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    Archive for May, 2011
    ioSafe Portable is Here…
    Monday, May 16th, 2011

    ♬ Because it keeps on working …♬

    Lyrics and Music by Peter Kingsbery, recorded by Cock Robin.

    ioSafe Portable

    ioSafe Portable Hard Drive

    I have been a big fan of the ioSafe line of disaster proof external hard drives for some time now (back in October I wrote about the ioSafe Solo Pro hardened hard drive). I use a 1.5 terabyte SoloPro to back up my MacBook (using TimeMachine) regularly. I even replaced the internal hard drive using the SoloPro/TimeMachine back up and the data transferred perfectly to the bigger internal MacBook hard drive and I was up and running in no time. Voila!

    But now ioSafe have come up with a hardened portable hard drive! Does it get any better than this? Look at the specs: (more…)

    Posted in I'm a Mac, Make it Work!, Technology, Tips, Trends | Permalink | No Comments »
    Customer Service Is Not a Marketing Strategy
    Thursday, May 12th, 2011

    ♫ We have the right combination, we got everything.
    And to strike faster than lightning, we raise what we bring.
    We have the right combination,
    ..
    Give it all! Give it all! Give it all! Give it all!
    Do it! Do it! All right! ♫

    Lyrics, music and recorded by The Go! Team.

    Handshake image

    This is another guest post by Drago Adam (drago@AdamAdGroup.com).  This one really struck a nerve with me since lawyers have to try to define value by delivering the intangible.  This post on how to make your strategic differentiation real has particular meaning for lawyers as they try to distinguish their services from the law firm down the street  - or over the Internet. So here is Drago’s advice:

    This week after interviewing some new clients we were struck by how many businesses seem to think their customer service is their differentiator. What’s worse is that they want to tell everyone to do business with them because of their customer service. What businesses fail to realize is that their messages sound like blah, blah, blah to the marketplace. The following message from author John Warrillow will help show us how not to fall victim to this mundane marketing strategy.

    Lacking the courage or creativity to come up with something unique, a lot of businesses claim they offer “great customer service” as a point of differentiation. Well, it’s not. (more…)

    Posted in Adding Value, Business Development, Issues facing Law Firms, Leadership and Strategic Planning, Tips, Trends | Permalink | 1 Comment »
    Six Steps to More Powerful Conversations
    Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

    ♫ I feel connected (connected), protected (protected),
    it’s like you’re standing right with me all the time.
    You hear me (you hear me), you’re near me (you’re near me),
    and everything else is gonna be alright…♫

    Music and lyrics by: Amy Powers, Guy Roche, recorded by: Katharine McPhee.

     

    This is another “Leadership Moments” guest post by Beth Flynn of the Ohio Leadership Center.

    This particular post is taken from A. Christiansen (2010): The 40:40 principle: Are you Really Connected or just Linked?: How to create powerful, inspiring conversations that lead to greater success. Bloomington, IN: WestBow Press.

    1. Become genuinely interested in other people.
    2. Use other people’s names when you talk to them.
    3. Be a good listener, encouraging others to talk about themselves.
    4. Ask others about their interests, rather than talking about your own.
    5. Make others feel important – and do so sincerely.
    6. Smile often (Christiansen, p. 44).

    The 40:40 Principle is available on loan from the Ohio State University Leadership Center.  Click here to borrow this resource or any other resource.   Then click on the Spectrum http://leadershipcenter.osu.edu

    Learn how the Ohio State University Leadership Center is inspiring others to take a leadership role that empowers the world. To begin receiving Leadership Moments please click on the OSLC’s Join Our Mailing List button.

    Thanks Beth for another great leadership post on how all of us can become connected!

    Posted in Business Development, Change Management, Firm Governance, Issues facing Law Firms, Make it Work!, personal focus and renewal, Tips | Permalink | No Comments »
    I am an iPad2 – Day 1
    Monday, May 9th, 2011

    ♫ And I’m thinking two is better than one… ♫

    Lyrics and Music by Martin Johnson, recorded by Boys Like Girls with Taylor Swift.

