Friday, September 5
Wednesday, July 2
Big Thinking in Tough Times: A Peek Inside LSSO's RainDance™ 2008 - "Conference attendees left with a lot to think about and act upon. From practical to visionary, simple to complex, the program provided a menu of ideas to take back and put to use. Like a good work-out, the LSSO RainDance event left us tired, but stronger . . . " - Rachel Hayes, RainToday
Lessons from the World Champion Boston Celtics - Building a Winner - "What a difference a year makes. The Boston Celtics finished 2007 with just 24 wins - the worst record in the Atlantic Division and the second worst record in 62 years of Boston basketball. But on June 19, 2008, they rode through the streets of Beantown with the NBA championship trophy held high above their heads in front of cheering throngs of more than a million people. It was the biggest turnaround in league history. So how can a franchise go from worst to first? How do you chalk up 66 wins - one of the top five regular-season records in league history - after being the doormat that everyone walked on for years? How do you attract the star athletes necessary to pull off that feat when you haven’t won a championship in 22 years? Law firms take note – there is a message here for you that comes directly from Celtics President Rich Gotham, who was the star attraction at this year’s RainDance Conference." - John O. Cunningham, Freelance Writer & Legal Marketing Consultant
More from RainDance 2008:
- Read article on the Managing Change presentation: Effectively Managing Organizational Change: A Science and an Art, Jake Julia, Vice President, Change Management, Northwestern University
- Read what 2008 RainDance attendees had to say
- View 2008 conference photos
- Access library 0f the 2008 RainDance Conference materials
Friday, April 4
Question: What do these people have in common?
- The President of the Boston Celtics
- A leadership and organization development consultant, coach, and trainer who works with NASA astronauts
- Northwestern University's Vice President of Change Management
- Liberty Mutual Property's Chief Counsel
- A former law firm executive director turned executive chef
- Clifford Chance's Regional Chief Operating Officer for the Americas Region
Answer: They are all part of the faculty of LSSO's 5th Annual RainDance Conference, May 6-8, 2008 in Boston, MA at the Hilton Boston at Logan Airport.
LSSO's RainDance Conference™ is conceived and designed for senior leaders in law firms and legal departments. It's the place where sophisticated professionals and industry thought leaders turn for their own professional development. Once again, RainDance features a stellar faculty of sales and service experts with the experience and insight to help you develop competitive, effective sales, service and process improvement strategies and tactics. At RainDance, there’s 100% chance for rain.
Please join us, our faculty and a stellar group of attendees at LSSO's RainDance Conference.
RainDance Conference 2008 Faculty & Programs
- Jake Julia, Associate Vice President of Change Management, Northwestern University, Effectively Managing Organizational Change: A Science and an Art
- Harris E. Berenson, Esq., Asst. Vice President /Chief Counsel, Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, Developing, Maximizing and Maintaining the Inside Counsel/Outside Counsel Partnership
- Rich Gotham, President, Boston Celtics, Sales and Marketing – Lessons from the NBA
- Howard K. Shafer, Former law firm Executive Director turned Chef, What Law Firms and Lawyers Can Learn From Culinary School
- Leo Bedard, Capitol Project Manager, How To Survive as a Project Manager and a Consultant Utilizing Efficiency And Process Improvement Techniques
- Gary Mitchell, Managing Director, GEM Communications, The Law Firm of the Future
- Mark Stevens, CEO, MSCO, God is a Salesman
- Andrew Cline, Cline Consulting, Teams that Lead & Follow: Dynamic Roles for the Moment at Hand (Interactive, Experiential Learning Session)
- Sally Fiona King, Regional Chief Operating Officer for the Americas Region, Clifford Chance, Global Leadership In a Time of Economic Uncertainty: Keeping Your Eye on The Forest as well as the Trees
- Becky Dowd, Director of Business Development, Kirkland, Albrect & Frederickson and Barry MacQuarrie, Kirkland, Albrect & Frederickson, Project Balance: A Case Study from the Accounting World on Workflow Improvement and Happier Professionals
See you there!
First, check out Howard K. Shafer, a law firm executive director turned culinary student. His program is "Lessons to Law Firms From Culinary School." http://www.legalinsight.com/RainShafer_000.html
Then, listen to the remarkable Andy Cline short clip about his program "Teams that Lead & Follow: Dynamic Roles for the Moment at Hand." He should know - among other things, this is a guy that works with NASA astronauts after all.
We have a tremendous faculty, as always, featuring fresh voices, unique perspectives and sophisticated content. This is the conference where senior leaders go for their own professional development. If that's you, we look forward to seeing you there.
Up until now, law firms and legal departments have had to first learn about process improvement from programs designed for other industries, and then to figure out how to apply those concepts and tools in their own organizations. These programs change that, since they are designed specifically for the legal industry. Toward that end, LSSO is extraordinarily fortunate to work with Laura Colcord. She is an internationally-known Process Improvement expert who has pioneered the use of Lean and Six Sigma methodologies in a number of non-traditional applications.
As a former corporate counsel and LSSO Co-Founder, I have been interested in developing a program that teaches Six Sigma, Lean and other process improvement methodologies in the context of what law firms and legal departments face. I am thrilled that we have yet another groundbreaking offering with our white, yellow and green belt programs!
