Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Friday's (Christmas) Cocktail Leadership

Well well well....welcome to (probably) the last Friday Cocktail Leadership posting for the year (and what a wonderful year it has been).

As you know by now, Friday's postings are all about things not really related to law firms, knowledge management, legal technology, or anything serious really. Just an excuse for us all to share and giggle as the weekend are you feeling about your year? How are you feeling generally? Need a shoulder rub perhaps? Cup of tea?

To make a start, we would like to say a huge 'thank you' to our wonderful client teams for their involvement
in our successes of 2007.

We've spent the year racing between firms in Australia and London and in doing so we have been fortunate to work with some of the most amazing project groups from some the world's greatest firms. This year we made new friends and caught up with many many old ones on our travels.

We planted trees in Sydney, continued to support our community (which we intend to continue lifting the bar on - and challenge our peers to do the same), and we also
introduced a way to support the causes close to the hearts of our clients.

In 2007 we smiled, we complimented strangers (did you Mrs Meek), we hosted a widely praised series of Knowledge Management Thought Leadership Roundtables in Sydney, we convinced you all to never buy an average
candle again, we shared our thoughts on innovation strategies, adopted an endangered vegetable, and listened to Pachelbel's Canon in D far too many times to count. We even lamented about our girl in the comic shop.

This year we also stood fast to protect and champion our vendor independence so we can continue to best serve our clients as their trusted advisors in this space. We politely declined offers for direct and "value-add" reseller agreements, strategic partnerships, sponsorship dollars and brown paper packages tied up with string.

We collaborated with, contributed to discussions, and commented on, thought leadership areas with some people far more intelligent than ourselves, including
Maister, Susskind, Baldwin and Parsons (who we send best wishes to as his new adventure begins).

On a personal note, we've listened to the beautiful sounds of Barnsbury Street each morning and evening, built up millions of frequent flyer points, cuddled V, called Frenchy once in a while, had coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee with you all, tried to keep up with Toddy, spent far too much time with Mutley (the "other"
Simon), blessed Jen & Tony with our presence, relaxed at Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, lined the pockets of Becasse, Zetta and Maisys, flirted with Mel (how you do'n Mel?), predicted (just now) that Bumba would punch us over the comment re flirting with Mel, introduced ourselves to a few conceirge staff from hotels all across Europe - all of who helped with our strange requests for cheese deliveries - and was placed on speaker phone while mascara was applied.

Golly gosh it has been a busy and memorable year now we think of it.....we've bought conifers in London, lost the wonderfully cheeky AJ, been supported by Bumba, sent random faxes to bank tellers, created meaningful pieces of art on Silk Street, placed puppies under office desks on Bunhill Row, shopped at Angel's on Upper Street, skipped down Madison, met evil squirrels in New York, racist squirrels in London, consumed daytime cocktails in Canonbury (and done so many more things in that neighbourhood), consumed many a free kit kat at Twickenham, advised on the dangers of clip clopping down the alley at night, watched the new sport of mad duck fighting and were impressed by branding at
Subtle Tea.

We tried our hand at taking up a hobby by making movies in New York and spent six months of Tuesdays viewing the results to determine if the whole thing should simply just be re-shot.

We left left overs at cocktail bars, picnicked in Paris, held suspicions about Spider's mirrors, tried to fix basement flat bulbs, had the most amazing meal with our best friend Charlotte, and gave charcoal as birthday gifts.

Before we leave 2007 behind us - Caldow (that is Mandy - MANDY - for all those out there who like first names) just sent us
this - a must see for all those who feel that they've lost brain cells because of the festive drinking period. And a final laugh for the year.

The most important thing is that we have all remained immensely "happy and healthy" (as the wise one always advises, and the Tiny one always checks in on).

Enough about all that now.....remember that Christmas is "tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace".

Please take time to consider those around you, and also those that are not close by. We've been moved by the recent UNICEF photography awards, and recommend that before you leave the office today to spend time with your loved ones or your drinks, you take a few minutes with these

To end the year - to all our wonderful friends and family - we would be nothing without you and for this we thank you. We hope we've been able to provide you with some good content, a few smirks, and excellent service in 2007. Have a fantastic Friday and all the best for the festive season.

Janders Dean is back first thing in the New Year with our January predictions on the trends for the year ahead, and we'll continue to share with you our plans for continued growth in London and Australia, and our exciting plans for New York and China.

We'll see you all bright and sparky in 2008. Be safe and bumble beehive yourselves......

