A lot has been happening at Kennedy Idea Propulsion Laboratory recently. Seemed like a good time to post an update.

  • Upcoming “Ask Me Anything” Zoom Webcast. I had so much fun and got such good feedback on my recent special guest appearance on Ari Kaplan’s Virtual Lunch. I’ve decided to run an experiment for the rest of the year with monthly open “Ask Me Anything” Zoom sessions. The first one will be on Thursday evening, October 28, at 8:00 Eastern. Details here. Hope to see you there.
  • Finishing Draft of New Version of Collaboration Tools Book. Next week, Tom and I will be submitting our draft of a new version of our book, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technology, for peer review editing. Lots of new content, a new approach, and learnings from the pandemic. Watch for news as we get closer to publication.
  • Featured Legal Innovation as a Service. Does your law department need a “reality check” on its legal innovation projects before the end of 2021? My current featured “Legal Innovation as a Service” offering is called “Reality Check.” I’ll review your current or proposed innovation portfolio and assess whether what you are doing makes sense in the real world for a fixed fee of $7,500. I’m focusing on law departments. A good option if you are in the 2022 budget process.
  • Kennedy Idea Propulsion Laboratory Community Premium Group. Premium Group members get access to special content, discounts, and PDFs of all the chapters of my Successful Innovation Outcomes in Law: A Practical Guide for Law Firms, Law Departments and Other Legal Organizations book. Join here.
  • LegalTech Vendor Insights Packages. These packages are designed to give you a pre-scoped, flat-fee, value-focused way to get the benefit of my high-regarded and highly-respected insights into the legaltech market, customers, and competitive products and services, plus my comments, questions, and suggestions on your strategies, plans, and roadmaps. More details here. I’m also considering one or two new advisory board roles for legaltech companies for 2022.
  • New Podcasts – The Kennedy-Mighell Report. Tom and I have done a bunch of podcasts on great topics – to-do list apps, our Second Brain project, ransomware, productization, COVID relections, automation, tagging, going back into the office, and more. See the list of episodes here.
  • Online Courses. Personal quarterly offsites are not only the most powerful personal productivity tool I’ve found, but I’ve also developed and evolved my own approach. Watch for much more from me on this front. In the Kennedy Idea Propulsion Laboratory Community, you’ll find an online course on Personal Quarterly Offsites and an online course on LinkedIn Essentials from Allison Shields Johs and me. And there’s the Exponential.Legal “Getting Exponential: The Essentials” course.
  • Gumroad Products. I’ve started to go through some of the things I’ve created and am turning into inexpensive information products. You’ll be able to find them here.

That’s the update. I have a to-do list of new blog posts, so watch for more content soon. You can also see what I’m thinking about and doing on LinkedIn and on Twitter at @denniskennedy and @dkennedyblog.


[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (https://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

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Book cover of Make LinkedIn Work for YouAllison Shields Johs and I are having a quick “back-to-school” sale on the Kindle version of our book, Make LinkedIn Work for You: A Practical Guide for Lawyers and Oher Legal Professionals, until the end of the day on August 12, 2021. It’s a great price: US$4.99.

We wanted to make the price attractive to law students and recent law graduates. The book has a chapter focused on great ways law students can use LinkedIn.

Of course, it’s a great price for everyone else too, but it is a limited-time offer. If you aren’t a Kindle fan, you can order a copy of the paperback version (not on sale).

Your professional network has never been more important than it is today.

Make LinkedIn Work for You will help you level up your LinkedIn game.

Back-to-school sale of Kindle version – $4.99 through August 12, 2021. Place your order today!


[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (https://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

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Screen capture of Gumroad pageIt’s time for another creator economy experiment. I’ve been thinking and talking about trying Gumroad to offer for sale some of my smaller information products (templates, worksheets, handouts, et al.) that aren’t available elsewhere, are valuable, and aren’t currently helping others.

Gumroad is a very popular service that allows creators to monetize these kinds of products (and others). I’ve decided to give it a try.

You find my products page here.

I’ve started with two items and will gradually be adding more, especially if the site starts to work for me.

  1. To-Do List Grid for When You Have to Much to Do (template)
  2. Workbook for my Productive Personal Quarterly Offsites for Busy Legal Professionals online course – a quick and easy way to preview the course and try the approach I find so invaluable on your own before deciding to take the full course.

As always, I welcome your feedback on the experiment, the offerings, and the approach. Check it out now!


[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (https://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

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The new episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast is called, appropriately enough, “Does it Take 10,000 Hours to Become a Legal Tech Expert?” and is now available. In the episode, Tom Mighell and I take a look at what it takes to become a legal technology expert these days and whether it is even possible to be a general legal tech expert anymore (if it ever was).

