Not only are brains not created equal, they are created with different processing styles. I’m a visual person who enjoys movement and seeing unexpected relationships among ideas. When I ‘owned’ this particular creative style, my employment law practice shifted. One such way was the use of a “white board.” I researched the options, and invested a little over $1000 for a two sided 8’ X 4’ glass / steel board on rollers that permits me to move the board room to room, or back to front within a room, or just to shift it to a better view depending on where “my team” is in the room.
I’m an advocate of “mind-mapping” both to create strategies, and to implement them during a litigation. Employment Law is complex, but mind mapping can sort out the best avenues for winning. I use the white board for these maps. We seldom create linear lists on the board. Instead you see ideas in circles, and the relationship of the ideas shown in a “parent-child” interconnection of ideas by lines between circles.
The white board is a central feature of my workspace. I invite clients to work with me as part of “our team” to see and contribute to the whiteboard. It helps everyone stay on task, capture and hold major ideas, and facilitates return to an idea that otherwise would be forgotten or lost.
Finally, we take a photo of the board when the ideas are laid out. The photo auto-uploads to a secure and private cloud server, and resides in an “album” of other such photos generated in that client’s case. We also send a copy of the board to the client, who uses it to refresh his or her understanding of where the case is headed.
In the information age, legal decision processes can be standardized, but creativity will emerge as the truly human, non-robotic advantage. Employment law is rich with stories of how laws are broken in toxic work environments. The old fashioned white board, or the projected mind mapping app on a computer screen, have been very effective in my employment law practice to organize the elements of the employee’s case.
Too many lawyers are imprisoned by the standard furniture and chair arrangement of their offices. White boards just wouldn’t fit in the space, either physical or psychological. Well, if you’re a visual thinker, make the change. Watch the productivity improve.