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Shining a spotlight on innovation

"Innovation is in our DNA. From our location in the Midlands, where innovation has been a driving force since the Industrial Revolution, to the recent transformation of our Birmingham offices. It’s something that we’re intensely passionate about.

This is just one of the reasons why we’re so proud to have been shortlisted in six categories at the forthcoming Legal Week Innovation Awards, including the Future of Legal Services Innovation – Large Private Practice Award.

There’s a common belief that innovation is all about technology and while there’s no doubt that plays a part, true innovation is about so much more. People innovate, with their creative thinking and new ideas. This is why we put people at the heart of our innovation strategy at Mills & Reeve. We believe that the future of legal services is one where people and machines work together with clients, where staff are empowered to design workplace improvements and where we deliver services more effectively.    

Through initiatives as diverse as the creation of our inaugural Hackathon, ‘Shareaccino’, where we encourage colleagues to meet and share ideas, and Innovation Week, during which staff submit ideas on how to improve and innovate working practices, we have developed a reputation for thinking outside the box. Our culture of innovation means that staff know we are truly serious about it and that their ideas will be supported – we have an army of 35 volunteer Innovation Champions nationwide and 89% of our staff believe that we are building a reputation for innovation.

Indeed, our commitment to innovation extends beyond our own four walls – we want this to spread into the communities in which we work. That’s why we launched our biennial Innovation 50 in 2017, the Midlands’ only innovation-focused ranking system. By launching the index, we wanted to shine a spotlight on those other businesses across the Midlands that share our passion for forward-thinking.

Since we opened entries for the 2019 index six weeks ago, we’ve already seen some impressive submissions. Our panel of expert judges will be assessing for the results that the innovation has delivered to the business, customers and communities right across sectors from manufacturing and engineering to creative and digital.  The 50 top performing innovators will be featured in a printed copy of the Innovation 50 report, distributed across the Midlands and published online.

Every sector has businesses doing things differently, developing ground-breaking ideas and pioneering ways of working, all of which are vital when it comes to driving the prosperity of the region. We want to hear about you.

Steve Allen is Head of Mills & Reeve’s Birmingham office.