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Summary

Innovation management helps to optimize the innovation process, identify bottlenecks and increase the productivity of innovation, investment, and resources.

Floor Blindenbach is the founder of Organizing4Innovation. Trigged by a recent whitepaper, I speak with Floor to discuss her views on innovation management for law firms. We spoke about:

- the importance of treating innovation as a process
- definition for innovation'
- the role of culture in driving innovative efforts
- Innovation as a way to develop talent
- the problem of tracking/measuring innovation efforts in law firms
- best practices for innovation teams

Show Notes

Innovation management helps to optimize the innovation process, identify bottlenecks and increase the productivity of innovation, investment, and resources.

Floor Blindenbach is the founder of Organizing4Innovation. Trigged by a recent whitepaper, I speak with Floor to discuss her views on innovation management for law firms. We spoke about:

  • the importance of treating innovation as a process
  • definition for innovation'
  • the role of culture in driving innovative efforts
  • Innovation as a way to develop talent
  • the problem of tracking/measuring innovation efforts in law firms
  • best practices for innovation teams

You can find the whitepaper here: https://www.organizing4innovation.com/managing-innovation-law-firms/

Transcript below (if cut off it can be found on FringeLegal.com)

About Floor

Driven to help innovators succeed, Floor Blindenbach-Driessen, founded Organizing4innovation. She developed the T4 online training for innovators that also serves as an innovation management platform, so organizations with limited innovation infrastructure can easily manage and oversee their innovation activities. She has a Ph.D. in management from the Erasmus University in the Netherlands and has 20+ years of research and practical experience with innovating in the professional services. She has written dozens of publications, assisted hundreds of innovators, with creating thousands of awesome solutions, leading to millions of dollars in new revenues.

You can find Floor on LinkedIn



Transcript

Ab: [00:00:00] Hello everyone and welcome to Fringe Legal. I'm so excited today to have Floor on the episode. Floor is driven to help innovators succeed, and because of this need, she founded Organization4Innovation. She developed the T4 online training for innovators that also serves as a innovation management platform, so organizations with limited innovation infrastructure can easily manage and oversee the innovation activities. She has a PhD in management from Erasmus university in the Netherlands and 20 plus years of research and practical experience with innovating in professional services. She has assisted hundreds of innovators with creating thousands of awesome solutions, leading to millions of dollars in new revenue, all fantastic achievements.

[00:01:51] And we will dig into the wealth of the knowledge that is in her brain today. So Floor, thank you so much for joining me. 

[00:01:58] Floor Blindenbach: [00:01:58] Thank you for having 

[00:01:59]Ab: [00:01:59] Yeah, I came across your work, as part of the a talk you did at the skills workshop, a presentation in January, 2021.

[00:02:08] And that was all around innovation management in law firms. As a setup to this conversation, because that's certainly tickled my interest. Would you mind just giving a  synopsis around that work, that report, and I'll certainly link to that for everyone listening/watching this so they can read it in full because it is worth reading.

[00:02:29] Floor Blindenbach: [00:02:29] Absolutely.  Let me start to say our focus is on firms that innovate and that, that aren't the Googles of this world that have billions to spend. So that's like a starting point and describes the type of teams that we work with.

[00:02:43] We have a platform for that, and we have earned a research grant to see if he could add predictive analytics to our online training platform.    We started the research out to see if we could basically vet teams better if it's like a Fitbit for innovation teams. And if we know better about teams do, can we then also provide better support?

[00:03:06] And we were so ignorant to think that we could even vet teams for law firms. We practice what we preach, and went out to do customer discovery and ask so would that'd be of benefit? So it's predictive analytics. The resounding answer that we got was no, we know which teams we want to support. So okay we have a research grant and a problem that no one wants to us to solve. Well it was a little more nuanced, but in those conversations, we also learned some things that I could not write. On the one hand, there was this where if you ask people for success later, like they were all saying, Oh, we're super successful.

