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Solo In Chicago

...empowering the Second City's entrepreneurial legal community

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Everyone has ideas

Here's a piece from Sunday's New York Times about idea sharing in companies. The article looks at a number of innovative companies and how they're encouraging employee participation in business development. Most of the piece was about a company called Rite-Solutions, a software company, that created an internal stock market where employee ideas are listed as stocks and then employees have "opinion money" to allocate among the offerings. However if the idea becomes a product or delivers savings, then the employees share the proceeds in real money.

How can this general idea, as one of the business-persons quoted in the article called an "architecture of participation," be applied in a law firm setting? Can it? Speaking generally, I'd think that most law firms may find themselves at the opposite end of this spectrum with very limited total organization involvement. And as lawyers, legal advice needs to be coming from us as an ethical matter. But, what percentage of everything that happens inside of your firm's walls is specifically limited to legal advice? 10%? 25% It may be the main income generator, but there are many, many businesses processes and general office procedures that surely are NOT legal advice.

Does your law firm promote an architecture of participation in the vast majority of your business that is NOT legal advice? Don't let your organization's quiet genius go untapped.

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