Thursday, November 29, 2007

Friday's Cocktail Leadership

The single most important thing to us here at Janders Dean this Friday (and all days really) is that our loved ones are happy and healthy...and that their clip clop can be heard. We're starting the planning process this weekend for Project Sparky...collaboratively of course!

We've had a very interesting week this week - we're learning lots about China, lots about Kokoda, lots about stress mitigation tactics, and lots about who not to be in an
elevator with (this guy obviously worked on a project that didn't involve Janders Dean). We're also learning lots from those who like learning with us.

How has your week been?

To all our dragon boat crews - enjoy your Friday (especially V the giver of Kit Kats and cuddles....oh calm down Tiny). To all mobile phone/PDA repair companies - don't enjoy your Friday (or your Saturday or Sunday for that mattter). Oh how we long for the sweet sounds of "you have mail". To our new friends at Blakes - good morning... to our new friends at Fidal - bonne nuit...

Nice and short this week as our Kent Street Clients need sweets for this morning's meeting. We're off to play with Lego. Now go away.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Innovation: Lessons From Allen & Overy

We've said it once, and we'll say it again...Allen & Overy rocks!

As validation of their management led dedication to the mantra of innovation (by the way, they are one of the only firm's in the world to devote a constantly updated section of their website to discussing the ways in which they
embrace innovation, rather than simply having it as a corporate buzz word in their marketing material), they are constantly experimenting and thus sharing the lead in areas of technology and KM innovation, online services, and information delivery aimed at client services.

Check out news of their experiments with new media and information delivery vehicles
here, and then watch a cracking example of the quality of their productions, and the potential for the diverse use of this media approach (this example is aimed at graduates) here.

It should be noted that Allen & Overy (and possibly one or two of their peers) no doubt have been doing this and/or thinking of this for some time, and that the wider community is only simply finding out about it now.

Clayton Utz in Australia have followed with a pretty interesting (particularly from a content perspective for those interested in a simple outline of legal privilege and also those thinking of the ways in which enterprise search can be applicable to litigation procedures) example

This is not about saying that one firm will or can win more business, or be better lawyers, because of the fact that the press are reporting about their use of this particular type of media. That is a separate debate. We are simply saying that the potential for positive brand recognition and press inches is constantly seized through this very type of approach to innovation.

Not everyone will find this type of information delivery (or indeed the very concept of utilising different media) applicable or of value to their clients, fee earners, or potential recruits - and many will simply see this as a new way of impacting the brand of the firm concerned, or "playing". Either way, (and particularly in our small community of KM, IT and law firm management) the firm's name is out there as a leader in this area.

Another important observation regarding this type of activity - it doesn't need to be a heavy or expensive exercise, nor does it need to take weeks or months to plan and deliver. As a result, firms should stop procrastinating and putting red tape in the way of innovation. Get a good idea, get buy in for innovation and experimentation from management, admit when you should be getting experts who have seen it and done it before to help you rather than stumbling over it because you may want to "play" or be seen as owning the win, and simply get on with it.

One thing does just show how fast and far firms can fall behind the pack in relation to innovation (and even simply what follows innovation - expectation) if the firm simply sits and waits for things to happen.

No One Likes a Quitter

One internal piece of Janders Dean news that we forgot to mention last Friday in our Cocktail Leadership posting was a quick tale of caution to our existing clients, friends and regular contacts. One of our very own leaders has strategically placed jars (they are quite pretty actually) of jelly beans and almonds at every one of his client sites this week.

Before you all get excited, this is not in an attempt to provide our client teams with treats and surprises (although a number of packets of England's finest Pickled Onion Monster Munch crisps have indeed been left on the desks of Milly and Emma this Saturday morning for that very reason) - nope. It looks like he is finally taking seriously his committment to live longer and spend more time listening to the clip clop tunes of Barnsbury Street.

These snack items (in addition to rather too much gum and bottled water) have been placed within his easy reach as an emergency distraction when a certain craving hits him. We wish him luck and will update you all next Friday on his progress - for those of you in close contact with him - you have been warned, and we offer our apologies in advance.

Now back to your weekends please.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Friday's Cocktail Leadership

Wakey wakey....and welcome to the start of a new weekend! It is with great excitement and glee that we say "hello" to you this wonderful Friday afternoon. As per every single week in the land of Janders Dean, we've had yet another wonderful wonderful week! Big coffee collaboration call outs to those we spent time with this week.