From the description:

Are there good ways to develop your legal technology expertise in a hurry? Well, Dennis and Tom’s short answer is no, but don’t let that get you down! Tune in for their tips and resources for building your knowledge base and gaining a greater understanding of the ever-expanding relationship between technology and law.

This time on “Hot or Not?”, the guys examine asynchronous audio/video tools and offer their take on this tech’s practicality in the workplace.

Our regular listeners will not be surprised that we go in some unexpected directions, swim against the tide of convention, and urge people to chart a path that has meaning for them. We think everyone will learn something. Available wherever fine podcasts can be obtained.

Some other recent episodes:

We encourage you to subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss an episode.


[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (https://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

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Monk meditatingRegular readers of this blog will know that I’m a big advocate for Personal Quarterly Offsites. These are half-day personal retreats designed to help me (and you, I hope) focus on the “important but not urgent” quadrant of the Eisenhower Matrix (a/k/a the Eisenhower Method).

I’ve been working on and evolving my approach to regular Personal Quarterly Offsites for about five years now.

This week, I decided to apply my Personal Quarterly Offsite methodology to some strategic planning for the Michigan State University Center for Law, Technology & Innovation. I was a bit hesitant to do this, because I have always thought of Personal Quarterly Offsites as something for personal planning.

It was a more than pleasant surprise to find that the method worked very well. And the results far exceeded my expectations.

I now have all my ideas and thoughts out of my head and captured in both a Word doc and in Notion. I have focus areas and categories. I have a framework for priorities and making yes/no decisions. And, most importantly, I have action steps with timeframes. Not a bad use of a morning.

I used one type of Personal Quarterly Offsite, which I might start referring to as the “empty mind” method (in multiple senses).

The key element here is “capture.”

It’s useful when you have a lot of ideas and notes, but they are scattered all over, and mostly still in your head.

The goal is more to “edit” than to “create.” You want to see what you have and organize and prioritize it. As a side effect, the process will help you capture some related ideas and see connections.

The value actually comes from subtraction rather than addition. It’s much easier to focus and shape actions and priorities when you see them all in one place and can start to pare them down than it is to be forced to come up with and add a bunch of new ideas.

One great technique is to pull out the list of ideas that should go into the “incubate” category. David Allen calls this the “Someday Maybe” category. You don’t lose the idea – you just move it to a place where you can revisit it at a more appropriate time. Knowing that I now have a great “incubate” list that I won’t lose is a great value and comfort in itself.

In terms of practical results, I now have 8 single-spaced pages of a typed outline addressing ten categories, with next action steps and timeframes. Most of it will, of course, be subtracted from the “do now” list.

Highly valuable and highly recommended for an important project of yours where you need to take a big swing to get started or reorganize before you start sharing with others.

More details on my Personal Quarterly Offsite approach here. And I have created an online course on Personal Quarterly Offsites at the Kennedy Idea Propulsion Laboratory Community.


[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (https://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

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I’ve been busy adding some new content to the Michigan State University Center for Law, Technology & Innovation website. My major recent success has been posting links to some great videos from the spring semester and earlier this summer.

On the Video Resources page, you’ll now find:

  • Presentations and Judging from our recent MSU Rising 2L Legal Design Challenge
  • A full replay of a 3-hour webinar on Virtual Reality in Law Practice
  • Interviews from our “Leading Edge of Law” interview series, including Irene Mo, Greg Siskind, Reid Trautz, Brooke Moore and Laura O’Bryan, Chase Hertzel, and LaDierdre McKinney.
  • A short video introduction to the Center

You’ll find all the videos at this link.

A special thank you to the Center’s 2020-2021 research assistants, Cj Uwandu, Geny Adel, and Kanza Khan all their work in creating these video resources and making them available.

Watch for content to continue to grow.


[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (https://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

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Monk meditatingI held my latest half-day Personal Quarterly Offsite last weekend. As I’ve developed regular Personal Quarterly Offsites into a personal practice, I keep finding more benefits to this structured approach. The Personal Quarterly Offsite has become a regular, valuable touchpoint for me.

That’s why I recommend this practice to everyone. I, only partly joking, like to say that one of my regular takeaways for this exercise is that I should raise the price of my Personal Quarterly Offsite course because the return on investment is so good.

I started with the ideas that I needed to slow my pace and create large blocks of unscheduled free time this summer. I thought a lot about something I had heard Sharon Klotz say on a Zoom meeting that we needed “more space and less speed.”

That became one of my main themes and, as people who know me and my schedule would agree, one of my big challenges. One way I want to push myself this summer is by trying to prove (to myself) that I don’t have to start a bunch of new things or complete everything on my lists. And that that is OK.

