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Creating a culture of innovation

One director discusses practical steps for bringing a culture of innovation into a firm.  

user iconJess Feyder 02 March 2023 Big Law
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Talya Faigenbaum, director at family law firm Nest Legal and former research fellow at the Centre for Legal Innovation, spoke at Smokeball Spark 2023 on the topic of breeding a culture of innovation into a firm’s DNA.

Innovation can be leveraged to enhance the client experience, Ms Faigenbaum maintained; it is an essential ingredient to Nest Legal’s operations and can benefit any firm.

The first step to building a culture of innovation is to celebrate creative, out-of-the-box thinking, Ms Faigenbaum posited.


“Part of that is to give your team the skills, training and knowledge to be able to succeed in their innovation journey,” she stated.

“Innovation is about empowering.

“For small legal teams, this means appreciating simplicity, enhancing accessibility, and shifting your perspective or mindset when needed.”

“It’s really important that you bring your entire team with you on the firm’s innovation journey,” she explained. “From the person that’s answering the phone at the front desk, to the people at the back end doing invoicing and file handling, to senior lawyers and management.”

“Everyone has a different perspective, and everyone needs to bring their ideas to the table.”

The way Ms Faigenbaum practically embeds innovation within her firm is by holding weekly innovation labs. 

“Each team meets on a weekly basis, to brainstorm, to workshop to problem solve, to identify things that aren’t working, and to see how we can improve,” she explained. 

“There’s never a week that goes by that we don’t find something that we can innovate.”

The group chooses a few ideas to work with, and everybody is assigned a responsibility, the level of priority is assessed, and the team circles back in the following weeks to see how the project is progressing, she explained.

Ms Faigenbaum also noted that it is important to keep innovation in mind when recruiting.

“Innovation is a value that not everybody shares — some people are not interested,” she said. “If it is important to your business, then you need like-minded people that celebrate innovation — so keep that in mind when bringing new people onto your team.” 

Lastly, said Ms Faigenbaum, it is important to strike the balance between innovating and improving. “Be ready to improve existing processes rather than innovating them entirely,” she noted.