We Start by Listening: Innovation Leaders Dinner in Houston
Bringing people together around the table who are on the front lines of solving technology, discovery, and eDiscovery challenges for their companies – together with a healthy dose of active and humble listening – makes for an enlightening and enjoyable evening. And so it was with a desire to practice such discipline that Level 2 Legal partnered with legal futurist David Cowen to host an Innovation Leaders dinner and discussion in Houston.
Our group was intentionally varied and diverse, and included attorneys, IT professionals, and legal process and management professionals. But the common thread binding us together that emerged as the evening progressed was the strong sense that the days of operating in professional silos is long over – as allied professionals, we need each other not only to survive, but also to thrive in the increasingly complex and competitive innovation economy.
We also spent a good deal of time listening – really listening – to each other, which does not always come naturally to those of us in the legal profession. And we’re not alone. It turns out that many people in the “learned professions” struggle with the same challenge.
Consider the study that was released earlier this month about doctor-patient interactions. In analyzing encounters between doctors and their patients at the Mayo Clinic and several affiliated facilities, the study authors found that even though doctors gave patients the chance to explain their ailment or the purpose of their visit, they interrupted their patients frequently. And those interruptions came quickly – a median of just 11 seconds into a patient’s comments.
One would think that a professional – especially those of us in medicine or the law who are tasked with applying a body of knowledge to facts to arrive at a solution or course of action – would have good incentives to remain silent and soak in every data point, including those from our patients or clients. Yet the study resonates with us because most of us have experienced being cut off prematurely on occasion. And if we’re honest, we’ve probably done our fair share of cutting others off mid-sentence, too.
It takes discipline not to presume you have all the facts; not to rest immediately on past experiences; and not to jump right away to solutions that may (or may not) be appropriate in light of the case before you.
David did a masterful job of guiding the evening’s discussion, and his recap, “Last Night’s Takeaways – What I Think Now That I Didn’t Think Two Hours Ago," is well worth the read. My favorite? Never Eat Alone.
We hope that you’ll contact us for more information about Level 2 Legal’s approach to innovation that cuts across the allied legal professions. And if great company, excellent food, and spirited dialogue about the future of our industry are your cup of tea, then we hope you’ll join us for our next innovation dinner. Just send me a note, and we will add you to our invitation list.
We promise that we’ll start by listening.
Chris Schultz serves as executive vice president and general counsel of Level 2 Legal Solutions. In addition to serving as the chief legal officer, Chris helps coordinate all aspects of the company’s managed review and corporate compliance projects. He also leads engagement teams assisting clients with a full range of eDiscovery and litigation readiness projects. In addition, Chris is available to provide clients with expert testimony and special discovery master services. A dynamic speaker with more than five years of college-level teaching experience, Chris is a frequent presenter of continuing legal education and other seminars concerning eDiscovery.