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Tribute to Tony Angel of Linklaters

LegalWeek today has this video tribute to Tony Angel, Linklaters managing partner from 1998-2007, the recipient of the 2007 City of London Law Society Lifetime Achievement Award. Video was directed and produced by Amanda Anderson of Cardamom.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Maister on Web Marketing for Professional Service Firms

Great questions raised by Maister here in relation to the quantity and purpose of investment (strategic or otherwise) professional service firms place on web presence.

Janders Dean couldn't help but contribute to the conversation with Maister
here while referencing some of our close friends in the industry.

Examples given (for various reasons, so check the actual article by David first, then the track backs to understand what we are discussing in relation to the differences between marketing, branding, client development, relationship development, etc) are as follows:
- UK firm Allen & Overy's website devoted completely to attracting graduates (with excellent use of video webcasting technologies) - US firm Sheppard Mullin have replaced online newsletters with blogs - Australian firm Blake Dawson's online SALT web products based around the provision of training aimed at clients. - the famous Blueflag pioneer product suite from UK firm Linklaters aimed at clients and prospects. - excellent use of blogs and their Elexica online KM product from UK firm Simmons & Simmons. - UK firm Wragge & Co's excellent design and "non-traditional" approach to a law firm website - UK firm Pinsent Masons approach to providing free legal content to secure additional services

We'll see how this thread continues....

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Web2.0 - Are The Inmates Back In Control?

An interesting post here by knowledge leader David Gurteen here in response to another thought leader's piece (Lee Bryant of Headshift fame) here.

Lee speaks of the risks associated with government IT Department potentially limiting the value of Web2.0 technologies by not embracing (in some capacity - not suggesting obviously a full circus) an agile development approach. David has made the comparison between these comments and the trends around Lotus Notes development many years ago.

Lee's quote (as isolated so well by David) below is something many have seen, or will see in the coming year:

"The same IT folks who rail about the "risks" of sharing and online social networking are also responsible for creating systems so unusable and inflexible that they lead users to dump entire databases onto CD and lose them. I think it is fair to argue that IT systems that do no understand people are a bigger risk than human-scale web computing that treats people as adults."

What is surprising is that in some rare cases, it is Knowledge Management "leaders" (not used in the sense of true leadership, but in reference to job titles) themselves who threaten the success of Web2.0 via their background, inexperience, lack of understanding (or fear) of new technologies, and/or simply the bad blood between KM and IT.

This reminds us of the classic "must read" text by Alan Cooper which everyone should be dusting off and reading again (The Inmates Are Running the Asylum: Why High-tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity). This original text not only introduces goal directed design theory, but also the theory (simplified into nine words for this post) that IT development should not be run by IT developers.

As an FYI - when mentioning the lost CD, Lee is making reference to this story of the UK's Customs and Excise Department finally admitting that they had lost two CDs containing 25 million highly confidential Child Benefit records and the bank details of 7.25 million individual recipients.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Friday's Cocktail Leadership

Good morning everyone - we're not as young as we used to be. Christmas drinks take a long time to recover from these days! This week was tough.....real tough.....not only were we busy with our ever wonderful clients, we are all of 45 days away from being happy!

This week with owe our thanks to Matthew for the original link to the CommonCraft video. We're having a beer for Tommy this weekend. We send hot lemon and honey to Susan W from Liberated Small Mountains. We wish Chrissy B a happy 30th birthday and say a special "hello" to Uncle Buck. By the way - check out the content from Baker Robbins'
website as there is some great new presentations there.

Hello to the Eurostar girl!

So have you done alll your shopping? The last thing you want is to hit Bond Street this weekend - isn't that right Bumba? Lots of awesome stuff to talk about next week we'll keep today's news short and sweet. We want Sophia's mother.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Web2.0 Education Clips

The below links are to some wonderful and simple short videos which are designed to explain the characteristics of social networking and Web2.0 technologies such blogs, wikis, etc to non-IT individuals.

Now if only some lawyers would do something similar for their IT and KM teams and teach them about areas of law and the working practices of lawyers.

Wikis in plain English

Blogs in plain English

Social Networking in plain English

Social Bookmarking in plain English

RSS in plain English

Viva Las Vegas

Is the American club in Sydney a place you go to club Americans?

Good morning everyone - we know it isn't Friday yet, but it is the festive season so every day is like Friday at the moment. We wanted to say a quick 'thank you' to our Las Vegas alumni and all associated Janders Dean friends who gathered together last night for a tonic and lime.

