♫ Let’s tell the future
Let’s see how it’s been done
By numbers, by mirrors, by water
By dots made at random on paper…♫
Lyrics, Music and recorded by Susan Vega.
(images: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Fire_craker.jpg and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:San_Diego_Fireworks.jpg – creative commons licence)
“The Best Way to Predict the Future is to Create it” has been variously attributed to many authors, particularly Dennis Gabor.
Accordingly this is a call for all gentle readers to contribute their tips and predictions for 2014! Last year we heard from Stephanie Kimbro, Nate Russell, Tom Spraggs, Richard Granat, Jean Francois De Rico, Mitch Kowalski, John Zeleznikow, Andrew Clark, Colin Rule, Robert Denney, Ross Fishman, Noric Dilanchian, Steve Matthews and of course, Jordan Furlong.
I think that this is the most interested series of posts in the year and so I invite everyone to submit a post and we all can see what everyone thinks the future of law and legal practice will be like!
Let’s tell the future!
Will you fight for your name? ♫
I have to say that I was quite taken by this book. In keeping with the “One Hour” theme, it packs a lot of thoughtful ideas into its 98 pages. It starts out with the expected question: “What is Personal Branding?” and takes you thru an exploration of “Why Does Your Personal Brand Matter?” I particularly liked the chapter on “Is Your Personal Brand Happy?” with such sub-topics as: “Step into your Creative Brain” and “Who Cares about Joy?”. Now you may ask what does “Joy” have to do with branding or even the practice of law? As it turns out, quite a bit, apparently! SO many lawyers I have talked to do not find much joy in what they do. Yet Goshtasbi states that “People buy the products and services that ultimately bring them joy.” If you don’t project joy in your daily life, in your career and in what you do, then how do you make your clients happy?
Goshtasbi states: “What if you went on a campaign to make sure every legal client and prospect felt utter joy and happiness anytime they ran across you, your name, your firm name, or any mention of you and your legal services? Your business would boom, and your ability to produce quality legal product would increase as well.”
Once you have grasped the fundamental point that communicating joy is key, then Goshtasbi advises you to find your natural talent and make it your intention to make sure you perform it daily to bring joy to your work as you have brought it to your life. With that as your foundation, she then takes you on the process to establish your unique selling proposition (what sets you apart from other lawyers), visual branding, marketing materials, networking and communicating your personal brand.
This is one book that I would highly recommend that every lawyer and in particular, young lawyers, read. It is available online from the ABA for $49.95 (USD) or $39.95 if you are an ABA Law Practice Division member. Now, what would you do after you are branded?
♫ Silver whistle and an old clipboard
A polo shirt and a pair of gray shorts
In that summer haze, remember those two a days
Tougher than a 10 pound sack of nails
He’d throw down his hat and start to yell
At the top of his lungs, front and center, son
What were you thinkin’ on that play?
Take a lap and when you come back
Maybe you’ll do things my way
Let me tell you why I don’t let things slide
If you can live through me, boy, you can get through life
‘Round here what I say goes ‘cause I’m the coach..♫
This is another guest post from Beth Flynn at the The Ohio State University Leadership Center. I know that sports metaphors sometimes are a bit overdone in the context of business leadership and coaching, but this post struck a nerve with me and I felt it went beyond the typical stuff that is written in this regard.
Accordingly here is Beth’s post on what we can learn from sports coaches:
- To ask ourselves if we have communicated the goal for the team we lead.
- In order to communicate the goal, we have to know and believe in the result we want to achieve.
- It doesn’t matter what the goal for the year is if the people on your team don’t trust your motives.
- You have to possess personal values that the people on your team respect. Or put a different way, they need to see a level of personal integrity on your part that gives them the confidence to follow your leadership.
- You have to know it to lead it.
- You have to know your business (know the sport) and be dedicated to constantly improving your knowledge of it.
- You have to lead each individual.
- The coach knows that his or her efforts can’t be directed at the group exclusively. He or she will have to teach the fundamentals individually to each player.
- Create a team to be a leader.
- The coach also knows that after the individuals know their fundamentals, it’s up to him or her to create a winning team. The coach knows that she/he has to take individuals and determine how to put them together for maximum benefit (Monastero, 2010, p. 60-63).
From: Monastero, S. (2010). Winning at leadership: how to become an effective leader. Bloomington, IN: IUNIVERSE, Inc.
Winning at Leadership is available from the OSU Leadership Center. Click here to borrow this resource or any other resource. Once you are on their website, click on the Spectrum icon.