[00:03:46] And also during ILTAON, we did a little poll and law firms indicated they had success rates of 80% or higher. That's very uncommon. So that would mean that in the law profession, they knew something that no one else knew, but this is like a venture capitalist have like success rates of one to 10 and even like the Procter and Gamble and Unilevers of this world, they need eight ideas for one success. So that was one thing. At the same time. If you talk with senior leadership, they were complaining, they were very skeptic about all these new technologies, because they saw so many failures. So this was really like a little bit of an indication, like something is not aligned here and last but not least I was talking to many people and then I got like an email two months, three months later which said: "Oh, I'm so sorry. I left the firm or I quit". And so I saw a huge turnover in innovation manager. So it was like, something is not, does not ryhme here. And so we're like, okay, let's use then our customer discovery and stick, step back and look into how is innovation actually managed in law firms. So that's when we started the new and talked with about 35, 36 people and did an in-depth analysis of 22 law firms to really learn how do they go about managing innovative ideas. So that's, what's like the long story to this report. 

[00:05:18] Ab: [00:05:18] Yeah. And that's really helpful context.

[00:05:20] Having that success rate of, 80, 90% for innovation efforts is remarkable if it was true. And really, as you, as you were talking, it's obviously there's a disconnect between those that are maybe doing the project, plus maybe those that are funding the project or the projects are being reported to, and it's a measurement problem as I'm sure we'll get into it a little bit time. 

[00:05:45]Innovation as a process [00:05:45]

[00:05:45]What I really liked from the report was the framing of innovation as a process. In that. Yes, of course, every firm, every business, maybe every vertical will approach it in a slightly different way, but it is not this black box that you can't put certain project type milestones in place for. It is something that's repeatable.  

[00:06:09] Do you mind expanding on that a little bit more and what you found, especially as you spoke to these these 35, 36 people  what were some of the things that started triggering in your mind around the process approach to this?

[00:06:21]

[00:06:21] Floor Blindenbach: [00:06:21] I've always seen innovation as a process, to be honest. And there's also a great Harvard Business Review article that also explains it. It's not only a process, it's even like a value chain, which starts with idea generation, then development and then implementation, and then scale. You need to be good at it, all these steps in order to create results, because if you're just extraordinary and creating ideas, so for instance, if you have a firm, like you're a, super-duper in  doing hackathons, you get hundreds of ideas, but if you don't know how to develop them and implement them, what is it worth to create all these ideas? In that sense, innovation is really this flow, and then what we've seen over the years that even if you can implement it, but only can do it once, that's already fantastic.

[00:07:10] That's a success. But it's often of cost effective because then you put a lot of time and effort in de-risking something proving it has value, and then you leave it there. So you leave a lot of money at the table. So that's why scaling is so important. And that makes it a whole process from idea generation, development, implementation, to scaling, and you need to be able to do all of these to get results, especially financial results and a return on investment from your innovation efforts. So in that sense it's really a process. Of course, there's also like a mindset which then alludes to like the innovation culture. But as I sometimes joke, like I can't change culture, I can't change the firm's value, but I can help change the processes, I can change the metrics and with that, if you show success and with that you can change attitudes and that changes culture. So that's like how I look at it and why I think that having a process that works is so important. 

[00:08:04] Ab: [00:08:04] Is it fair to say based on that, and we'll definitely touch on the culture point in a second.

[00:08:09] But from a innovation process point of view, I think from what you're saying, a- yes, you have to do all of those things and I'll link to the HBR article is a really good read.

[00:08:19] I think it's a little old now, but it's just as valid as it was then. The important thing to me is you don't have to have one person doing all of those things, there should be a effort for the entire team. In some instances you only have one person, so you unfortunately have to do a bit of everything, but in teams greater than one, it should be an effort that's carried across everyone working towards a common goal, but having different activities are all in charge of.

[00:08:50] But what you were saying that triggered the thought was to me, at least it sounds like there's two different things that you're trying to accomplish. The first is can we get success with this innovation project at all? That's can we get a win ever? And then the second thing is scaling, right?

[00:09:06] Once we proven that this is doable and the doable to me is how can we approach these projects to manage our cost and maximize our returns? And then the second thing is how can we scale that? So it's repeatable. 

[00:09:21] Floor Blindenbach: [00:09:21] If I may insert, I would urge you to first look, is there a need, because often we start from what we can do, but that's actually irrelevant,  but it's not about what we can do. It's what our clients need us to do or ask us to do.  

