It's funny how once you stop being afraid to challenge the status quo, you find you can't actually stop looking for ways to change things for the better.
Over the last 2 years especially, I've been particularly struck by just how many amazing, like-minded people you start to meet when you let go of your fear.
And how the simplest things in your life can trigger the inspiration for your next big change project.
For me, with my first legaltech startup (elXtr), there were three things that brought the concept to life:
1.) coffee shops and the thriving business that gets discussed and transacted there every day - which I noticed so much more when I was on maternity leave. I spent a lot of time in coffee shops during that time, eaves-dropping on conversations around me, which were rich with business talk, bartering, problem-solving and deal-making. Very often, the topic turned to law and the disempowerment that small businesses and startups feel when it comes to knowing you need something, but having no idea where to go or the budget to instruct an expert
2.) supermarkets, with their crowded shelves packed full of products that all seem to promise the same thing, look and taste the same and often make it so hard to choose or to feel brand loyalty. I spent a lot of time wandering around those, looking for all the weird and wonderful things that small babies need and noticing just how many suppliers there are for just about every product on sale, and how homogeneous they all look. It made me really start to question why I bought certain products instead of others each time
3.) doing the schoolrun and juggling everything else in life outside of my (long) working hours.
The linked blog, that I wrote a little while ago (before I left elXtr to embark on my next adventure), reflects particularly on just how influential those short few moments between doing the schoolrun and getting to work were for me, as I shaped and launched my very first digital proposition designed to empower people to manage their business legal needs.
If I were to choose only one piece of advice to anyone working anywhere that just isn't changing, that is churning out homogeneous-looking products or services in very competitive markets, while your target customers lament the lack of solutions that they've grown used to getting in other areas of their business or personal lives, I'd say open your eyes and see the immense opportunity ahead of you. Invest now. Get creative. Look at who your target customers consider to be their champion suppliers and emulate them, not your immediate rivals. Great and lasting change and progress never come from copying your competition.
the answer is perhaps not to try to change an organisation. But to start something fresh and new; a movement, a customisable, digital solution, that is small but nimble; created with customers and enhanced by fellow (non-legal) businesses; modelled on the best disrupters in other consumer-facing industries; and that properly empowers small businesses to confidently manage things their way?