Imagineering the Possibilities in Nashville

The t-shirts are packed, the slide decks submitted, and the costumes for Monday night’s exhibit hall opening are squared away (hint: they’re super). The TC crew is headed to Nashville for next week’s annual ILTA Conference, the theme of which is IMAGINE. It’s always exciting to see how ILTA brings each year’s Conference theme to life in ways that make you think, and to connect with thought leaders who are finding ways to transform work in law firms today.

As I looked over the lineup of thought-provoking sessions for this year’s conference, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the Walt Disney Corporation. Years ago, I learned they use the term “Imagineer” to describe their employees who envision, design, and construct everything from theme parks to cruise ships to resorts. What an exciting thought – that your job would be to paint with colors that don’t exist, imagining what “could be.”

The myriad changes we’ve seen in the legal industry over the past several years have, in many ways, turned some of us into ad hoc“Imagineers.” It’s an exciting time to be working in the legal industry, and while firms have flirted with change and reimagining in recent years, my daily conversations with firms across the country suggest a recent sea change. After years of considering any number of changes, it seems more firms than ever are finally taking substantive steps toward reimagining themselves, from the way they learn to the way they work.

As consultants, I think much of what we do at Traveling Coaches is “Imagineering.” We help our clients imagine what’s possible when firms embrace change. But not just any change – we spend the time, and the brainpower, to work with our clients to design smartchange that meets their needs and goals. And then we provide them with the tools to make that change a reality. Traveling Coaches enjoys a long history of helping our clients embrace change as it relates to technology projects, and it’s still a big part of what we do. But we’re excited to be partnering with clients in new ways that reflect the larger changes happening in our industry. Right now, we’re working with clients to help them imagine what it means to be a training professional in an environment where mobility is the rule of the day and attention spans are shorter than ever. We’re imagining the impact targeted learning can have on the ability of lawyers to gain the skills they need to meet the needs of their clients. We’re helping clients imagine how project management methodologies can bring greater efficiency to their workflows and processes. We’re helping other clients imagine what the role of “legal secretary” means in their firms. And for the past year and a half our award-winning OnGuard Security Awareness program has been helping clients imagine what it would be like if security awareness was part of our daily dialog instead of something we only think about when an incident occurs. 

“Imagineering” is the part of my job I love best. It’s truly challenging and energizing, and meaningful work – and it’s fueled by conversations with the smart, creative technology and learning professionals working in the legal industry today. I look forward to having those conversations with our clients – past, present, and future – in Nashville next week, and coming back with new ideas and new challenges, and then “imagineering” the new solutions that will ultimately be the result. Trainers, risk managers, knowledge managers, project managers, technologists – the lines are blurring among job roles and the walls of silos are coming down. What knowledge work will look like in law firms in the years ahead is a blank slate. Just imagine the possibilities. We are.

We’ll see you in Nashville….