Want to disrupt the market? Why outsiders are more likely to succeed

Want to disrupt the market? Why outsiders are more likely to succeed

By Sally Calverley,

Everybody is looking for the “Dyson moment” – the moment when legal services are changed fundamentally by someone who looks at the problem from a new perspective, applies a different solution and hey presto! Toilets around the globe have been changed by the introduction of the Dyson hand dryer. Legal services, so the argument goes, just need a fresh approach.

Well, yes, I agree. The market is ripe for a ground-breaking change, one that radically and fundamentally changes the way that legal services are delivered. A disruptive innovation.

Process improvements, BLP and TLT’s adoption of business transformation skills, improved project management, vertical integration and multidisciplinary approaches, many of the latter driven by the new accountancy led ABS. There have been many improvements, but not anything that makes us go “wow!”

In truth, these are all refinements: as Henry Ford would have said (with apologies to his memory) these are all ways to build the proverbial faster horse. So… where is the disruptive innovation?

The answer is: probably not in a law firm. Innovation often comes from outside.

Take the iPod. Sony, realising that people wanted to take their music with them, developed the Walkman in 1979. 20 years later, the cassette had given way to CDs and everyone expected MP3 players (based on a hard drive) to take over as the means of storing and sharing music. But it wasn’t until the spread of broadband, better memory capacity and the launch of the iTunes store in 2003, that the iPod really took off

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About the author:
Sally Calverley runs Richmonte Wells, a business consultancy for ambitious SME law firms. Her clients are forward thinking, entrepreneurial and welcome Sally’s fresh approach and no nonsense attitude to legal business. She trained at Norton Rose, was a partner and Head of Commercial Litigation at Capsticks, a management consultant and then Commercial Development Director for Bevan Brittan. Since then Sally has been continuing to help clients build their businesses in a time of change and opportunity. www.richmontewells.com sally.calverley@richmontewells.com