A big thank you to everyone for your support of our Friday Cocktail Leadership rambling too - we've now got a huge readership in our three major regions of UK, US and APAC from all our old and new friends, and we've been getting wonderful feedback from you again, we thank you and promise we'll always try to keep in touch.

The books we are reading this week (in eager preparation for two weeks of fabulous cooking which will be expected of us in January 2008) include French Lessons by the "other" Justin North, and Foolproof French Cookery by the fabulous Raymond Blanc. We are certainly NOT reading the as yet unreleased Jamie Oliver book which may or may not have found it's way to us, as reading this before it is actually released would be unethical of course....honest!

In addition to reading (well....looking at the pictures while eating yogurt mainly) we are very excited about the release of our old friend the limited edition Lemon Honey & Ginger smoothie from our good friends at Innocent. We thank them once again for their amazing gift to the Freshfields team a while back - bravo Innocent.

Speaking of Freshfields - Bruce...we hope you enjoyed your stay in London. Speaking of London - Pricey...good to spend the first 20 minutes of the England game with you this week. We would love to say we were upset about the result, but the thought of the suffering did bring an evil smile to our faces here. Speaking of evil smiles (well laughter anyway) - laugh like Mutley.

When in Paris, we recommend buying black Acqua di Parma cube candles, and doing so at any cost. Now, based on experience and information provided by the ever groovy Acqua di Parma, "these are gently scented with amber, and are a striking addition to any home's decor. The larger size (are you still with us here?) will burn for around 60 hours, the smaller size for about 30". We would say that the scent of these entices floods of memories, but we would say that wouldn't we. So there you have it. Your irrelevant tip for the go and do some work....but before you do...

By the way, in case you are wondering, t
his week, if we were to be reincarnated, we would like to come back as a peppermint frog.

We're off on Monday to Blake Dawson to support the last push of the Kokoda Chics as they entertain us with tales of their trek. We ask you all to dig one more time for Cat and her crew to help them get further past their fund raising goal. We'll keep you posted. Dig deep - we dare you.

Enough (as always) from us. We're off to have a quick Friday Cocktail Leadership drink with (one of) our favourite client teams to show them the bouncing raisin in the champaign trick.

One last point....clip, clop, clip, clop......

Parsons' Passion - Knowledge Thoughts

The one and only Tom Baldwin recently posted an article on the launch of KM thought leader (also the one and only) Matthew Parsons' own personal site - - which is an interesting Knowledge Management resource best described as "the essential toolbox" all of us should take the time to review. This solo identification, collection and collation effort by Matthew aimed at selflessly sharing his personal tools, discoveries and items of KM interest will be of great value to many.

Web 2.0: Are Today's Copyright & Privacy Laws Relevant?

Marc Dautlich and Nick Eziefula (associates in the media, communications and technology group at Olswang) have written an interesting analysis here for The Times addressing the potential impact Web2.0 collaboration technologies and the emergence of social networking (as we know it today) has on the relevance of current laws around copyright and privacy infringement within the United Kingdom. Worth more than the standard four minute skim.

Irrespective of the outcome or future of this discussion, one thing is clear - if the law doesn't catch up at pace to the evolution of these areas, be certain that lawyers and their evolving service offerings and expertise will.

Selling Innovation - Talk Straight

We here at Janders Dean International encourage using a simple approach to communicating business value to lawyers and management committees. The value of many KM, IT and/or Innovation style strategic concepts can be lost on a management audience during a pitch if the language used to describe the value, the solution, and/or the technology is not kept simple. The tangible values of many ideas and innovations which the support department functions (such as IT) often champion become lost in part due to the presenter's desire to over-sell, over-protect, or over-impress.

Dr Todd Stephens is the Technical Director of the Collaboration and Online Services for the AT&T Corporation. A recent article put forward his simple set of potential project entrance and exit strategies. Althought specifically written to address the world of blogs it made us here think about how this approach of identifying clear and simple pre-project entrance and exit strategies (not necessarily the exact examples below) could be used within the planning, scoping and objectives phases of many
knowledge management or collaboration based innovation projects.