When we 3 LSSO co-founders got our green belts together (scary for the rest of the room, but that's another story), we agreed that it would be so much more valuable to have learned this from the perspective of our industry - shorten the learning curve, immediate application and so on.
Sure, some of this stuff can cause the eyes to glaze over a bit. But the fact is, this is is bottom line stuff, it's real and it's flat out fantastic when you put it to work. I'm finding lots of examples of firms and departments using it already but I'll be there are plenty more who are doing it well under the radar. Those who are engaged in process improvement are ahead of the game. And if you ask me, they upping the stakes for their unwitting competitors. Please join us on May 8 in Boston for the inaugural white belt program (it's an adjunct to RainDance May 6-8 in Boston, register at www.legalsales.org). Click on the above link for more info and to register.
Today I am wondering whether anyone else would do what I did. Let's say you had a need for a new technological product. And then let's say that a vendor (which would also be working with that service or product) with whom you had a long standing customer relationship recommended three options.
Then, let's assume you did your due diligence and made your choice based on a number of factors, including an impressive sales experience. And you proceeded to complete an online application, which did not work the first time. So you re-entered all the data required and it does not work the second time!
Then, let's say you email the nice sales person who's provided all the info to you and explain you are having a problem. Say the response is: "yeah, we know there's a problem, sorry about that, but that's why I attached a pdf of the application for you." Um, HUH? The irony of a tech solutions provider wanting a new customer to trust them in spite of their failure or inability to correct a tech problem seems to escape both the sales person and the company itself.
So, would you buy from that company? And what about the referror who sent you there? How would you deal with their disappointment that you were not giving that particular suggested vendor the business (because it would have been easier for them, they know the product, etc.)? How would you react when your proposal went up significantly so that you could pay for them to overcome their learning curve with the other two of the three?
Maybe it's just me, but I don't feel like buying.
Tuesday, March 4
Sunday, February 24
Check out the link above for the full story: "Well-known litigator Sheila Birnbaum of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom believed Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood used a press release and newspaper column to mischaracterize a recent confidential settlement with her client State Farm, and she said so.Her opinion was intended to circulate in an internal e-mail, but instead she sent it to more than a dozen reporters, the Associated Press reports.
“This is so over the top,” she wrote in the e-mail. “Can we ask that he be held in contempt of court for misrepresenting a settlement agreement and order of the court?”
Lawyers, you may want to consider deleting reporters' names from your e-mail address book. Birnbaum's misdirected e-mail is the second by a lawyer to make headlines this month. A lawyer at Pepper Hamilton in Philadelphia reportedly sent an e-mail referencing settlement negotiations that apparently involved Eli Lilly & Co. to New York Times reporter Alex Berenson. The message was intended to reach co-counsel Bradford Berenson of Sidley Austin.
A hat tip to the Wall Street Journal Law Blog, which posted the story."
Um, a hat tip? Maybe it's just me, but I really don't think that an honest mistake combined with some fairly innocuous email contents is all that interesting. Yes, there is a lesson to be learned (be careful, observe confidentiality standards, delete reporters from your address book and so forth) but does this rise to the level of being newsworthy?
What about journalists observing and honoring those disclaimers at the bottom of the emails?
People make mistakes. And lawyers are people too.
Saturday, February 9
Acknowledgement - the genuine and sincere type - may help you nudge an otherwise dormant client into action. Even if your best efforts have been less than successful, you might want to acknowledge your "coachee" for being willing to roll up their sleeves and work with you. Some of our clients' colleagues would never make the time to talk about how to grow their businesses.
Focusing on the gap - what wasn't done and what needs to be done - is obviously critical. Doing so in the context of acknowledgement may be an access to higher levels of success for you and your clients. Take on this practice and let us know about the results!
Friday, February 1
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL EUROPE, DOW JONES REPRINTS
February 1, 2008
This is an interesting and provocative read. The angle seems undercut by the punchline (“Trying a case is like a movie," Ms. Arnold says. "Wardrobe is everything."), since the article seems to be going in the direction of a generational discussion and/or the value of having a consultant like Gretchen Neels in to remedy the situation.
I do think it’s true that there are differences in dress codes between offices, firms, geographies and generations. Full disclothesure: I’m in the “suit” category for a couple of reasons: it is actually easier to put together when you are bleary eyed and/or rushing to get out the door in the morning and also for professional appearance reasons. You can go anywhere in a suit but you can't in jeans (which I really don't think are appropriate for a professional services provider who is in the office anyway).
But, and with all due respect to the managing partners of the world, the more relevant question is…. What are the CLIENTS at the associates' level wearing and what do they expect and want THEIR lawyers to look like?
Sunday, January 27
What an injustice. We describe our contributions to our firms as preparing teams of lawyers for "pitches". Why should we continue this rhetoric? As sales and service executives in our firms, we must push to change this misnomer of 'pitching'. If we continue to call these meetings pitches then lawyers will continue to treat them as so ... Prospective client meetings should be treated as well prepared, thoughtful dialog between our firms and the marketplace to uncover possible legal and business problems for which our firms can solve. After all - if the process is followed correctly, it's called 'catching' not pitching. Start the evolution in your firm by taking the word "pitch" out of your vocabulary.
Friday, January 25
Here's the list of firms:
Arnold & Porter
Alston & Bird
Wednesday, January 23
Check it out: 42.03 Humanize It: Bring a five-star sparkle to your customer ...