Innovation Trends – Top 10 Words

Please Share the good word

Innovation Trends

The pace of change in today’s world has led to intense discussions about disruptive innovation trends. These trends are present across all industries and professional services are no exception. The tsunami of disruptive changes will inevitably take few pioneering innovators to unforeseen heights. At the same time these forces will create havoc among those that resist the potent forces of change.

Top 10 Words

In this 10 part Series, we look at the Top 10 words that most aptly describe the innovation trends. We have taken the most frequently used words in “Business of Law” section of the FT Innovative Lawyers report. While these may be more relevant to law firms, the same can be extrapolated to professional service and knowledge industries.


Financial Times in association with their research partner, RSG Consulting, released the 3rd FT Asia-Pacific Innovative Lawyers Report. The report has become the leading, if not sole, barometer for innovation in the legal ecosystem. It showcases the leading innovative projects and innovation trends in the region. In fact, there are more Google searches for “FT Innovative Lawyers” than for “Innovative Lawyers” and “Law Firm Innovation” combined! The report broadly covers Business of Law; Corporate and Commercial laws; and Finance laws. We will focus exclusively on the “Business of Law” section to extract insights applicable across other service industries.


The methodology is fairly straightforward. I have extracted the most frequently used words that throw light on an innovation trend using Natural Language Processing. Sub-themes or words that amplify the trend have also been highlighted. However, the results are based on the dominance of the primary trend.

Overview of Top 10 Innovation Trends

Without further ado, here are the Top 10 words that encapsulate the innovation trends.

Innovation Trends - Top 10 Words - by Rajiv Maheshwari

The size of the bubble indicates the number of times the word was used in the report. The bubbles placed vertically below the primary bubble represent the secondary trends within the main category and will be explained in later posts.

We will now deep dive one by one into each of the trends in the next few posts. Let us start peeling the layers of the innovation trends with the first of the Top 10 words – Technology !

Innovation Trend #1 : Technology


The tectonic changes in the technology landscape are fuelling innovations in the most significant ways. Consequently, a separate “Business of Law – Technology” section was carved out for the first time in the report. This speaks volumes of the obvious impact of technology on the innovation ecosystem in the legal fraternity.

Innovations Driven by Technology

There is a wide array of components that find a significant mention in the discussion around technology. The sub-themes include creation of apps, systems, portals and leveraging the ubiquitous cloud services.

The presence of basic automation and practice management systems is taken for granted. The need of the hour is to push the pedal further on technology driven innovation.

Quite clearly, it is a loud warning bell for firms that do not have the building blocks in place including an ERP system, document management, practice management system, etc.

Technology Dispersion

However, despite the massive impact of technology on the innovation landscape, the technology dispersion is not very high. There are regional as well as functional inequalities.

  • Regional – Our firm’s innovation on Digital Learning was the only project implemented by a firm headquartered in the Asian continent to be featured in the report (the only others being headquartered in US, UK or Australia). This is consistent with the constant rumbling that we hear about many organizations not successfully leveraging technology, or worse, living in a state of denial.
  • Functional – Once again, our project was also the only instance of an innovative “Learning” initiative (as opposed to training) featured in the entire report. In an era where the disruptive forces of technology are playing havoc across industries, there is an opportunity to leverage technology to enable humans to expand their frontiers through Digital Learning.
Technology – The Road Ahead

The raw power of technology in today’s times creates limitless possibilities that are rapidly moving outside the comfort zone of a vast majority. The pioneers are not those who leverage technology to automate existing processes by converting analog to digital. Rather, it is the time for those who can re-imagine the world and harness the potential of technology.

Let us look at few such examples.

The discussions around use of robotics in professional services is gaining rapid popularity fueled by advances in the fields of artificial intelligence, machine learning and natural language processing and supported by massive increases in computing power. Our firm’s initiatives (despite being a services player) in the area of IoT [Internet of Things] were recognized early this year by the country’s leading technology platform.

There is a significant human angle to the power of technology. Technology’s impact on the Future of Work may relegate several human skills to oblivion or redundancy. However, digital learning gives us new hope. It is time to re-imagine our own skills and leverage technology enabled learning opportunities to thrive in the disruption caused by technology. As I mentioned earlier in 5 Lessons Learnt as CEO , it is time for the Rise of the Autodidacts (meaning of autodidacts) to thrive in this VUCA world (volatile uncertain complex and ambiguous).

This is indeed the perfect opportunity to challenge our assumptions and limiting beliefs and to re-imagine and re-create the world.

Let’s start with ourselves. How would you re-imagine yourself in a technology driven world?

Coming Up Next:

Innovation Trend #2 – Management

Please Share the good word


Leave a Reply