[00:09:36] Ab: [00:09:36] Great reminder. This is why I love having experts because even I just jumped to let's get things going. Let's do things, but yeah, first you do have to you do have to establish that there is indeed a need for it, so yeah, really great point.

[00:09:46] Right. Is there a difference between focusing on internal innovation projects and by the way, we say innovation projects, and I know in the research that you did. There is a huge variance in some firms doing single digit projects in a year, and some firms doing hundreds of them in a year.

[00:10:05]What can be considered an innovation project [00:10:05]

[00:10:05] It does define what an innovation project is, what the scope of that might be, it doesn't have to be one thing. But from your perspective, what is an innovation project? What does it mean?

[00:10:14] Floor Blindenbach: [00:10:14] I have a pretty broad definition, as long as you, like you embark on an idea and something that the firm has not done before for our methodology and we typically look at projects that impact clients. So this can be a new process, can be a technology, can be a new practice group can be improvement. However, it needs to be something that has an direct or an indirect benefit to client. So in that sense, it has to be somewhat a new element, but the firm does not need to be the first one on the globe to embark on that mission for it to be called, innovation. 

[00:10:50]Ab: [00:10:50] It doesn't have to be brand new for the market. It just has to be new for that firm or that practice or that team. 

[00:10:56] Floor Blindenbach: [00:10:56] Yeah. Yeah. And then you get on different pet peeve of mine. And I don't know if it's relevant for this discussion, but since I have guided so many teams and we do know like for radically new projects, like new to the globe, Or something that's more incremental.

[00:11:13] Something that's from has already somewhat done. You need different management styles or because incremental projects, they can get support and find support within the firm. But if you have something that's really, truly new, typically as a team, you need to find like a support outside of the firm to back you up inside the firm.

[00:11:34] Then being said, it's important to know how novel your project actually is, but I've gotten so many teams. If I asked innovator for teams, they all say like on a scale to one to 10 all fall on the skill of eight to 10, which again can't be true. So I do think that most teams have great difficulty in estimating how novel their approach actually is.

[00:11:55] And they all want to  present themselves as more normal than they may actually be. 

[00:12:00] Ab: [00:12:00] Yeah, and I think it's, it is worth keeping in mind the goal for these projects and really why you're trying to. Introduce the management philosophy to these innovation projects.

[00:12:15] And I'm just going to frankly, quote something that you wrote in your report because you put up so well, rather than me trying to make it out and I'm quoting now it's from the report and it's innovation management helps to optimize the innovation process, identify bottlenecks and increase the productivity of innovation, investment and resources, because that should apply to frankly, everything right. But your project is tiny. Whether it's an incremental innovation type project or a new shiny thing, you're trying to implement that has great long lasting impact for years to come. That's really why you want to do that because it's important, right? We're not just trying to introduce and apply a framework for the sake of applying a framework.

[00:12:53] There is very real and tangible results that come with it.     Where firms don't have a generally a very well documented, let's just say, or clearly articulated process. But I think they are doing something along those lines, right there, there is some work being done.

[00:13:10] What's the difference in measurement? And that sort of goes back to that crazy high success rate. What do you think is a missing piece in why some individuals think that they're getting a 90% hit rate on innovation wins and the management team or others at the same business think that they're only getting a 10% or lower rate.

[00:13:30]What's the missing piece there? 

[00:13:33]Tracking innovation projects [00:13:33]Floor Blindenbach: [00:13:33] It's I think tracking innovation process from projects from start to finish .  Starting an innovation project is really eas. Anyone can start an innovation project, finishing it in whatever form with a, because you quickly figure out it's not worth it, or because you have developed a successful new outcome that's really difficult. So what management often sees, like at the beginning of the year and the budgeting season, I would say like an IT, I may even have a quote in the report. Someone said wait, I think the numbers were like, they start at 44 project. So they've got approval for 44 projects.

[00:14:08] And at the end of the year, when they, but review management, sees them again and see 12 project got implemented.  I was asking specifically about success rates and to that yeah ten projects never came off the ground, but it still leaves about 18 projects that no one knows what happened.

[00:14:29] And I've been in the shoes of innovation managers. It drove me to do my PhD in innovation management, but also when I was in a function where it was guiding innovation projects, what for me was very frustrating to see is when you guide teams one after the other, you see where they stand.

