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WHAT WE’RE WATCHING
WHAT’S THE BIG IDEA? - Failure is not an option at many law firms, but—hear me out—maybe it should be. The latest craze in Big Law is to hire a “chief innovation officer” to help unify and streamline ideas across a sprawling organization into one cohesive, firmwide vision. But whether these CINOs will be able to achieve buy-in from their partnerships depends on whether and to what extent those partners have the stomach for experimentation and, yes, failure in pursuit of truly transformative ideas. If they don’t get that support, CINOs will suffer the fate of so many other business professionals toiling away at law firms where value is measured solely in terms of billable hours: they’ll be misunderstood and, ultimately, marginalized. As we explore in this week’s Law.com Trendspotter, CINOs must strike a balance between driving innovative strategies and making partners feel like their hands are also on the steering wheel. Meanwhile, firm leaders and partnerships must have the patience and fortitude to let CINOs truly experiment, fail and learn from those failures on the path toward something bigger and better.