Learn how the Ohio State University Leadership Center is inspiring others to take a leadership role that empowers the world at http://leadershipcenter.osu.edu
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Thanks Beth for keeping us up on leadership moments and not letting things slide!
On Friday Oct 4, 2013 a unique event will occur in Canada’s legal community. For the first time there will be a Canadian Legal Technology conference that will be accessible right across the country, courtesy of the ability to webcast all tracks and sessions concurrently (except for the noon keynote that will be recorded and put up for viewing later due to technical restraints).
The Pacific Legal Technology Conference is accessible from 8:45 Pacific to 5:30 Pacific – in person or on the web. This conference has grown and grown due to one important factor: its foundation is the result of an on-line survey of all past attendees. That on-line survey, designed by the planning board, contains all the possible topics that they can think of – then it is the survey respondents’ turn to tell us what topics are most important to them. This conference is not just about legal technology – it incorporates technology right down to its core. Its focus is that of the practising lawyer who is battling with all types of problems – and who is looking for concrete and practical solutions to help her practice better, faster and not the least of all, cheaper (such as the session “Tech applied to Dull Ordinary Things that MUST get Done”).
The theme this year is “Lawyers, Leadership and Technology” and focuses on leadership and change management. These are themes that are coming to bear on the practice of law as we move forward, underscored by the increasing rate of change in technology with which all of us have to cope. The session: “Implementation: The Hardest Technology to Change is the Human Brain” deals with the challenge of incorporating change into our environments.
Dan Pinnington in his post on Slaw on the conference stated that: “I think this is the best legal technology conference in the country.” As a past American Bar Association TECHSHOW Chair he should know. Dan also said:
I am disappointed that I can’t attend or speak this year because of conflict. As a past attendee and speaker, I can say you will get the same high quality content, speakers and materials that you would get at ABA Techshow.
While we will miss Dan this year, there will be experts from right across North America – from Florida to Alaska and of course, across Canada. Simon Chester (a past ABA TECHSHOW chair), Richard Ferguson (an ABA TECHSHOW speaker), Debbie Foster (an ABA Techshow Chair), Joe Kashi (an ABA TECHSHOW speaker), David Paul QC (long standing CBA author and presenter) and others round out the rich roster of speakers.
Sessions include a heavy emphasis of ethics: “Backups, Security, Privacy and Ethics in a Mobile World” and “Ethically Growing your Practice with Social Media”. The conference qualifies for 6.25 PD credits in Ontario and 6 in Saskatchewan and BC.
Litigators have their own track that includes “What Technology should you Take to Court or a Mediation (iPads to Electronic Courtrooms)” The closing session “All the Gadgets, Sites and More we can Squeeze into 60 minutes” focuses on providing as many useful tips as the speakers can fit into an hour.
The next Pacific Legal Technology Conference won’t be until 2015. Just imagine how much the legal technology landscape will have changed by then! I can hardly wait!
(cross posted to SlawTips)
♫ And there’s a road I have to follow, a place I have to go
Well no-one told me just how to get there
But when I get there I’ll know
‘Cause I’m taking it
Step by step, bit by bit,
Stone by stone (yeah), brick by brick (oh, yeah)
Step by step, day by day, mile by mile…♫
Lyrics and music by: Even Stevens, Eddie Rabbitt and David Malloy, recorded by Whitney Houston.
This is another great gust post from Beth Flynn of the Ohio Leadership Center. In this post she concentrates on the 15 steps for effective communication:
- Let go of your own ideas, role, and agenda and try to understand what the other person is saying.
- Become curious about what makes them tick.
- Before you speak, draw out the other person’s ideas.
- Search behind the words for the other person’s meaning. Especially is he or she disagrees with you.
- Discover and manage your listener’s unspoken expectations.
- Respond respectfully and nondefensively acknowledging and addressing the other person’s concerns first.
- Choose an appropriate form of communicating.
- Speak respectfully, empathically, and responsively.
- Demonstrate that you heard the other person’s deeper needs and feelings.
- Anticipate objections and address them before they are raised.
- Clarify and emphasize our agreements.
- Acknowledge differences and restate issues positively.
- State your interests instead of your positions.
- Ask for feedback.
- Compliment the other person for listening
From: Cloke, K. & Goldsmith, J. (2011). Resolving conflicts at work: ten strategies for everyone on the job (3rd Ed). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, p. 51-54.
Click here to learn how the Ohio State University Leadership Center is inspiring others to take a leadership role that empowers the world.
To begin receiving Beth’s Leadership Moments, please click here.