Many thanks to Adam for planning, and special thanks to the new Prime Minister of Australia for dropping in - has anyone seen Lionel and Kevin in the same room together? By the way - if anyone is looking for Chris or Geoff, they were left as 'last men standing' at Zetta at some strange early hour of this morning.

For those of you who are a little worse off this morning, we find that singing to yourself helps the day go by. It has to be done Michael - here.

Finally - go easy on the bar tab this afternoon team - it has been a tough year for some software vendors out there! See you all at 3:05pm.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Friday's Cocktail Leadership

Welcome to the silly season! There you go, we've said it - it is officially the time of year when none of you will actually do a full day's worth of work on any Friday between now and the second week of January. Don't feel bad (we know you don't)...just embrace it and go with the flow. Our only piece of advice this festive period is to avoid tacky Christmas decorations and plastic trees (both in the office and at home). Come on....splash out and buy some decent decorations this year!!

So it is Friday morning, and before we have breakfast with our favourite people from Liberated Small Mountains (we love changing our client and contact firm names - it gives others something to think about) we thought we would give you all something to read (especially those from Blake Dawson - we couldn't think of a clever way to change your firm name - suffering a headache from last night's function).

As you know by now, Friday's Cocktail Leadership is all about those things that don't relate to work, so if you're feeling nerdy this Friday morning and want to hear about law firm management, knowledge management, or thought leadership in legal technology - then you may as well close this window now. However if you do, know that we are ashamed of you! It is Friday afterall - give yourself a break for a while....seriously.

If you really want something "law firm" related to read - here are some interesting reading links for you to review. New information on the Australian Federal Court some frank thoughts on succeeding as an M&A lawyer from David Cheyne of Linklaters, and an interesting overview of the commerical litigation reforms in the UK

Is that enough for you...when (seriously) will you take time today to relax?

For those Germans reading this morning, Frohe Weihnachten! We hope that Nikolaus (or der Weihnachtsmann) filled your shoes this week with lots of lovely nuts and treats (or a puppy for those who have been very good), and that Knecht Ruprecht didn't get in first with a bunch of twigs.

Speaking of twigs - Janders Dean is an active supporter of the underground movement known as
Guerilla Gardening, and have been since our Innocent friends put us onto the idea. Go and plant a tree...

Speaking of doing good - we are also currently supporting
Tonic and suggest that you take a quick look. The team also put us onto this clever little pic which we thought was cute.

Today we say hello to Mel in London and her third kite - "Hi Mel and your third kite" and note that we look forward to the press release. We also say hello to our favourite Australian Irish Englishman Mr O'Reilly, and our favourite English Kiwi Mr Cowan. One other point to note is that we remember that if we can make it there, we'll make it's up to you New York New York. Thank you Frank.

Don't forget the Aeroguard and 'aveagoodweekend...oh, and only one person knows that what we're thinking this Friday is only fit for Tuesday.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Sunday, December 2, 2007

The Knowles Vision

Another interesting profile/interview from the UK. Alex Spence from The Times has spent time with Nigel Knowles of DLA's aggressive growth fame. Read the full article here.

Software Vendor Consolidation - APAC Market

Although we rarely comment on the software market within the international law firm area, keep your eyes open for news of a consolidation move/buy-out in the APAC market by a major international organisation this week.

Although it may initially be seen as a reactive move by some given the coverage and peer positioning of the target company's current customer base, a little quiet reflection and imagination may turn the move into one which will be seen as quite strategic in the longer term - it is (at the very least) a move to grab a customer base within a particular market bracket, and a potential to move a majority of these forward with either on an enhanced or completely different offering supplied by the new parent.

This prospect of a "strategic move" may be particularly true given that the top end of the Australian and Asian market (top 30 firms by size/revenue) for this area of software is currently (and will remain for the next 3 years) quite tough for those hungry satellite sales juniors trying to convince firms there is enough of a reason to spend funds on back office operational software while also asking the firms to go through the pain of change before the scars of "the last time" are healed, or indeed the new offerings are proven in the domestic market. It is the firms further down the tree where a great deal of potential currently stands, and the volume of sales can be made.

As always, the success of this move will be up to the new parent company and their tactical plans for the future of their new customer base. No doubt everyone will have their opinion on it this week as the press release begins to circulate. Good luck to all who are about to be asked their opinions, and who will ask questions. Now go and read the rest of your emails and pretend you are enjoying being at work early on a Monday.