It is the simplicity that we linked into - the fact that they are focused on the "collaboration" and "value" aspects, and the tangible "user experiences", rather than placing any emphasis on identifying technology as the core of innovation is refreshing.
Entrance strategies (i.e. simple ways to sell your concepts to your investment or steering committees) included the following:

* Enhance communication & credibility

* Increase adoption of products and services

* Leverage the wisdom of the crowds

* Develop communities of end users

Exit strategies (i.e. a way to politely admit defeat and save your bacon so that you don't have to continually champion a dead horse for fear of looking like you were the one who originally made a poor decision) included the following:

* No increase in adoption or utilisation of product lines

* Improvements and enhancements are limited

* Communications become distractions to the business model

* Not enough contributions to maintain interest

Although the above are related to a particular area of technology applications in the collaboration space, it has refreshed our thinking back many years to the Deloitte Seven Signals (an internal staff mantra) and particularly the signal which encourages all to "Talk Straight".

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Future of Lawyers - The Times Update

An interesting article to skim read this week in The Times regarding the feedback from a panel of partners representing some of the major UK law firms and their response to questions regarding the future of legal services. If you have a spare four minutes, take a look here.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Friday's Leadership Cocktails

More work we hear you say? Yes...more work for Janders Dean! This week we added CanTeen (an organisation for young people dealing with cancer) and the CP Foundation who fund research to prevent Cerebral Palsy (CP), cure CP and improve the lives of people who have this condition to our list from last friday's post, and so we thank our new client teams for their nominations!

Today we would like to say a big hello to Friday's 5:21am Eurostar from London to Paris. Why? Well think about all those poor people with puffy eyes who had to get out of bed early to catch it - that's why!! What silly questions you sometimes ask....

Please remember that this week is
National Pro Bono week in the UK this week, and also National Recycling Awareness week in Australia. We're not sure what 'week' it is in Azerbaijan or Guinea-Bissau but we'll try to find out.

We also have some interesting reading for all you out there in law firm land which is linked to one of our previous posts. The feedback and comments on Susskinds new book is coming and thick and fast from his exposure at The Times in London. Take a look at some of the comments
here. There is another article of interest (although unlikely to be a trend) from Legal Week this week which we found amusing given that the annual NY pay hike war has commenced. Read it (if you're bored) here.

So how has your week been? See...we do have a concern that you're all working too hard and not taking enough time out. We'll tell you what - why don't you take the next two days off. Seriously. On us. No joke. We insist! You can thank us on Monday.

We're off now. Cheese (with wine)....

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Friday's Cocktail Leadership

OK kids, don't blame us but this week's Friday Cocktail Leadership posting is a brief one because well, we've been busy and continue to get more so as we add to our list of wonderful wonderful clients and engagements. We've also been working hard on our KM/IT Investment Thought Leadership Survey results and with our new friends at Microsoft.

But as this is Friday, and no work talk can leak into the Friday Cocktail Leadership update, let's cover off first things first.

Last week we were feeling sad about the fact that we slightly neglected our social responsibilities in October, and as a result we moved our project work aside and concentrated on introducing an idea we've had since Janders Dean was born. We're not going to shout about the details too loudly (because that is not why we do the things we do, and also because it would damage our voices and hence our chances in the next Pop Idol competition), but we will say that we thank our existing clients for their nominations, and that Medecins Sans Frontieres, Clothing Can Make A Difference and the Australian Royal Flying Doctors Service will all be hearing from us this coming Monday. We're always aiming to do more in these areas, and we will. As a related aside, for those of you who are
keeping up, we also received our Black Sugarsweet Turnip information this week!

For cocktails this week, we're going back to the tried and tested Manhattan. Our thoughts are well and truly in New York both this week and next - especially given the lovely rate of the GBP to the USD. The thought of Tiny shopping in tiny shops gives us great pleasure.

Now just because we are busy, doesn't mean you are, and so here are some things to ponder on during your Friday afternoon before you join us at the Zeta.

A group of larks is called an exaltation, a group of owls is called a parliament, and due to gravitational effects, you weigh slightly less when the moon is directly over head....and here is one you can try when you join us tonight for our weekly client and friend de-brief - a raisin dropped in a glass of fresh champange will bounce up and down continually from the bottom of the glass to the top. We dare you to prove it not be true!

We're off now to celebrate some awesome project wins with one of our client teams before the rest of the night good to your families, your friends, and your feet.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

BlackBerry Innovations - Digital Dictation

This coming Monday marks the start of a new chapter in technology adoption in Australian law firms, with the first ever digital dictation BlackBerry integration being rolled out to a select group of users across a leading Sydney firm. Although most vendors in the digital dictation space have been racing to develop this integration, with a majority of them saying that they are already "live" in one form or another, it looks like the first real-life vendor to have a real-life lawyer dictating into a real-life BlackBerry, it in a real-life situation here in Australia will be BigHand as soon as Monday in a pilot project rumoured to have taken no more than three weeks from selection to completion.