[00:14:48] So you see in this process that sometimes there are organizational bottlenecks. 

[00:14:52] I saw all my teams struggle with that. And as a result, my fellows left. One was getting married. One went back to all kinds of reasons. So for management, or if they looked at these, this program, they said  the people leave because of personal reasons. Because we didn't track it. But if I I knew because I had been tracking them that they're all came to certain points and then just took too much energy and too much time.

[00:15:18] And they just felt that they were wasting it. Then there was greener grass elsewhere. There were like, I'm not gonna push against this organization. I'll take my stuff with me and move on. And I think if you don't have a structured process, that's what you're missing. So you don't see where in the organization, things fall apart.

[00:15:36] You don't see in the value chain that we discussed earlier, like where are you weak? And so then you can start improving. So that's why it's so important to track these projects, but that means that you need metrics. You need to at least need to follow themes. And again, that's something that's In law firms, people work very autonomously.

[00:15:53]You have recording per hour and clients typically are the benchmark for success but then you have internal projects when you get to funding who follows those projects? Usually there's not a real good mechanism for it. So as an innovation manager and especially because they typically don't have the budgets or oversee the budget, how do you keep track of your projects if you don't have some kind of metrics for it? So that's just a common problem that we have seen which is what we've tried to solve. 

[00:16:24] Yeah, 

[00:16:24] Ab: [00:16:24] I think, and I think that bleeds into the culture point a little bit as well, because part of it is around how do you set up this culture at the firm that actually encourages people to take part in these projects, but also opens the innovation work to be a bit more collaborative. And not just internally because if I'm a partner who's championing that project. It's in my vested interest to get my team involved in most instances, because I want it to be successful because I'm the champion, but how do you actually get that across the firm, but also how do you make sure that it's set up in a way where you are including your client, you're including other third parties.

[00:17:06] So if they are vendors, and consultants and so on and that's a really difficult challenge to solve. As I said, you and I can't solve the culture challenge for the firm, but I think it's important to, at least recognized whether that's something that's a challenge for your firm, or maybe you are one of those firms - and actually I was speaking to a firm yesterday, a large international firm, and they succumbed their associates to spend 30% of the time for six months on innovation type projects. Which is really good. And that sends a certain message to the business, of course, is not going to be for everyone, but at least a signals to the business that it's okay if someone's spending 30% of the time on this kind of work.

[00:17:45] And I wanted to share that as. Something a, because it was fresh. And on the top of my mind, and B as an example of, the kinds of things that are required from a culture point of view, to just making things a bit more open.  

[00:17:57] Innovation as a way to develop talent [00:17:57]Floor Blindenbach: [00:17:57] That's a fantastic example where there is a drive from management to say, Hey, this is important.

[00:18:02] I also lost the idea that innovation is, it's a fantastic opportunity to develop your younger talent. So integrating that with saying to your associates, take this opportunity to develop not what has been done, where the firm lots of success like 10, 20 years ago. But think about like, How can the firm be successful the coming 10, 20 years.

[00:18:22] So combining that I think it's a fantastic example, but again  just giving them the opportunity. I don't think it's enough because they are trained as lawyers.  Innovation is not that difficult. It's much easier to teach a lawyer how to innovate than it is to teach an innovator how to do law, but just saying someone like you get 30% of your time and just do with it.

[00:18:44]It's also that makes it really daunting because like, where do you start? What all do you need to do? And the other thing is there are so many common mistakes. It's like your high school teachers telling you to write an essay. Without giving any instructions , they're  certain good ways of doing it and certain worse way of doing it and even worse, even if you would be a good writer and you have written many essays, you still really benefit from editor because what you think make a lot of sense. May not make a lot of sense.

[00:19:13] So that's exactly the same. We'll be seeing innovation projects. There are a lot of do's and don'ts, if you've never done it before, you'll make beginner mistakes, which may lead your project to feel unnecessarily. But even if you've done this multiple times, you often start reasoning from the solution, not from your client's perspective.

