“Listen, Ethel, I think we are fighting a losing game!” – I Love Lucy, ‘Job Switching’ (1952)

As the data piles up and litigation deadlines approach, it is sure easy to feel like eDiscovery is just Lucy and Ethel’s historic battle to keep up with the chocolate factory assembly line in the classic I Love Lucy episode. Go until you can’t keep up – break down – stop the line – clean up – start again.

After nearly a decade as in-house eDiscovery counsel, there surely have been days where I have seen the best systems and teams pressed to their limits – people without sleep, data without end, technology stretched past its capabilities. But we stay, we pick up the pieces, we re-assess, we move forward. As time passes from matter to matter we sleep with document counts, workflow charts and coding panels floating in our dreams.

Are we really Lucy and Ethel, though?  Are we just standing waiting for the next batch of chocolates/documents to come down the line waiting to be wrapped? Is it all just a ‘losing game?’

Of course not. But how do we set the conditions necessary for sustainable success? How do we scale, flex, and deliver excellence and efficiency under the data onslaught?

It all comes back to a matter of unflinching alignment to a single goal – solve the problem.

Solving it today is better than solving it tomorrow. But the real value is not derived from solving today’s problems today. Instead it is from solving tomorrow’s problems today.

So how does an eDiscovery team ever put itself in position to do that?

In the end, it is based on the recognition that looking forward to solve tomorrow’s problems requires trust. Trust that the ‘chocolates’ will keep moving down the line today neatly wrapped into their boxes for delivery. With that trust comes a recognition that the team must be built so that forward-looking problem solving is supported as a critical continuous operation. That vision must be matched with creativity and given freedom so that our collective eDiscovery pasts cannot establish an incontrovertible dogma that limits the options for our best future.

Every bit of added value in legal risk mitigation and cost-savings starts there – solve the problem.

In this space, few truly do. Most, at best, throw bodies and servers at the problem – rarely looking forward and never looking back. Without a true foundation of vision, innovation and sustainability, it is far too easy to fall back on brute force as the only tool that could possibly serve.

After working with TCDI across three decades, I have seen TCDI’s relentless optimism that their clients’ intractable problems will be so very interesting to solve.

Solve tomorrow’s problem today. It is why clients come, it is why clients stay.

It is why I am so very excited to join TCDI’s amazing team and fight the ‘winning game’ for TCDI’s clients.

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