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2008 InnovAction Awards

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    Archive for April, 2008
    Take a Risk!
    Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008

    ♫I’ll spread my wings and I’ll learn how to fly.
    I’ll do what it takes till I touch the sky.
    Make a wish, take a chance,
    Make a change, and break away…♫

    Words and music by Kelly Clarkson and Avril Lavigne.

    InnovAction Award JPG

    Since 2004, the College of Law Practice Management has been recognizing lawyers and law firms who are willing to take risks and who are spreading their wings in looking for ways to improve the business of practicing law. Again this year, the College is looking for innovative and bold entries – the deadline for entries to win one of the 2008 InnovAction Awards is June 2. (Early birds can save a little money by getting entries in before May 1). Click here to learn more about the awards and read about past winners. If you know of someone who is taking a chance and breaking away from the pack, have them submit an entry. Who knows…perhaps they can teach us all how to spread our wings and touch the sky!

    Posted in Adding Value, Change Management, Issues facing Law Firms, Leadership and Strategic Planning, Trends | Permalink | No Comments »
    Draw Me a Picture!
    Tuesday, April 1st, 2008

    ♫ Words! Words! Words! I’m so sick of words!
    First from him, now from you!
    Is that all you blighters can do?
    Don’t talk of stars burning above;
    …If you’re on fire, Show me! ♫

    Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, music by Frederick Loewe, from My Fair Lady.

    Simon Chester, a good friend of mine, put me onto The 10 1/2 Commandments of Visual Thinking – the “lost chapter” from The Back of the Napkin by Dan Roam.

    In a nutshell (and I recommend reading the ‘lost chapter’ – it doesn’t take long!) Dan states that we need to ‘rediscover’ the art of visual thinking that we first started to use in Kindergarten – and somehow lost along the way to higher education. His thesis is one to which I can particularly relate , as I studied mathematics before law – and math is heavily reliant on manipulating symbols. The symbols used in math – from algebraic operators to integrals and others – comprise a formal symbolic language that is capable of expressing very complex ideas in a simple and straightforward fashion that is understood by those trained in the notation.

    But Dan Roan’s point is that symbolic language (i.e. pictures!) are capable of being used by everyone – and indeed, should be! He states that you should start out by deciding which of the Basic Six” pictures (Who/What, How Much, Where, When, How and Why) is the best one to fit your thoughts – and then anthropomorphize everything – thereby “drawing” people into the problem-solving process.

    Litigators have know for some time that graphical evidence is worth its weight in gold when it comes to persuading the trier of fact. Marketers know that brands that have a strong visual element are easily recognized by shoppers (just think of the NikeSwoosh” or the Macintosh Computer Apple“). Computer desktops are littered with icons that stand for common applications that we all use every day. Drawing on the “right” side of the brain, pictures and symbols can awaken different pathways in our minds and delve deeper into our consciousness. They can help us reach down and grasp logical relationships that may not be apparent by using words alone. And they can serve as a shorthand for expressing ideas and communicating the need for action.

    So the next time you need to work on a problem, rather than using words, draw a picture and show that you are on fire!


    Posted in Business Development, Change Management, humour, Leadership and Strategic Planning, Trends | Permalink | 2 Comments »