FINALIST: Innovator of the Year

I haven been shortlisted as a finalist in the Australian Law Awards for Innovator of the Year.  

I’m so proud to have been recognised as a finalist in the Lawyers Weekly Australian Law Awards Innovator of the Year award for my work leading innovation and development at Birman & Ride.

I love working for such a forward-thinking business that lets me experiment with my (sometimes crazy) ideas to help our firm stay at the forefront of legal innovation.

This award is recognition for some of the things I’ve worked on in the last 12 months, including:

  • Designing productised services that offer a complete solution to the customers’ problem and at the level of service that they wish to receive – from DIY to ‘full service’
  • Working with our software developer to design our custom-built practice management software ContactsLaw to help us “work hard once”, completely eliminating any double entry of data and using conditional logic process workflows to simplify and automate service delivery
  • A complete redesign of our conveyancing services, including a process review and the redesign of almost every document template, transforming letters of advice into simple one-page infographics and making information more easily accessible to our customers
  • Building a knowledge management database where I have stored the firm’s “know how”. This resource is focused on storing and sharing practical and strategic IP rather than document precedents. The aim is to help us extract IP from our brains so it can be made useful to the rest of the firm. 

These innovations have continued to build on the framework we’ve established over the last ten years. The firm’s mission is to make legal services more accessible. We have a strong focus on using technology, systems and processes to streamline the delivery of high-quality legal services.  Our approach benefits both staff and clients. Our staff focus their time on enjoyable, strategic work and client relationships, not on the grunt work, which has been mostly automated. Our clients have access to reasonably priced legal services delivered in a fast and effective manner. We have over 1000 positive client testimonials collected on our firms’ websites that demonstrate the benefits we bring to our clients.

Promoting a culture of innovation  

Getting staff to think about innovation and improvements rather than focusing on the day to day work is a challenge for most firms and we are no exception. Encouraging our team to participate in innovation and development has been a big focus for me over the last six months.  

We run bi-annual goal setting workshops with teams in each practice area and facilitate their discussions around what’s working well and where we can improve. Each team sets two development areas for the coming six months and contribution to those projects become their KPIs for the period. This means that KPIs and business development projects are now determined by teams themselves, rather than being imposed from the top down.

Giving each team ownership over the innovation projects and being clear about the basis on which their performance will be measured (i.e. their contribution to the goals they have set as a team) has really helped to increase their interest and involvement in implementing change. 

Now in its 20th year, the Australian Law Awards bestows the industry’s most prestigious accolades recognising excellence across the entire legal industry. The awards showcase professional development and innovation, celebrating both the individuals and firms that are leading the way in the industry. Winners will be announced on 7 August 2020.

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