[00:19:32] So it's really helpful to have someone look over your shoulders and just like mirror and point you at things.  Another example is for instance, we know that testing your assumptions is really important, but explicating the assumptions you're making is really difficult. For an outsider , it's really easy, for me if I hear teams talk and so if I train the team, I hear all the assumptions they're making, but for them they are truth. So are those small things where you can really, I think help someone. So just giving people the opportunity. That's an, a very important first step.

[00:20:04] It's absolutely awesome. It's the first step into culture, but I would urge like also build some structure around that and have the process so that it's not only starting, but in the end you want all these initiatives to be successful. 

[00:20:19]Ab: [00:20:19] That's such an important point because, and then you said it so well that, what may sound like an assumption to an outsider just becomes a truism for those that are, cause it's not that you're involved in it just recently, in most instances, this has been your work for X amount of time. You're living this day in day out. You're so close to it. You develop some natural blind spots to it, and it's important for someone else to come and test that. 

[00:20:45] One of the other things I wanted to discuss is who should be involved. And we looked at it from the lens of talent management, which is so important, right? Having the associates or perhaps a younger meaning less experienced, let's just say in this instance, members of the team, so they can actually develop further, they can learn a number of different cross-sectional skills.

[00:21:04]What's your impression of having partners and others involved in innovation? And I'll preface this with something I hear from literally every firm I've ever spoken to in my life  has been, we don't want to look at this right now because we are so busy.

[00:21:20]We don't have time to look at. Project X, because we just simply don't have to time. We have client work that needs to be delivered. How do you fit that into, because  it's not an excuse. In most instances, it is the reality of the situation. People have to prioritize something.

[00:21:36]Where does the innovation projects fit into the priority matrix? 

[00:21:39] Floor Blindenbach: [00:21:39] Yeah, no, 

[00:21:40] there's so much to say here, but I barely know where to start. Let me start with, and I think in the report , one of our response had a beautiful quote, like the people that are busiest, they needed the most because typically in a practice that  has a lot of work. There's so much opportunity probably to automate and scale.  And usually these are practices that make money. So there's also funding to invest and see if you can do even more.  Would say those are typically the areas where there is most opportunity to optimize and and create even more and more, do more with.

[00:22:13] Less effort. So I think that's very fertile ground. I've written for the PDMA, which is the product development management association book a chapter in a book on constraints in the innovation process. And the constraints I addressed is when time commitment is the largest constraint. So I know all about people that are super busy and has to innovate on top of their regular job.

[00:22:36] At the same time. There's a lot of the research I did also as a PhD student in the professional services to the state of the art and knowledge is with those that are practicing it day to day, it's melting the R&D department. We even have like firms that have dismantled their R&D department because it just didn't work.

[00:22:52] That means that these very busy professionals that they have a very successful career. They're the ones that also need to drive innovation for days. Where did we find the time? And that's the thing where the combination with talent development is so important because typically they do feel very obliged to train the next generation of talent.

[00:23:13] So if in this next generation, so these associates or junior partners, or whoever is like there to take over. They can run with this innovation projects and innovation  it's work. People try to wish it away and try to say Oh, it's idea generation you can do in the shower. But developing and implementing an idea just takes quite a lot of time.

[00:23:37] Then you can get expertise in everything, but in the end it is. If you take in this case, it's very busy veil and very well-run practice that was already overloaded with work it's to innovate their processes. So anyone from the outside cannot say thou shall do this differently. That's just not how it works.

[00:23:58] Innovation in teams [00:23:58] It needs from the inside. That's where the drive needs to come from. And that's also the knowledge that's there. Like what the clients need, what goes well, where there's room for optimization. So you need to have the input. But as I said this is where you need a team works. Not everyone needs to work the same amounts.

[00:24:16] This, I think there are so many misconceptions about what a team is, especially in innovation team. And innovation team is a very dynamic whole, so you can start with one person. They can start doing the ground work of doing competitor analysis, interviewing clients, looking what's out there, making the value proposition, making the business case.

[00:24:36] And then once there's value there, you can start adding on IT people if needed. So you can slowly build a team and it's not the case that the person that started it needs to finish it. Because there's some people that are really good at the early stages, that love to investigate, and others that love to build.

[00:24:53] So innovation teams should be dynamic. There should be people going in and out. So that's again, like I can provide you with resources. There's plenty written about that. I'm gone. I wrote about X teams. Innovation teams have to be dynamic. And that's also one of the other things. It has to be a team.

