I have a lawyer friend, who is incredibly indecisive, sometimes irritatingly so. He is so indecisive that he thinks those assorted biscuit trays are works of the Devil, put on this Earth to plague him, reminding him of his apparent inability to choose. He is often jokingly told that he could change the world if only he decided what he wanted to change. Now I know “many a true word is spoken in jest” but I think there is an underappreciated, contrary truth to be told in that adage as well. What I call the Fusion Paradigm.
Let’s talk about the incredible results that stem from combining seemingly disparate terms. A reflection that led to the establishment of the Fusion Paradigm.
According to Merriam-Webster, fusion is, “a merging of diverse, distinct, or separate elements into a unified whole.” A paradigm is a pattern or model. You may already have heard of fusion. If you’re a “foodie” then you’ll know that in the culinary world it means different foods in unusual combinations.
If you’re a real nerd then you’ll know about nuclear fusion — basically the energy process inside stars. And no, I don’t mean the influencer Frappuccino or Starbucks’ pumpkin spiced latte. I mean the big, fiery spheres of hot gas that the world revolves around, though I guess that applies to celebrities as well. Anyway, food is more popular than astrophysics so let’s talk about food fusion.
It’s normally a clash of cultures — mixed traditional dishes from different nations — but they can also simply be against the norm — like mac and cheese waffles. Some of you may be drooling right now, but I am certain there are others who are wondering who on Earth would think to make a macaroni and cheese waffle. I am willing to bet it’s people like my friend who, through the frustration of their indecision, decided to combine the things they couldn’t decide between. It has been so successful that it has initiated a new food industry.
My personal favorites are fruit sushi, ramen burgers, and miso avocado toast. I haven’t tried the mac and cheese waffles. But food is only a portion of the Fusion Paradigm that can be defined as “combining seemingly disparate entities in a complementary manner, such that the outcome is unusual yet incredible.”
Now, let’s talk about law fusion. Recently I crowdsourced law fusion to the legal community to find what it means to my colleagues.
Law fusion simply combines law with, well, anything else. It is the intersection of law and the rest of the world.
My favorite is obviously law and tech. My entire career is built on this fusion. And, I have to say, it is an amazing flavor. The law + tech fusion enriches and adds color to the practice, making it more efficient and accessible. It really gives you the headspace to increase your impact on law and business.
Of course, the law could be combined with psychology, business, management, motherhood, and coaching, to name a few. Really, you are limited only by your imagination! Rest assured, you will have fun at the intersection of law and the rest of the world. So, try it sometime!
In the end, the Fusion Paradigm can be an adventure, a quirk, or even a career. You can really have fun at the intersection of law and the rest of the world.
Olga V. Mack is the CEO of Parley Pro, a next-generation contract management company that has pioneered online negotiation technology. Olga embraces legal innovation and had dedicated her career to improving and shaping the future of law. She is convinced that the legal profession will emerge even stronger, more resilient, and more inclusive than before by embracing technology. Olga is also an award-winning general counsel, operations professional, startup advisor, public speaker, adjunct professor, and entrepreneur. She founded the Women Serve on Boards movement that advocates for women to participate on corporate boards of Fortune 500 companies. She authored Get on Board: Earning Your Ticket to a Corporate Board Seat and Fundamentals of Smart Contract Security. You can follow Olga on Twitter @olgavmack.
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