Successful change management with Jemima Harris of Invia Legal Operations

Jemima Harris is a Founder and Director of Invia Legal Operations, a company that specialises in optimising legal team operations with technology and project support. To put it simply, Jemima is an expert when it comes to getting leopards to change their spots. 

“Procuring a piece of legal tech is the easy part. Getting humans to change the way they operate is the hard part. Projects can succeed or fail based on the company’s approach to change management,” says Jemima.

Discover Jemima’s top three tips for successful change management. 

1. Plan ahead

Change management projects often suffer from a lack of necessary planning by those implementing said changes. Providing little-to-no notice or opaque reasoning for change can make even the best technology fail to find purchase in your business. 

“The key is thinking about change management before you start changing anything. Be clear on what is changing and why,” says Jemima.

From a place of clarity, she recommends speaking to everyone within the team who is subject to the change. During this process it will become possible to identify “change champions” and “change resistors.”

“Knowing who these individuals are will be helpful when developing a plan for communicating the changes in the lead up to going live,” she says.

2. Engage stakeholders

In Jemima’s opinion, the best way to find out how people feel, is to ask them. It’s not rocket science but it requires empathy

“The broader team will often have great insights you might not have thought of. And if someone offers you their input, really listen and empathise. Make sure they can see the impact of their input on implementation,” she says. 

Jemima notes the importance of letting those who have contributed know whether you have taken their advice on board and if not, why.

“It builds trust and closes the feedback loop,” she says.Another effective way of engaging stakeholders is embedding feedback into the project plan. By visibly including the team in the project’s creation and implementation you significantly increase buy-in and commitment to change.

3. Continuous improvement mindset

For lawyers, perfection paralysis can be an ever-present problem. To counter this fixed mode of thinking, Jemima recommends adopting a mindset of continuous improvement. 

“A mindset where nothing is set in stone,” she explains. “If people feel comfortable with the feedback loop, they will be more comfortable with change” she says.

Similarly, considering the organisational context within which we are planning and implementing change, is paramount to creating an environment where continuous improvement can thrive. 

“Plan around the availability of the team, these things usually take more time than you think. Get additional support and check with IT about their availability. Adjust the timeline or project scope in accordance with the context,” she says. 

If you want to implement lasting and effective change within your organisation, Jemima asks you to plan rigorously, listen to your team and respect their input.

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If Josef is involved in your project, we are always ready to support your team and encourage those change resistors to jump on board. Get in touch to explore our products.

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