Friday's Cocktail Leadership

This week we start our Friday Cocktail Leadership with a festive note - the Janders Dean "Family & Friends" corporate Christmas gift order was placed this week, and we think that you'll all be chuffed with your prickly pressies this year. All you special people who we love to bits should be keeping your eye on the post or the reception desk in greedy anticipation. If you have not joined our circle of special friends yet, you can do so just by subscribing to our blog - you may even be in time to get on our Santa's list!

Last week we asked you to do some homework for us - don't you remember? So who did you give a spontaneous compliment to then? Shame on you....but, we'll give you an extension until next Monday (a big and exciting day for Janders Dean we think.....)

The Janders Dean team have been busy again this week with our wonderful clients, and have spent the past few days in Melbourne with our latest one - and preparing for the Janders Dean Derby Day Picnic (that is the JDDDP - pronounced "the J triple d P " - for those who have a desire to do such things with words) this Saturday.

While in Melbourne we managed to see old friends and new, and also celebrated the ACLA conference with the funny talking British duo from the VisualFiles team and Tom from the increasingly successful BigHand team. Hats (or caps) off to both vendors for kindly sponsoring the bar at the Longroom on Bourke Street while the team from Wisewoulds and Russell Kennedy talked wikis and blogs with Megan Gale.

This week we received an introduction to a funny little fellow named Kiwi from our friends at Deacons, and also received an invitation from our old friends at Deloitte to come out and play. We were presented with a virtual visit by our old pals Johnny and Steve as they head to Canada, and also from the talented David Fitch from Simmons & Simmons in London (who did indeed complete last week's homework by providing spontaneous compliments - to us!). Speaking of London, we thank the Trident girls this week for supplying the sparkle to our good friend Sparky.

We send a caffeine collaboration to our friends at ABL and their amazing BlackBerry KPI kit, the Melbourne partners at TressCox for their "first girlfriend" reminders, Kate from Headshift (the only vendors in the global legal technology and KM space to actually be legitimately groovy enough to pull off a client meeting on Brunswick Street), of course the wonderful Chrissy Burns, and all the KM Leadership Roundtable attendees for their amazing feedback and support....oh...and the partridge in that pear tree over there. One of our beautiful clients (Gilbert+Tobin) also deserve a special mention today for their recent announcement.

Our Friday Cocktail Leadership advice today is that more of us should drink with little people in tuxedos who point at the sky repeating the words "the plane" while calling you "boss", but be careful when they start talking dirty...

We have to admit that our work consumed us a little more than usual this week, and we've been guilty of neglecting our open commitment to saving the world and supporting our local communities - so....after we give ourselves a jolly good talking to and perhaps even a spank (calm down Panda)....we're all off down to the pub (knowing that walking there reduced our carbon footprint) to think about more ways Janders Dean can make a difference. We'll report back next Friday, but in the interim we urge all our friends to support our friends at The Thin Green Line.

We wish you all (as always) a merry weekend and a happy new week.

Norton Rose and Enterprise Search

Given the topic of the Janders Dean KM Leadership Roundtable event in Sydney last week, we thought that you all may find this week's "article" on Norton Rose's Enterprise Search project (courtesy of Charles Christian in the UK) of interest - even if it does read a little like an advertisement written by the marketing team of a software provider!

If the fluff and giggles (and both the mystical ROI figure and the fact that the problem was identified four years ago and solved only now) are taken away from the "article", there are a number of points that are interesting and align to the discussion undertaken during the roundtable session, and if for nothing else, it gives us another reference point to look towards.
We hope it is of value.

Gilbert+Tobin and King & Wood

The Australian Financial Review newspaper today announced the news of a strategic alliance between leading top tier Australian firm Gilbert+Tobin and China's powerhouse firm of King & Wood. As we've previously discussed here this alliance further validates the importance of the APAC region, the potential for growth in the region's legal market, and the synergies between the major Australian firms and their close neighbours.

This alliance will no doubt rattle some peer firms both in Australia, and also across the waters in the UK and the US, as Gilbert+Tobin have clearly won the race for China with this move. This is the first alliance that King & Wood (China's largest law firm with over 600 partners and lawyers) have entered into after being seduced over the years by numerous global law firms who have been looking for more than just a satellite office in one of the world's most emerging economies.

The alliance creates a force of close to 1,000 lawyers across the region, and an open collaboration of two brands which are known across the globe for both their innovation, and superior quality in the provision of legal services.