taken centre stage in terms of the lives of many. I am not referring specifically to Millennial but think about it – you know and hear of your friend’s life through Instagram, Whatsapp and Wechat when in the past it was a phone call or a proper whiff of news from the grapevine…
The surge of discussions on the Future lawyer, lacks something, it lacks color, substance, projectory and worst yet idealism and direction. As an advocate of positive change, part of the blockage is realising that the real challenge is how we are holding our selves back.
At a time when there could possibly be a more cohesive approach to the discussions on LegalTech and engagement with other stakeholders – i.e. people other than lawyers, the momentum is slow and the self-congratulatory approach of doing ‘something’ is really not going to change the world.
Whilst one can observe institutions developing accelerators and incubators with the appearance of doing something ‘innovative’, the test is in the pudding – does it taste good, does it have substance, does it actually do anything?
When we shift through the noise, we uncover something closer to the truth – the answer is we don’t know. We don’t know what we don’t know, so all the noise is a cover up for fear someone is going to Judge. The client might notice, everyone else is doing something exciting, something related to ‘LegalTech’ and hence in a sense of desperation, we ought to do something too. Now here, for once, I actually appreciate the late adopters for being genuine.
Where is all this coming from? Observation…..
When one compares the legal world to the entrepreneurial world, we are miles apart.
The evolution of ideas, the pivots of perceptions on existing problems and potential answers is like trying compare a watermelon seed and palm tree seed. Basically, the tides are soft and flowing, and very much within the comfort zone.
The movements are so gentle, it’s almost as if there is a perception if the waves become too large, somehow the ocean will overflow, as if it were contained in a box.
I think in my talk tomorrow, I am going to encourage fellow colleagues to think creatively and to challenge their own comfort zones.
There is a sense of security when we do what is familiar, when we know what we know. As they say, ‘the better the devil you know…’ so the wheels almost always turns 360 degrees, and the direction is always aimed one way…yet what perhaps is truly worth exploring is off the beaten track.
So get started packing…..we are going for a trek.
The Future Lawyer