[00:25:13] You can start as an individual, but you can't finish as an individual. There's just too much to it. 

[00:25:18]Ab: [00:25:18] And I think, we can talk about each of those for quite, quite some time. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And maybe we'll have a follow-up conversation on some of those points, but I did want to mention on some of these things and you call this out in the report.

[00:25:33] It's important to,  if you are, positioning yourself or some form in the business as a innovation team or a innovation unit or whatever it must innovate. It cannot just be innovation in name only is I think what you classified it as in the report. It's not just about doing the lip service, not just saying, Hey, we are innovative because people will see through that pretty quickly.

[00:25:58] And yeah. It's okay. If you don't succeed all the time, that's absolutely acceptable, but you must try and do something. And one of the other things that you talked about, as much as you are being dynamic, you must also, at least in my opinion, please agree or disagree as you will. I think you must also be dynamic with your budget with law firms.

[00:26:18] Often there is a annual budget, and you're trying to look ahead into the next 12 months to say, what will we work on? In theory, that's okay. If you have a very good understanding of everything that you're working on today, if you already have a compiled list of all the initiatives. As we talked about earlier that doesn't seem to be the case, right?

[00:26:37]So you have to be able to have some sort of flexibility built in that once a quarter, once every six months, some non annual period we will have flexibility. If something comes up where there is an actual need, where we can measure, optimize and deliver something, we will allocate some funding to it.

[00:26:57] I'm not saying you give it a hundred percent of your budget  but you must be able to prepare to take advantage of things as they come up. You can't simply wait until. The next potential instance, which may be 11 months down the line, if you've just started your new financial year.

[00:27:12]I don't know if that comes up frequently as a potential obstacle.

[00:27:15]Floor Blindenbach: [00:27:15] No, I can tell you that for the research what we looked for it's like, what were the processes being used? How are budgets allocated? And that's also that, like the maturity model that we discussed in the second part of the report were built on those.

[00:27:26] And then we so correlations with the experience. But to come back to the budget that was like a really interesting find that many firms don't budget at all for innovation projects. So there's just no budget, any project that needs to fight for its own resources we've called the ad hoc  It has advantages and disadvantages But it typically means that the more senior people can get their projects finance, so to speak there because they, yeah, they can advocate.

[00:27:53] They are in the right committees. They have the ear of senior management so they can get the budgets or for a senior associates. It's nearly impossible. So just be aware at that level. I'm not saying it's right or wrong. If you just do one or two projects a year, it probably is the best way to go about it.

[00:28:08] Just make sure that if you look back that you give everyone an equal or fair chance, Then at the next level, we see that firms start to organize a bit better to have a centralized process. And typically they still don't have an innovation, but what happens? They have a knowledge management or they have an IT budget, but these budgets are, as you mentioned, they're set at the yearly basis.

[00:28:31] At ILTAON, we did the session on innovating and shoestring budgets. And when I first heard that  it was interesting because it seemed like a badge of honor. And I've got to say it's amazing what you can do on a shoestring budget. 

[00:28:43] That should not be a badge of honor or be promoted this like the way to innovate. Because an innovation project is worth it or not. That's why these early stages in creating a business case is so important. That was one of the things that I've learned from our research as well, like this annual budget cycle.

[00:28:59] So what happens at the beginning of the year, just as a one case, like they bought it for 44 innovation projects, 10 never get started. And then you and the owners have budgets and they never get followed up with are perhaps they run into issues or it was not as realistic as hoped or whatever, but they have the budgets.

[00:29:15] And so they basically can keep running, which is insane. And they have other project. Like we had a pandemic in 2020 that hits depending on where you cycle was, but for some it hit after the budgets were set. And so then you can change. One of the best practices I discussed in the report is, and this doesn't cost a firm any money. But it's just a different mindset of investing in innovation projects, invest from milestone, invest in what we call like an affordable loss principle, and happy to give a reference for that as well. And so you said the budget for innovation, where's, you're willing to spend say yeah, certain percent of your revenue or a certain percent of time, you can create budget for that.

