In 2009 I will move this weblog into a few new areas that will be important for corporate legal departments and the law firms that want to continue to serve them.
This means that the shopworn “Billable Hour Has to Go” will be given a rest for awhile.
So here are three for starters:
Facing Hard Choices
“Management has a hard time destroying parts of its business unless the alternative, obvious to everyone, is that there is no choice.”
— Clay Shirky
There’s No Turning Back
“We think it’s time to quit sticking our heads a bit in the sand [and] taking incremental steps . . . in the name of hoping that it comes back to the way it used to be in years gone by.”
Tangible Beats Theoretical
“Create more value than you capture.”
— Tim O’Reilly
The first two quotations emerged from the turmoil that is roiling the modern newspaper. It may seem that there are no parallels to the legal industry. I think there are, and I’ll develop them later.
The third quotation is about newer web-based businesses, and Google is used as an example for their ad search business that allows keyword customers to calculate value on a near real-time basis. Again, what is the link to the legal industry? Here’s one for now: customers (and clients) are demanding more than a vague notion of “transparency;” they want to see clearly how expenditures are worth it on their own terms.
In challenging times it’s tempting to hunker down and try to ride out market storms; some companies almost crawl into a hole like a form of corporate hibernation.
So this year we will try to stay on the positive side of the ledger and give some ideas on how to emerge and face the day, not stand in the road waiting for those oncoming headlights.
(a recent visitor to the Wired GC HQ)