The Legal Innovator’s Dilemma

How Do We Instigate the Change We NEED to Truly Be Innovative?


  • 25 June, 2019
  • 08:45 - 17:00
  • 450 N. Cityfront Plaza Drive, Chicago, IL, 60611, United States ()

Additional taxes may be applicable


& Networking Breakfast
Opening Remarks – Conference Chairperson 
Patrick McKenna, McKenna Associates, Inc
Leadership Mindset: Creating the Environment for Change
Beth Wilson, Canada Chief Executive Officer, Dentons
How Utilizing an Innovation Committee Can Drive Law Firm Innovation
Josias N. Dewey, Partner, Holland & Knight LLP
From Design Thinking to Design Action: Strategies, Tools, and Blueprints
Dennis Kennedy, President, Dennis Kennedy Advisory Services LLC & Adjunct Professor of Law, Michigan State University College of Law
Mike Cappucci, Partner, FoundationLab LLC
Working with Your Business Units to Innovate for Growth
Patrick McKenna, McKenna Associates, Inc
How Creative Competitions and Hackathons Can Drive Innovation
Dean R. Boeschen, Chief Growth Officer, Husch Blackwell LLP
Partnering with Customers to Encourage Innovation
Jeffrey Carr, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Univar Solutions, Inc.
Patrick Lamb, Founding Parnter, ElevateNext Law and Vice President, Elevate Solutions, Inc.
Return on Innovation
Rob Saccone, Partner, NexLaw Partners
Patrick McKenna, McKenna Associates, Inc

Full Description

Change Management Summit

 Download the full conference brochure here

“Innovation is not simply having a new idea, but transforming those ideas into action and into outcomes”

How is the “innovator’s dilemma” applicable to law firms? 

The “innovator’s dilemma” is a term coined by Clayton Christensen, a professor at Harvard Business School.  It speaks to the idea that when any market leader is doing well there is NOT an incentive for it to change.  Therefore, you may often hear your fellow colleagues saying: “But do we need to change . . . quite yet?

That is the innovator’s dilemma - why shouldn't we just wait until it's very clear that the time for change is upon us?  What Christensen highlights is that by the time many of us may react to the changes, it is often too late.  A popular example of such a phenomenon was Kodak.  They invented much of digital camera technology.  Yet they didn't themselves embrace it and by the time they recognized the market had shifted, other players had rapidly come to dominate.  

Because the market can move quickly, leaders can find it very hard to adapt, in time. Innovation can be polarizing.  It conjures up coolness and threat, inevitability and unpredictability, attraction and avoidance. 

Here’s the question to ask now: Are your efforts, approach and methodology bringing about the necessary change—capturing partner support, and contributing to your firm’s culture of innovation?

Innovative cultures are collaborative, intellectually curious, accountable, and fast.  They are client-focused and solution oriented.  They create environments where professionals find meaning in their work, believe they create impact, and see that risk-taking is has inherent advantages.

Ark Group’s 2nd Annual Law Firm Change Management Summit – The Legal Innovator’s Dilemma – will address:

  • How to define and align strategy and innovation in your firm;
  • Why some innovation efforts can fail and what to do about it;
  • How to create a springboard for motivating and managing change; 
  • Partnering with clients, sponsoring innovation events, and working with an Innovation Committee;
  • Employing design thinking as an innovation change tool;
  • And measuring “ROI” - Return On Innovation

Top industry speakers

Patrick J. McKenna

Internationally recognized author, lecturer, strategist and seasoned advisor to the leaders of premier law firms, Patrick has the honor of working with at least one of the largest firms in over a dozen different countries.  He is the author of eight books most notably his international business best seller, First Among Equals, currently in its seventh printing and translated into nine languages.  His most recent work, The Changing of the Guard, Second Edition (Ark Group, 2017), provides in-depth guidance on the leadership selection process in professional firms.  Patrick’s three decades of experience led to his being the subject of a Harvard Law School Case Study entitled: Innovations In Legal Consulting (2011).  One example of that innovation was his launching the first instructional program designed to specifically address the issues that new firm leaders of larger firms face in their First 100 Days – which has thus far graduated over 80 new leaders many from AmLaw 100 and 200-sized law firms.  Patrick serves as Contributing Editor to Of Counsel, The Legal Practice and Management Report based in New York City; is the recipient of an “Honorary Fellowship” from Leaders Excellence of Harvard Square; was voted by the readers of Legal Business World as one of only seven international Thought Leaders (2017); and is founding member of the Legal Institute For Forward Thinking a legal think-tank comprised of leading academics and consultants from three countries.

Beth Wilson

Canada Chief Executive Officer, Dentons

Josias N. Dewey

Partner, Holland & Knight LLP

Dennis Kennedy

President, Dennis Kennedy Advisory Services LLC & Adjunct Professor of Law, Michigan State University College of Law

Mike Cappucci

Partner, FoundationLab LLC


Dean R. Boeschen

Chief Growth Officer, Husch Blackwell LLP

Jeff Carr

SVP, General Counsel, Univar Inc

Patrick Lamb

Founding Partner, ElevateNext Law, and Vice President, Elevate Solutions, Inc.


Rob Saccone

Partner, NexLaw Partners

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