    Having recently acquired an iPad2, I am just starting to explore how to integrate this tablet into my daily workflow. As with any new gadget, I had questions as to the degree the iPad2 would replace my MacBook or fit into my existing workflow. Surprisingly, I have found that, rather than replacing my MacBook, the iPad has integrated into the workflow quite nicely. So here are the initial steps in my journey with the iPad2:

    I realized that using the onboard screen keyboard was not something that I was prepared to use long-term if I was going to use the iPad seriously. So the first thing that I did was to purchase a Kensington iPad wireless keyboard + case:

    Kensington iPad Case

    Kensington iPad Case & Wireless Keyboard

    This provided me with a nice bluetooth keyboard along with a very attractive leather case for carrying and protecting the iPad. The bluetooth setup was straightforward and the iPad ‘discovered’ the keyboard in short order once the settings were turned on in “System Preferences” on the iPad. In addition, the Kensington case props the iPad up on an angle in front of you with the keyboard out level in front. Great for working at a desk but not really suitable for lap-use, since the iPad is just propped up and if you shift or move, this may dislodge the iPad from its ‘groove’ that keeps it upright. But otherwise I love the case and the keyboard. The case is really designed for the original iPad which is thicker, so the iPad2 really needs a small bit of foam between the back of the iPad and the case to keep it tight in the case. Not really a problem. (more…)

    Posted in I'm a Mac, Make it Work!, Technology, Tips, Trends | Permalink | 2 Comments »
    E-Filing in BC
    Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

    ♫ Lend me your ears and I’ll sing you a song,
    And I’ll try not to sing out of key.
    Oh I get by with a little help from my friends… ♫

    Lyrics and Music by Lennon & McCartney, recorded by The Beatles.

    Mandatory e-filing for certain documents in the Land Title Office in British Columbia is coming:

    e-Filing dates

    Moreover, phase 2 of the mandatory e-filing requirements is expected to include subdivision and strata plan applications.

    So what is a lawyer (or notary public in BC) to do? Well you can learn how to file documents electronically in BC. For some lawyers and notaries, this is a given.

    There is no question that the business case for the Land Title and Survey Authority to mandate e-filing (the “Electronic Filing System – EFS”) has been made. EFS offers may advantages to both lawyers as well as to the LTSA. The LTSA needs to update their business processes, it needs to accommodate a large number of staff retirements and it sees the EFS as the way to handle a large number of increasing complex land title and survey submissions. EFS is essential to the LTSA to maintain its service level commitments to the people of BC (full disclosure: the writer sits on the LTSA’s Business Transformation Advisory Committee). Lawyers can prepare documents in advance, submit them with a ‘hold’, have them submitted with a ‘meet’ etc – all electronically.

    However, not everyone adjusts to technology at the same rate. For those lawyers and notaries that only file periodically, they may not have the time, energy or resources to learn the new EFS system, notwithstanding that the LTSA offers free training. What are they to do? (more…)

    Posted in Issues facing Law Firms, Make it Work!, Technology, Tips | Permalink | No Comments »
    Turbulence in the Clouds
    Monday, May 2nd, 2011

    ♫ ‘cuz I don’t wanna come back down from this cloud
    it’s taken me all this time to find out what I need… ♫

    Lyrics, music and recorded by Bush.

    Twister

    It seems these days that virtually everyone is jumping on the cloud computing bandwagon. However, while the cloud offers a great deal especially to the solo and small firm lawyer, there are considerations to take into account prior to moving to the cloud. Here is a selection of ethical and practical considerations in cloud computing illustrated by real-life examples of turbulence felt in the cloud:

    What if the cloud provider goes down?

    Can’t happen? Just ask any of the businesses that used Amazon cloud services. The New York Times in an article by Steve Lohr on April 22, 2011 detailed the issues that Amazon’s 4 day outage created: (more…)

    Posted in Issues facing Law Firms, Law Firm Strategy, Leadership and Strategic Planning, Technology, Tips, Trends | Permalink | 4 Comments »