Chrissie Lightfoot

Chrissie Lightfoot

We have the privilege of living in the most amazing Golden Age. Artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic engineering have bolted from the R&D labs and been embraced in a multitude of fields, industries and services bringing both promise and peril to society, consumers and workers.

Progressing at an exponential rate it is inevitable that AI and robotics will radically transform all of our lives – home, family, love and work. There have been a plethora of reports, articles and new stories this year mooting the positive and negative impact of the imminent “rise of the machine.” It is inevitable that the relentless march of AI and robotics will push the boundaries of what it means to be human, social and an employee in the months and years ahead once AI, avatars, cyborgs and robots infiltrate our homes and impact our working lives even more so.

Understandably, therefore, we are already witnessing the beginning of the debate in relation to the tension which is emerging with regard to the liberalization and exploitation of AI and robots in society and impacting our blue-collar and white-collar jobs. The people and companies that succeed in the near future will be those that take the time now to assess the role of advanced technology in their working lives and service delivery models.

So it’s time to stop talking about the implications of AI and the potential impact of robots in society and our working lives, and start providing answers and solutions in how we can embrace the inevitable and still be successful.

Currently “the machine” excels in speedy processing, researching, analyzing, hypothesizing, dealing with logic and delivering super intelligence. Contrast this with us humans who excel in the realm of reasoning, judgement, instinct, emotional intelligence, “humanness” and creativity. Until such time as the machine can be as truly creative as us humans, we have a window of opportunity to dance in this space. Being creative will differentiate us from the machines… at least for a little while.

Accordingly we need to embrace this Golden Age of “Naked Creativity,” I reckon. Being creative and “naked” (our unique authentic selves) will go some way in future-proofing our careers and/or businesses and relationships in the decade or two ahead.  What employers regarded as top talent in the past is not the kind of talent required or expected currently or in future, particularly when the boss will be employing machines to do the process and high IQ related work further down the line.

Focusing on developing our emotional intelligence and becoming entrepreneurial, intrapreneurial, innovative, creative, imaginative and dynamic in our working lives could certainly help us retain our jobs before we are eventually replaced; let us not forget that “the machine” is already learning to be creative; it can compose music symphonies, write stories, news content, play a musical instrument, etc., already.

In an increasingly competitive and AI Age we need to be creative about who, what, where, when, why and how we provide services and products as individuals and businesses.

So, how can we humans future-proof our livelihoods and companies to prepare for the age of AI and robotics?

Albeit it has been said that creativity charts its own course, it still needs a compass.

Steps which can be taken today as an individual include:

And steps which can be taken as a business include:

  • being creative in your use of technology, people, business planning, strategy, marketing and branding (business and personal and product);
  • being creative in your financing, investment and billing (however, when you’re billing your client for lingerie, expect a visit from a legal bill auditor);
  • understanding the personality and psychology of creative people;
  • embracing the new breed of digital consumer/customer/client;
  • embracing the talent mix blend of the machine and human; the role that technology and AI can play positively and each human in your workplace;
  • being smarter about business relationships, marketing, business development, communication and being social;
  • watching and learning from new AI and robotics market entrants;
  • creating competitive new business offshoots;
  • being creative about how you buy legal services; and
  • consider settling litigious matters creatively.

Settling legal problems creatively? Is that not an enigma?

Actually, no. It has been said that lawyers make terrible entrepreneurs but there are exceptions. I consider myself and many others to be such exceptions.

For example, solicitor Gary Assim (The Image Lawyer), solicitor Brian Inkster, solicitor Steve Kuncewicz, and barrister Sinead King (The Entrepreneur Advocate).

Sinead is one of those rare barristers who stands in the shoes of her technology, media and creative industries clients and consistently looks for ingenious ways to represent her clients and come up with an inspired solution to their legal problem. In her own words:

“I think lawyers tend to shy away from the label ‘creative’ because of its connotations of bringing something truly original into the world. It’s my clients who are bringing new things into the world, but it’s my job to understand their vision in order to translate their ambitions into a legally sound reality. Often legal problems arise because the players have a blind spot or two, and haven’t necessarily had the time to consider a situation in all its dimensions – human and legal, big picture and small. Legal creativity is having the flexibility to shift between perspectives in order to craft a solution that protects my clients’ freedom to grow. I don’t have the imagination to innovate on the scale of my clients and many of them would be appalled at the idea of arguing over large sums of money for a living but together we make a very effective team.”

If lawyers, perceived as the least entrepreneurial and creative of all professions and workers can be creative, surely you can too.

It takes courage to be creative, to dare to be different, to think and act outside the herd. It’s much easier and safer to stick with the pack. But the dawn of the Golden Age of Naked Creativity is upon us. You can prepare or watch from the step outside reception whilst the robots march by: it’s your choice.

Chrissie Lightfoot – the entrepreneur lawyer – is named in the 2015 ‘List Of World’s Top Female Futurists’, and LinkedIn as the No.1 best-connected and most engaged woman in the legal sector. She is the author of bestseller “The Naked Lawyer” and its sequel “Tomorrow’s Naked Lawyer: NewTech, NewHuman, NewLaw – How to be successful 2015 to 2045.” You can pick up her latest book today by emailing


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