Failing fast and taking risks: How Adobe’s legal group met the challenges of supporting innovation

At our Silicon Valley Field Study earlier this year, Mark Randall, Adobe’s VP of Creativity, discussed a simple set of legal guidelines that had been created for employees who participate in Adobe’s Kickbox ideation and prototyping process, which we wrote about in 2014.

adobe“They fit onto two sides of one page,” Randall said. “It’s twelve bullets. Anybody can read them, anybody can understand them. Legal says, ‘Look, if you don’t like these, [or] you have trouble with one of these, just call us. There’s only been a handful [of Kickbox participants] that needed to go to Legal for further help… People are able to self-gate, self-qualify, and self-manage to prevent disaster.”

Since many companies deal with the need to create clear legal boundaries for innovators that don’t totally stamp out any and all risk-taking, we asked one of the members of Adobe’s legal team to share some background on the thinking behind the guidelines.

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