Developing An Innovative Mindset

Innovation is a “movement” around the world, and global initiatives across industries are illustrating that innovation is not just about incorporation new technologies into the work we do.

The movement is rooted in the creation of new businesses, the quest to make products and services more suited to client needs, figuring out how to deliver products and services faster and cheaper and understanding how to enhance customer and client experiences.

More than ever before, we are experiencing a global economy in which entrepreneurs and their teams are questioning all aspects of how products and services are invented, created, manufactured, delivered and experienced and how we are all connected as creators, manufacturers, suppliers, platform builders, distributors and customers around the world. It is this questioning that has transformed, and will continue to transform, our society, our economy and the products, services and experiences to which we have access.

Entrepreneurs and business teams within corporate organizations have developed the capacity to quest and question on an on-going basis, and entrepreneurs and business teams regularly tap into their “innovative mindsets.” An “innovative mindset” is one key to forging new ways of global economic and social exchange, regardless of the role you have in society or in the global economy, including legal service providers.

Rodrigo de Campos Vieira of PG Advogados in São Paulo, Brazil shared this slide, created by Adaptworks (, which is a company focused on training and software development and also located in São Paulo. The slide (now including English translations) succinctly conveys the “hard skills” (including: subject matter expertise, data and technical skill and math and statistics knowledge) and “soft skills” (including: problem solving, storytelling, collaboration, empathy, curiosity, communication and creativity) that facilitate building of an innovative mindset.

How cool is it that this “mindset” slide could be displayed in Brazil or the United States or in Italy or in England and the messaging conveyed would be the same?

This slide - of global applicability - goes to show you that we are all working to weave innovation into the fabric of our profession across the globe.

Mastering these “hard skills” and “soft skills,” among select other skills, combine to give us our “DQ” or “discovery quotient” in the words of Jeff Dyer, Hal Gregersen and Clayton M. Christensen in their book The Innovator's DNA. DQ “is designed to measure our ability to discover ideas for new ventures, products, and processes.”

We should all endeavor to learn and practice these skills with our clients, with other professionals and with other legal service providers within law firms, government agencies, non-profit organizations and corporate law departments; we should all endeavor to maximize our DQ.

As we look to the future of the legal profession and the competencies lawyers will need to meet clients’ needs and expectations and to curate client experiences during engagements, what is clear is that law schools must broaden the learning opportunities available to students to help them build their DQ. The learning opportunities that law schools offer must include the “hard skills” and “soft skills” of an innovative mindset. It will not be enough to know the letter of the law or principles of equity; we all must work to build our DQ.

An innovative mindset is a sine qua non of the successful, impactful lawyer, or legal service professional, of the 21st century.

#FrontierOfTheLaw  -  #CourageToInnovate  -  #InnovatorsDNA  -  #PracticeInnovation  -  #InnovativeMindset

What helpful insights, tips, or strategies might you be willing to share that would help other professionals think through how to incite innovation and efficiency gains into the practice of law?

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