Peer to Peer Magazine

Spring 2015

The quarterly publication of the International Legal Technology Association

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Page 12 of 75

BEST PRACTICES PEER TO PEER: THE QUARTERLY MAGA ZINE OF ILTA 14 LACK OF INCLUSION AFFECTS INNOVATION When you read the formula above, did it take you back to times in school when others were "getting it" and you were not? Can you recall that feeling? That memory gets you close to the experience of people who feel excluded. The situation can be worsened if someone experiences high levels of sustained exclusion because of one or more personal and immutable attributes they possess. Now imagine the place you work does not respect an aspect of your unique personhood because of some factor like your skin color, religious beliefs, gender, sexual orientation or other deeply important part of you. If the organization doesn't provide an inclusive space, you'd feel compelled to hide or suppress that unique part of yourself. How can someone possibly bring her A-game to the work at hand if she doesn't feel included? The result is that both the individual and the organization lose out on part of that person's creative energy. For innovation to flow, people must be fully present in their work. People suppressing parts of themselves will not voice their opinions as much, if at all. The risk-taking nature of innovation can only happen in an environment where a person can present an idea without worrying a biased group will determine the idea's success or failure based on the person's intrinsic traits rather than the worth of the idea. LEADERS DISRUPT THE FLOW OF BIASES I recently faced a daunting personal challenge. Entrusted by my firm with the leadership of its technology, I realized my own effectiveness was blunted by an internalized bias. From a young age, my internal sense of gender was incongruous About the Author Gillian Power is the Chief Information Officer for Lathrop & Gage LLP. She oversees technology services and resources at the firm, ensuring all aspects are in alignment with the firm's strategic plan. Gillian serves on the firm's Diversity Committee and on the UMKC Chancellors LGBT Council. Gillian is an active volunteer in the legal technology community; she is now serving her fifth year as a committee member and her second year as a thought leader for the ILTA conference. She was a recipient of an ILTA Distinguished Peer Award in 2011 for the area of server/operations and was a shortlist nominee for the IT Professional of the Year award in 2013 and the Leadership award in 2014. Contact her at gmpower@lathropgage. The Inclusion Imperative (Di + Ic) * L = In This is not an actual formula, it's the formulation of an idea: diversity (Di) plus inclusion (Ic) multiplied by leadership (L) contributes to innovation (In). My own journey has showed me the value of this formula, and the formula should become a key part of your organizational DNA if you wish to see innovation flourish. Biases can only be altered by active leadership that disrupts the normal flow of bias.

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