I am having lunch today with the "3 Geeks and a Law Blog" trio - Lisa Salazar, Toby Brown and Greg Lambert. To prep, I am climbing into their award-winning blog of the same name and came across this description in a post by Greg.
As the set up to this great strategy description by Hsu, Lambert writes this:
Richard discusses his thoughts behind why he is blogging in the section of his blog titled "Lawyer's Confessions" where he admits that, although he is a super techie (CalTech grad and experienced programmer), he has found himself somehow "out of touch" with the new generation's mode of communications. He reminds us that, despite our experiences, there seems to always come a day when someone younger comes in and makes us understand that in order to "get with it" we'll need to climb outside our own comfort zones. For Hsu, that meant playing to the strengths that comes with age/experience, and that is understanding strategy. He says it best in his explanation of technology and technology strategy:
And here is what Hsu writes:
On the other hand, technology strategy is not technology. It is strategy. And strategy’s half-life is more like plutonium: what worked a thousand years ago works today, and will work in a thousand years.... Invest in understanding strategy now, and you will understand it just as well — probably even better [in the future.]
It's true! Law firms too often assume strategy discussions (and strategic planning) are a necessary evil, led by expensive consultants who leave you with nothing more than a weighty document that isn't actionable.
And strategy is almost non-existent in most major tech project implementations in law firms - from websites to proposal centers, experience databases, mobile apps, client extranets, intranets, CRM, KM and more. Every technology initiative in your law firm should have a clear strategy component. It's the strategy that will drive goals, objectives and measurements of success.
True, some consultants do leave you with fat stacks of paper. But if firms viewed strategy as a combination of vision, ideas and business transparency - and then took fear out of it, these planning sessions would be infused with hope and life. And your tech project implementation would be successful, and your internal and external teams accountable for meeting your stated goals.
And, like Hsu says, strategy has a shelf-life like plutonium - or the last Twinkie you ingested.