21st Century Leadership Series: These professional development opportunities are open to current and aspiring leaders interested in increasing their leadership knowledge and skills. Held on the campus of The Ohio State University in Columbus, this leadership series is designed with relevant solutions to current leadership issues. Certificates of participation are available for individuals seeking professional development hours.
Thanks Beth for another great tip that will help us change one step at a time!
♫ Innovate and stimulate minds
Travel the world and penetrate the times
Innovate and stimulate minds
For now I appreciate this moment in time…♫
Lyrics, music and recorded by Hard Driver.
The 2013 edition of The Pacific Legal Technology Conference, Canada’s first and foremost conference on all aspects of legal technology, will feature two major new developments this year!
First: This year’s conference will be webcast….all three concurrent tracks in the morning and in the afternoon…making this conference fully available across Canada and the web (all except for the lunchtime presentations -we are still seeing if we can make this work from a logistical standpoint. But the lunch presentations will be recorded as will the other presentations for viewing on the web afterwards). We will be seeking Professional Development credit from as many jurisdictions as possible that allow for on-line PD credit.
Join us (in person or over the web) as Primafact and other exhibitors such as our Platinum sponsor Dye & Durham return to the PLTC Conference Friday October 4th, 2013 at the Vancouver Trade & Convention Centre.
The best part: You can have a hand in helping design this year’s conference! As in all past years, attendees and interested parties can have a hand in helping to design the conference sessions that you would like to see.
Our Advisory Board [Simon Chester (Toronto) ( SChester@heenan.ca), Richard Ferguson (Edmonton) (firstname.lastname@example.org), Joe Kashi (Alaska) (email@example.com), David Paul (Kamloops) (firstname.lastname@example.org ), Darin Thompson (Victoria) (email@example.com ), Ron Usher (Vancouver) (firstname.lastname@example.org) , Dan Parlow (Vancouver) (email@example.com), S. Ester Chung (Vancouver) (firstname.lastname@example.org ), Nicole Garton-Jones (Vancouver) (Nicole@bcheritagelaw.com) and your humble scribe (Vancouver) (email@example.com)] has been hard at work narrowing the range of possible topics to the short list that is the subject of this survey. Now it is your turn to tell us which issues and courses are the MOST important ones to you!
Our Theme this year is “Lawyers, Leadership and Technology”. Steve Jobs once said: “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” (“The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs,” 2001).
This year we are seeking new ways to help lawyers and others innovate and become true leaders. We want to explore ways to help legal professionals take their practices to levels they couldn’t imagine.
By completing our survey, you help us by selecting the best sessions for lawyers, legal administrators, paralegals, notaries and staff like you. And all of us will benefit by becoming an innovator within a practice empowered through technology.
This is the only legal technology conference in the world where you, the past attendees, have a direct hand in designing the Conference to suit your needs!
At the end you will be eligible for a draw for 2 free admissions to the 2013 Conference as our way of saying thanks for completing this survey as well as a special rate for attending the 2013 Conference (available only to those who complete this survey) (the two winners will each receive a free admission only..transportation costs are not included). *(survey must be completed by June 30, 2013 to be eligible for the draw).
You must complete the survey by Sunday June 30th in order to be entitled to this special rate and to be eligible for the draw (for attendance in person or online).
Help us Innovate and stimulate minds by completing our survey - and see you at the Conference!
♫ Make a list baby, of the things I’ll do for you…♫
Lyrics, music and recorded by Ambrosia.
STRATEGIC PLANNING IS AGAIN HIGH ON FIRMS’ AGENDAS
This is another guest post from my friend Bob Denney. It is of particular interest since my MBA was in the area of the strategic application of technology to the practice of law. So to see a renewed growing interest in the area of strategic planning is a gratifying one – and one that I truly endorse.
So without further ado – here are Bob’s insights into this area:
Several recently published surveys confirm that a large percentage of firms, regardless of size, have put many of the same issues high on their agendas for this year. In no particular order, these are some of them:
- The need to grow in order to survive
- Seeking a merger if they can’t grow
- Clients insistence on receiving value for their legal spend
- The need to obtain regular client feedback
- Dealing with under-performing partners
- Succession planning
- Continued lateral hiring in lieu of associate recruiting
- Decreasing leverage because of fewer associates
- Practice group organization and management
- Increased competition from online sources and alternative legal service providers
- Strategic Planning
None of these issues are surprising but the return of Strategic Planning to firms’ agendas is a healthy sign because many firms had abandoned planning during the recession, Yet, as most businesses and organizations have long recognized, it is essential. Now law firms are recognizing it is more essential than ever because of the many changes in the legal profession.
