The ABA Lawyer Retreat is a unique and inspiring experience happening in beautiful Vail, Colorado, on Oct. 5, 2018. Its mission is to help lawyers have more power and control over their personal and professional lives. Given that law schools and most legal careers do not promote formal training or practice of human-centered skills such as team collaboration, listening or conflict resolution, or how to engage clients beyond their direct legal needs as users of the legal system, many lawyers simply are ill-equipped to address the challenges that arise from the business and personal demands that the profession creates. The ABA Retreat is seeking to offer a time, a place and a curriculum that will be immersive, practical and empathetic, creating new mindsets that will resonate deeply for participants and present them with tools and techniques that they can begin to use immediately to better their lives.
One of the concepts that participants will be exposed to at the retreat is the Design Thinking session.
So, What is Design Thinking?
Lawyers are hired to provide legal services. This is true regardless of whether you are in-house or outside counsel. But to deliver these legal services, both you and your clients are required to interact with other people, processes
According to recent research conducted by McKinsey & Co., looking at business-to-consumer and business-to-business organizations, “customer-experience leaders gain rapid insights to build customer loyalty, make employees happier, achieve revenue gains of 5 to 10 percent and reduce costs by 15 to 25 percent within two or three years. But it takes patience and guts to train an organization to see the world through the customer’s eyes and to redesign functions that create value in a customer-centric way. The management task begins with considering the customer—not the organization—at the center of the exercise.”
Balancing Efficiency with Effectiveness
Service design is a method used by service providers to look at their services from the outside in, challenging their assumptions and interpretations of their customers’ needs and wants. It’s essential to get as close as possible to what your client experiences—from a functional, social and emotional standpoint—basically taking a walk in the customers’ shoes. One of the many devices in the arsenal of design and process improvement tools used to expose the customer experience is a “service blueprint.” A service blueprint illuminates a service journey, specifying and detailing each aspect of a service
A service blueprint is created in a visual, easily consumable format, allowing you to more easily involve the customer and capture their reactions to the re-engineered design. Additionally, and of utmost importance, it’s critical to involve the representatives of your delivery team (i.e., the employees and partners) in assessing and designing solutions that balance efficiency with effectiveness. Gaining their buy-in, and being in tune with their happiness throughout the process, has
It’s imperative to use a collaborative approach to build out the service blueprint in order to achieve a shared understanding between consumer and provider. This effort will allow different departments to gain an appreciation of how they impact the customer, each other and the overall workflow. This collaborative effort goes a long way
Benefits of Experience Design
The benefits are clear: An experience-driven mindset within your business helps keep customers, as well as your employees, satisfied. The return on this approach can be seen in loyalty, increased spend and more referrals from your customers. For
Law firms are increasingly focusing on this element as well. As an example, Baker McKenzie has publicly committed to becoming the first law firm to truly become design-centric and is filling legal service design roles to help in that effort. We have worked within this arena for decades and have built experience-driven services within
You can learn more about design thinking and many other subjects at the ABA Lawyer Retreat. We urge you to attend. Information and a registration link are available at abalawyerretreat.org.