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“Little bets” as a way to make steady, creative progress to solve problems

Little Bets: How breakthrough ideas emerge from small discoveries, by Peter Sims (Free Press 2011), has much to stimulate entrepreneurs and business people. Its theme also pertain to general counsel.

Sims creates a compelling argument for “little bets,” which are “concrete actions taken to discover, test, and develop ideas that are achievable and affordable” (at 8). General counsel can place little bets and thereby more confidently, securely and rapidly improve how their departments operate. Fundamental to little bets are experimentation, improvisation, immersion in the real world, problem definition (especially with design thinking), flexibility in direction, and constant repetition of these cycles (at 13-14).

Examples of little bets for general counsel could include an LPO pilot of limited range, agreement to telecommuting for two paralegals, document assembly software for one type of agreement, a fixed fee deal with a small firm – little bets can be taken everywhere you look.