[00:29:55] And then keep the flexibility on. Quarter or a quarterly or even bi-monthly basis to allocate those funds and on the milestone based budget. So teams need to prove even if you have gotten funding at the start, that doesn't mean that you get funding all the way to the end, because it can be that midway, for instance, if a vendor comes up with a better solution or you were developing something, in-house, you need then to have the flexibility to say Hey, awesome work you did. But we are now competing suddenly with this vendor that came out with this announcement, they seem to be further along. It doesn't make sense to keep funding this project. So those are like the dynamics, if you, but you need in your budgeting and evaluation cycles, we call it portfolio management.

[00:30:39] And that's just something that the. Did not see, that's what we know of. Like from the innovation management district, that's like that next level onto you of managing your projects. You start optimizing, you start looking at your portfolio as a whole, like how well is it linked this strategy we're going to optimize.

[00:30:54] We didn't see that in the firms, in our sample, at least. 

[00:30:57] Ab: [00:30:57] And as you're saying that, I was having certain internal reactions to what you were saying around, Oh, we'll stop on an internal project and fund this other project that was just announced.

[00:31:08]So anyone listening when you have those reactions, please do share them with me and with us. Because honestly, those are important things to work through because especially if a lot of work and effort has gone into a project if there is internal will and comradery for a project it's difficult to disengage.

[00:31:30] It is very difficult to disengage, right? If you feel like you own that project, it is a difficult thing to acknowledge that there is something else out there, which is a better option. But that's a decision that you need to make from time to time. Yeah.  And that's why I was having that reaction and I'm sure others will.

[00:31:46]So although we are saying all of these things, we are looking at this in a very objective way. The reality is never going to be that clear cut. Yeah, we'd love to hear thoughts and opinions on that for sure. 

[00:31:57] Floor Blindenbach: [00:31:57] Yeah, 

[00:31:57] no, that's very, you have to need to have that healthy balance of very passionate people that are driving it.

[00:32:03] And then the rational people that's I think the role of an innovation manager to facilitate is an offer that crying shoulder. Yeah, they need  to  make a team aware that they perhaps are fighting for something that's just the time and effort is better spent elsewhere. 

[00:32:18] Ab: [00:32:18] Yeah, exactly. Exactly.

[00:32:20] That was a great conversation. We. Just scrastched the tip of the iceberg. I will encourage people to go and look at the report, which is a, if you're seeing this on LinkedIn, it's posted in the comments. If you see listening to this, it's in the show notes at fringelegal.com.

[00:32:33]But read the report is 23 pages of goodness. Some of the things we didn't talk about today, which we alluded to is the maturity model that's in the report. Definitely. We're looking into that. And one of my favorite topics, which is around portfolio slash innovation, pipeline management. I love talking about that stuff.

[00:32:48]But we didn't get into it today. Floor, I wanted to thank you for coming on. If people want to find out more, if they want to learn more, other than just reading the report, where can they get in touch with you? 

[00:32:58] Floor Blindenbach: [00:32:58] We have our websites www.Organizing4Innovation.com 

[00:33:05]I that's the only advantage having a really strange name, Floor Blinderbach, but I'm the only one on the planet. So if you find me on LinkedIn, we frequently write blogs. So find me on LinkedIn. Yeah. Feel free to send me a direct message. If you have questions about our report or a podcast .

[00:33:22] There's so much opportunity out there.    If you start with my introduction, my goal is to really help innovators deliver successful outcomes. 

[00:33:31] Ab: [00:33:31] Yeah. And this is probably the second or third conversation I've had with Floor and yeah, it's absolutely worth speaking to her because she has a whole wealth of experience and from different verticals as well. So she can certainly share some some best practices and some things that you probably want to avoid. 

[00:33:46] But thank you again, Floor. Wonderful having you on. Show notes are at frenchlegal.com. Find out resources to Floor's website and to her LinkedIn and other socials. And you can connect with her there.

[00:33:57] Thank you so much and see you next time.

[00:33:59]

 

What is Fringe Legal?

Fringe Legal is a podcast discussing the future of the legal profession. Aimed at law firm leaders and influencers, each episode is a thoughtful discussion with a diverse range of voices about ideas impacting the evolution of the legal profession.

Along the way, we’ll learn about challenges to be overcome, what’s worked in the past, and expert tips on what could make a difference in the future.