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KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT 26 WWW.ILTANET.ORG | ILTA WHITE PAPER A Practical Guide to Disciplined Innovation and Other Oxymorons Brown is the new black. Forty is the new thirty. Comedy is the new rock'n'roll. In the world of law, is innovation the new knowledge management (KM)? When innovation initiatives first started cropping up in law firms and legal departments, some wondered whether innovation was simply the latest buzz word, or maybe KM's natural evolution. But with client demand as the impetus, innovation is being recognized as a separate discipline in law firms requiring its own structure and seat at the strategic table. What do we mean by innovation in the practice of law? Innovation is a broad and abstract concept; defining it is about as easy as defining art and may be susceptible to the same default definition: I will know it when I see it. In business, the more useful definitions of innovation boil down to three elements: (a) A new product, service or way of thinking or acting that (b) makes something beer than it was before and (c) adds value to the organization, those it serves or both. This article explores practical tips for developing a sustainable innovation initiative and avoiding common pitfalls. It looks into how law firms and legal departments can best introduce and embed innovation into their organizations by taking the lessons learned from legal KM's formative years to help prevent missteps. Setting the Stage Before launching a program, prudent organizations will nurture a fertile environment for innovation. To spark innovation, organizations need keenly observant people who are given time by Ginevra Saylor A Practical Guide to Disciplined Innovation and Other Oxymorons

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