Shape the path to contract automation

Contract automation requires a changed context. Shaping the path, the environment where the rider and its elephant move around, is the third dimension of a successful change management strategy. Be aware that what looks like a people-problem, is often a situation problem. Often, when you leave your context or environment as it is but want change to occur, you’re headed to be unsuccessful. Changing the environment of your legal team can have profound effects on whether you succeed in improving productivity, your legal department’s response time, the quality of your contracts, the level of compliance with contracting requirements, the accessibility of contract know-how, and the fun of working with the Weagree Wizard.

Three aspects. Shaping the path to contract automation has three aspects:

IDEO, U-curve contract automation adoption motivation

IDEO, contract automation adoption curve

The path to contract automation is not necessarily easy. It requires hope and confidence, must reveal an insight that is specific to the organisation. If the willingness to learn (and innovate) is absent, a fixed mindset will prematurely lead to an exit.

As Chip Heath explained in McKinsey Quarterly: […How do leaders create an environment where people view failures along the road as learning opportunities? ]

Chip Heath: “In any organisational-change situation, there will be setbacks, times of confusion. In the change plans of big organisations, there is a planning phase and an execution phase, but no slot in the middle for a wandering-around-in-the-dark phase. We pretend we’ll jump straight from planning to brilliant execution. As a top leader, you should make people realise that there will be difficulties, but that those difficulties aren’t going to prevent ultimate success.

“In SWITCH, we discuss the design firm IDEO, which deals with this problem a lot because it often tries to train entrenched bureaucratic organisations to design more innovative products. An IDEO designer sketched a mood chart predicting how employees feel at different phases of a project. It’s a U-shaped curve with a peak labelled ‘hope’ at the start and a peak labelled ‘confidence’ at the end. In between is a negative valley labelled ‘insight.’ In IDEO’s experience, there is always a moment when an innovation team feels demoralised. Yet eventually an answer will appear, so if the team keeps working through that frustration, things will get better. Every manager in a change process should steal IDEO’s chart because every change process goes through that same sequence of mood changes.”