I had a recent discussion with Neil Tyra, host of the Law Entrepreneur Podcast. I highly recommend checking it out if you want great discussion on the growing the business side of your solo or small practice.
He gave a new term to add to my vocabulary: technology paralysis.
We've all heard about analysis paralysis, right? And the idea behind that term is you think, and you think, and you think yourself into inaction, and you aren't really doing anything.
So, technology paralysis is what happens when you have so many options to choose with technology and so many features and things you can do that you end up just getting stuck.
Shorten your learning curve, make the most of your resources, and maximize your current and future technology, without the overwhelm.
So, where do the plates come in? I think running a law practice is very much like the old circus act of spinning plates. You get the stick, and you spin the plates.
So the plates represent all the different roles you are in charge of. You've got client work, HR, financial, technology, email accounts to set up, and the list goes on and on.
So, you are spinning all these plates and just doing whaevert you can to get through the day without dropping anything. But, if you take too much time away from paying attention to one of the plates, it stops spinning and falls to the floor and breaks.
When it comes to implementing technology within a law practice, this is how a lot of people go about it.
You are spinning all of these plates, and then suddenly, there is a pain point.
For instance, maybe process of scanning documents is taking too long. You decide to buy a new one. You do the research, decide to but a Fujitsu Scansnap because it is the latest and greatest and then you go back to you other work - spinning those plates.
It gets delivered, you unpack it, plug it in, turn it on, do a basic setup, and get back to those other plates before one falls.
And at the moment, everything is fine. The problem is that you tell yourself that you will come back to that scanner later and learn how to set it up correctly and create workflows so that the scanner can help everyone work more efficiently.
But, when you finally do come back, it hits. Technology paralysis. There are so many features to choose from. So many options, so many videos to watch on the topic, even more articles, even a knowledge base for this specific scanner.
There are nearly unlimited options for how to use this device to increase productivity. And so you chose to do nothing and just let it ride with the basic, default settings as you already had done and get back to those plates.
This is what happens, whether it's a piece of software that you are implementing within your practice or a simple little plug-in like text expander, that can be super helpful.
If all you ever do is spin the plate the first time and roll out the new piece of software but never dig into the features, you're missing out on 80% of the value that you could benefit from.
What you need is a specific mthod - a tool. A specific process to take inventory of the technology you've got access to:
Then you need an approach to go through that inventory, prioritize what needs to be done and get a plan to implement it. That is how you can break through this technology paralysis.
Because, as long as you are stuck there, the dormant potential of your technology will never be tapped into.
If you can realte with the spinning plates, I invite you to sign up for our updates. My mission is help solo and small firm attorneys overcome the technology struggle to help them get more of what they want: freedom - to do what you want, with whom you want, when you want.
Tom Lambotte is the Creator of the Optimize Method and CEO of GlobalMacIT, a national Managed Service Provider providing complete end-to end legal technology services to Mac-Based law firms. They provide leadership and direction to transform law firm operations and boost profits by leveraging technology. Tom’s methods are based on over a decade of research, testing and real-world refinement of best practices, working directly with solo and small firms providing strategies and support to mproving their use of technology..
Tom is the ABA published author of Macs in Law: the Definitive Guide for the Mac-Curious, Windows-using Attorney. His 2 other books are Legal Boost: Big Profits Through an IT Transformation and Hassle Free Mac IT Support for Law Firms. He is a highly sought after speaker at national events such as the ABA Techshow and MacTrack Legal.