Why International Lawyers Should Think Digital but Act Analog

Chatting with Guy Kawasaki

Chatting with Guy Kawasaki

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While speaking at last week’s Legal Marketing Association annual conference about Coaching Attorneys in Cross-Cultural Client Development, I had the chance to chat with marketing guru Guy Kawasaki.  Guy gave a terrific keynote speech about innovation–why it’s important, how to encourage it, and the like.

One phrase in his speech really struck me:  Think digital; act analog.  In other words, think creatively–think outside the box.  Stretch your mind and imagination.  Look for and ride the wave of the future by using the latest technology.  However, in your relationships, “act analog”–use old fashioned, personal communication techniques.

As more and more lawyers go global, they increasingly rely on terrific technology to boost their performance. CRM (client relationship management) software is just one example of a high tech aid for lawyers.  Lawyers who are early adopters of such high tech tools and other innovations are forward thinking–or in Kawasaki’s words, they “think digital”.

However, as Kawasaki cautions, when it comes to human relationships, lawyers must “act analog”–which is synonymous with “old fashioned”.  Nothing can replace the impact of a hand written note or an in person meeting for boosting relationships.

Perhaps the more one “thinks digital” (and implements high performing but potentially impersonal tech solutions), the more one should actually “act analog”.

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