Richard Susskind argues that working practices must ultimately serve the needs of customers, not the workers in this British Academy Review article.  When innovating, we need to be focused on the client (or customer, or user, or human, or whomever is benefitting from the service).   This is healthy for law firms, as we have a tendency to focus internally rather on how our clients seek innovation from firms.

Outcome-thinking can be invoked when considering the future of all professions. Take the world of architects. People don’t generally want these experts either. What they really want, as Vitruvius recognised in the 1st century BC, are buildings that are durable, useful, and beautiful. Nor do taxpayers want tax accountants. They want their relevant financial information sent to the authorities in compliant form. Fifty million Americans are now using online tools to submit their tax returns. Few seem to be mourning the loss of social interaction with their tax advisers. In a similar vein, I spoke not long ago to a group of generals of the British army. My theme then was that ‘citizens don’t want soldiers; they want security’. The same point holds in quite different fields. Patients don’t want psychotherapists. Roughly speaking, they want peace of mind. Litigants don’t want courts. They want their disputes resolved fairly and with finality. You get the point. It’s not brain surgery (no, wait …).

The disconcerting message here for all professionals is that our clients don’t want us. They want the outcomes we bring. And when these outcomes can be reliably delivered in new ways that are demonstrably cheaper, better, quicker or more convenient than the current offering, we can expect the market to switch to the alternatives.

Read the article here:

AI, Work and Outcome Thinking

PDF Version

Source:  British Academy