Hive Legal is a market-leading and award-winning NewLaw Firm. We sat down with Hive’s Associate Principal and specialist in business development and innovation, Melissa Lyon, to discuss their latest Josef bot.
I practised as a commercial litigation lawyer and business development professional for many years in BigLaw. Now, my work is more about bringing user-centred design to everything that we do at Hive. Our purpose as a firm is to improve the experience of our team and our clients, and central to that is taking into account what our team and our clients need and want.
What I do now joins a lot of dots for me around business development, being empathetic, providing legal solutions, being creative, providing tech solutions, and actually focusing on what your end user wants – it all makes sense!
Melissa Lyon, Hive Legal's specialist in innovation and business development
Val Ewe was the first bot we created. It’s part of the pricing process we designed at Hive. We don’t have time sheets. That means we need the ability to collect data and brief our pricing counsel. Val Ewe provides the consistency of information and the data we need.
But my favourite bot is the one we just built, Bee Purposeful!
Bee Purposeful provides the opportunity for people who are going to embark on a project to gather their thoughts around what they see as the problems they are trying to solve, the purpose, what types of skills the team would bring and what values are needed. It provides the initial basic platform to ‘think’.
We’re using it for our upcoming virtual all staff strategy sessions. All of our staff are completing Bee Purposeful so that they have that headspace to actually think about what we’re going to achieve at the sessions. We are also very much looking forward to using it to co-create with our clients.
We use our design-thinking framework, HiveThinkP (the P stands for Purpose) to identify and develop ideas, both for us at Hive and collaboratively with our clients. Part of that process involves design sprints: we get a lot of people in a room (virtually at the moment) and brainstorm.
We got feedback that while some people like that environment others would prefer to have more time by themselves to formulate their ideas. So, we iterated the process and this is where Bee Purposeful comes in.
Design thinking is about understanding the people you’re designing for and with, and knowing how to draw that information from them.
If you strip it down, what I could do is say, ‘Here’s a list of questions. Type your answers’. But that would involve a lot of text and explanation, it might look lengthy, and people might see it as just another exercise.
The beauty of using a Josef bot is that it brings a human touch. It’s not answering a series of questions. It’s feeling like you’re having a conversation with someone, or being interviewed by someone.
At the end of the day, creativity comes from feeling like you’re actually connected and involved in something you’re developing. And if you’ve got someone – in this case, Bee Purposeful – asking those questions, giving you feedback as you’re answering those questions, and making it a more interactive experience, people are much more likely to be more creative about the way they answer those questions.
The other important part that Josef brings to it is that I can take people on different journeys. If they say, ‘I already know what the purpose of this project should be’ – great, off you go. But if they don’t know what it is, they go on another journey, where Bee Purposeful can help them formulate the purpose. It saves people time and can guide them.
We also get to see that information before we go into a session. We’re able to prepare and make the session as valuable and meaningful as possible.
The Hive Legal team at a strategy day
It’s a work in progress! There will probably be, Bee Empathetic and Bee Creative. Bee Empathic will gather the user information you need. Bee Creative is more about brainstorming, prototyping what the product might look like. We’re very much experimenting to figure out what will working.
Just dive in and do it. I am the first to say that I didn’t feel I was a particularly tech-savvy person at all. Josef is no-code. Even if you don’t necessarily want to go on and build these bots yourself, just have a go at building a simple one, and understanding how they work.
Josef gives you the opportunity to think about how you can use it in the context of your everyday work, or how you can assist clients with it. You have an understanding of its applications. It forces you to think about your user experience as you build. You’ve got to think about making it a good experience for the person using the bot because they won’t use it if it’s not.
That’s a really good question. From Hive’s point of view, we love the fact that Josef provides a platform for us and our clients to build things which will improve the experience for our teams and our clients. If I was to describe what Josef is, it’s an exciting, design-based, purpose-led organisation, which is providing fresh and creative alternatives to the traditional ways the legal industry has worked in the past.
The other thing I love about Josef is that they share their experiences and their journey with the people they work with. I love the concept of creating a really collaborative, innovative environment to work in where people are sharing ideas.
The people at Josef really do care, not just about the quality of their product, but looking at how they can improve on what they’re doing, changing it up so that it’s continuing to do what it needs to do for the people that use it. They take an iterative approach. And that’s a really good design principle!