Hacking contract management: What are you “hacking” today?

Katie Cook

ContractRoom

by Katie Cook

hacking-1.jpgWhen I hear the word hacking, I imagine someone chopping or hoeing into something roughly.  Or, I think about a software nerd breaking through internet firewalls to steal data or implant a virus (not the human kind, but potentially even more devastating).  

However, recently I have noticed this term being used in other contexts.  A quick google search directs me to pages for forums dedicated to such things as “hacking medicine” and “consciousness hacking”.  

My twitter feed is full of articles such as “6 tech hacks to help attorneys achieve work/life balance” (yes, really!) and “5 Psychological Hacks For The Right Mobile Notifications”.  There is even an online company called the “The Travel Hacking Cartel”, and there is a discussion about whether “hacking climate change” through geoengineering, a direct intervention in the natural environments of the planet to counter global warming effects, is a viable option (fingers crossed!).

So, in this new context what does hacking mean?  The American English Oxford Dictionary does provide an alternative definition of hacking - to “hack something” means “to work together informally and often quickly with other people to create a program using different technologies”.  This covers some of the activities I have listed above which are purportedly “hacking”.

However, it appears that “hacking” now is not limited to finding a solution using technology? Or is it?

Mashable extends the definition to the creation of non-technological fixes - “a "hack" may refer to a clever or quick fix to a computer program problem, or to what may be perceived to be a clumsy or inelegant (but usually relatively quick) solution to a problem, such as a "kludge".”  According to Google, a “kludge” is “an ill-assorted collection of parts assembled to fulfill a particular purpose” - who knew?!

What are your thoughts?  What are you “hacking” at work? At home? In your daily life? Can you use hacking in a sentence to describe what it is you do?

ContractRoom, for example, is hacking such dysfunctional processes as document “cut & paste” and “redlining” in contract management. 

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About the author

Katie Cook

Katie Cook

Katie Cook is the Director of Marketing, Communications and Legal Standards at ContractRoom. Originally from the east coast of Australia, she has a background as an Attorney having practiced in both public and private practice in Brisbane and Melbourne. While working as an Attorney Katie completed studies in journalism and is now combining her legal and writing skill sets in her role at ContractRoom.

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