Overcoming resistance to change in Technology Enablement
According to Dr Larry Richard, a former lawyer turned psychologist, the typically lawyer personality profile, is one which scores very low on openness to change. One of the main challenges behind embedding legal technology into in-house teams, is overcoming resistance to change. However, it is understandable that people are resistant to technology that at first glance appears to make their daily working life harder. Equally, we are so much less likely to be resistant to technology that helps us or makes life easier for us. There are many changes in technology that has made our lives easier and therefore is readily adopted; ordering a taxi or food via an app are obvious examples.
Communicating and developing multiple training strategies (whilst needed) will not be enough. It is also particularly hard to embed technology if there is another (easier) possible route for the user. According to the Nudge theory, developed by leading behavioural economists Richard Thaler and Cass R, Sunstein understanding and changing people’s behaviour is likely to be much more successful by analysing, improving, designing and offering free choices for people, rather than dictating that a new approach must be followed.
Consequently we have to work really hard to ensure that we develop technology from the perspective of the users, understanding the importance of empathy and putting yourself in the shoes of the person using the technology, this way, they are much more likely to choose to adopt the technology. Using design thinking principles or agile business driven development methodologies to develop technology around the users is therefore essential. And it doesn’t stop there, once the technology is launched, constantly requesting feedback and making improvements is also mandatory. The challenges associated with embedding technology is by far the greater with technology not designed with the user in mind….lawyers like all other users are resistant to change that hinders and does not help.