Integrated Strategic Planning, as we define it, has always been one of our largest areas of practice and now the number of these projects we are working on has increased over 300% in the past six months. For firms that have not yet put Strategic Planning on their agendas, we attach a discussion of the benefits, misconceptions and application of the process.
Robert Denney Associates Inc. provides strategic management and marketing counsel to law firms, companies and non-profit organizations throughout the United States. Previous Communiques as well as information about our services may be viewed on our web site. P.O. Box 551, Wayne, PA 19087-0551 • 610-644-7020 • fax: 610-296-8726 email: firstname.lastname@example.org • web site: www.robertdenney.com
Thanks Bob for highlighting how strategic planning and its components should be high on the list of things that management should be doing in law firms!
♫ It’s all about the Apps Store and iTunes.
They continue distribution of software media.
iPad (do do do do do)
iPad (do do do do)… ♫
– Lyrics, music and recorded by Parry Gripp.
Gerry Purdy PHD, an expert on wireless technologies, has made a prediction. In the future, you will own three devices:
- a smartphone (to make calls, check on email and messages and do light web browsing);
- a tablet (to do more review of content, more serious web browsing and messaging); and
- a desktop or notebook PC device (to create original content that is read on other devices).
What is driving his prediction? For one, mobile device sales (smartphones, iPads) already exceed those of desktops/laptops. Secondly, mobile web traffic is about to exceed desk-based web use. We are a mobile, connected world and we want applications and devices that enable our lifestyle. Furthermore, iPads represent lawyers taking charge and gaining access to technology that does not involve having to deal with the law firm IT department and all their restrictive policies.
The other factor is the ease of use of the iPad as compared to traditional PC-based technology. The iPad has exceeded everyone’s expectations on these criteria. Apps which traditionally run from free to $9.99 (and in some cases more) place incredible processing power in the hands of users. Games, book readers, word processing, presentation software, business apps – there are literally hundreds of thousands from which to choose. News apps from the NYT, BBC, AP and others place you in the center of the “what’s happening now” world. TweetDeck and Facebook allow you to comment and connect with the Twitterverse about what is happening now. Wi-Fi or cellular data plans connect your iPad to the world. Inexpensive online storage is available via Dropbox, iCloud and others. (more…)
♫ Every time you’re near
I get creative…♫
This is another great guest post by Beth Flynn of the Ohio State University Leadership Center. This time Beth is looking at Creativity (and leadership).
- Myth 1: Creativity is only needed at the top.
- TRUTH: In today’s business environment, creativity applies to everyone.
- Myth 2: People are creative (or not) depending on their job or role.
- TRUTH: You role has nothing to do with your creativity.
- Myth 3: Creativity is “born:” it can’t be developed.
- TRUTH: Yes it absolutely can.
- MYTH 4: Creativity isn’t my responsibility.
- TRUTH: Today, creativity is everyone’s responsibility.
- MYTH 5: Creativity can’t be managed or harnessed.
- TRUTH: Developing creativity is the primary role you will play as a leader in the twenty-first-century business world.
- Myth 6: My technical skills and experience are enough.
- TRUTH: Creative problem solving, original thought, and imagination have become the currency for success in the new world of business…and life (Linkner, 2011, p. 207-209).
From: Linkner, J (2011). Disciplined dreaming: a proven system to drive breakthrough creativity. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Disciplined dreaming is available from the OSU Leadership Center. Click here to borrow this resource.
Learn how the Ohio State University Leadership Center is inspiring others to take a leadership role that empowers the world at http://leadershipcenter.osu.edu . To begin receiving Leadership Moments, or to update your information, please click here to access OSU’s Mailing List.
Thanks Beth for another great leadership post on how all of us can move past the myths in becoming more creative. I can say ..every time you are near I get creative!
♫ You can count on me
I’m gonna get it done, get it done…♫
Lyrics, music and recorded by Sandwich.
Over on Small Firm Innovation, Gwynne Monahan has posed the following challenge:
Write a post that describes what quick, uncomplicated, untechnological habits or practices make all the difference to your practice, in 100 words or less.
OK…nothing like a challenge. So here goes:
Stop procrastinating. Now. Or as Nike says, “Just Do It!”. Deadlines and to-do’s and such don’t get better with age. Enter them in your Outlook calendar with associated alarms, flags and ‘Due Dates’. Use ‘Categories’ to classify them as “Limitation Dates” and such. Follow up on them regularly or even better, use shared calendars and have one person in the firm designated to review all important dates weekly and ensure that they are all met.
Turn yourself around from a procrastinator to a doer. Let people know that they can count on you.