I ended up with a bunch of mind maps and 9 single-spaced pages that I was able to distill down to the following:

  • Establish new fitness and family routines
  • Set and enforce new boundaries
  • Put most of my focus on three project areas
  • Gather evidence on some outstanding projects to determine whether to terminate or push them back
  • Slow my pace and minimize self-expectations

The key exercise was to map put what an ideal summer for me would look like from the perspective of the end of summer. Very useful.

And, as usual, the simple action of getting everything out of my head and onto paper has paid dividends already – more energy and more focus.

If you’d like to try your own Personal Quarterly Offsite, I offer a complete guide that you can use over and over again in my “Productive Personal Quarterly Offsites for Busy Legal Professionals” online course, one of many features of the Kennedy Idea Propulsion Laboratory Community.

I thought a lot about something I had heard Sharon Klotz say on a Zoom meeting that we needed “more space and less speed.”

If you have tried this approach, I’d love to hear your results and reflections.

Willing to spend just a half day to focus on your most important but not urgent priorities? My online Productive Personal Quarterly Offsites for Busy Legal Professionals course gives you an executable plan. Learn more and buy at https://bit.ly/3ubxT3x

#PersonalQuarterlyOffsite


[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (https://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

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The Michigan State University Center for Law, Technology & Innovation recently completed an experiment that I’m already prepared to call a success. I also hope that it will be a model for other law schools to try.

We called it the 2021 Michigan State University Rising 2L Legal Design Challenge.

The challenge question was:

How can online methods and lessons learned from COVID increase access to justice?

We divided the participating students into teams or 3 or 4, taught them some standard design thinking approaches, and encouraged them to unloose their creativity. The challenge took the form of a two-week sprint that concluded with short presentations and judging. Our judges were MSULaw alums Amani Smathers and Brian Pike.

The ideas focused on tenant rights, appeals of “bad paper discharges” for veterans, and eliminating crosstalk and other audio issues in online hearings that can ruin transcripts for appeals.

Impressive work all around.

I’ve put up an edited video of the final session, with presentations, the announcement of winners and judges’ comments, and some student comments on their experience on the Video Resources page of the Center for Law, Technology & Innovation website. I invite you to check it out.

I’m so encouraged that I’m already thinking of ideas for a similar contest in the fall.

If you are interested in doing something similar at your law school, I’d be happy to share my insights and learnings.

Watch video here.


[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (https://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

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I’m excited about the upcoming event in the Exponential.Legal Live series with legal product makers via Zoom. It will be on Wednesday, June 23, at 3:30 EDT.

The event features Richard Granat and LaDierdre McKinney, who will share their stories about productization of legal services in for-profit and non-profit sections, and their insights and perspectives. Attendees will also get the chance to the guests their questions.

You can register and get the attendance information by going to the Exponential.Legal website and submitting your email address. What could be easier?

While on the website, take the opportunity to check out our on-demand Essentials course from which you’ll learn the Launch Lifecycle approach to innovation and productization.

Hope to see you there.

Register here.


[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (https://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

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I decided last weekend that it was time to kill off some of my innovation ideas and projects, both personal and professional.

And my timing might have been right because yesterday I watched a great Strategyzer webinar called “Why Killing Ideas is Key in Innovation,” featuring Alex Osterwalder, Tendayi Viki, and Uwe Kirscner. A replay is available here.

From the webinar description: “Here’s how world class innovators, we call them Invincible Companies, find the winners. They invest small amounts of resources in a large number of teams to test and adapt their ideas. They then kill at least half of those projects after a short amount of time. Only a few ideas and teams that can produce evidence get follow-up investments. They repeat this elimination process until the best ideas and teams emerge.

The key to the above is threefold. Firstly, eliminate the blockers to innovation and let any team with an idea start. Secondly, hone your ability to kill ideas that don’t produce evidence after a short amount of time. Thirdly, make every team feel like a winner, so that they come back to test new ideas.”

It was nice to get some confirmation of the approach I had taken over the weekend.

In my own case, I used the two principles of killing at least half of the projects and honing my ability to look at actual evidence to kill projects that don’t produce evidence in a reasonably short period of time.

Some decisions were easy, but some were quite difficult. Key insight: people telling me that something is “a great idea” is not evidence.

I feel like I’m starting to develop skills in identifying blockers. And I’m adopting and building reps in the approaches I teach in my classes and in the Exponential.Legal Launch Lifecycle technology, especially in taking an evidence-based approach to validation and de-risking.

Key insight: people telling me that something is “a great idea” is not evidence.

I’m not saying this is easy. Pulling the plug on some of your favorite ideas is tough. However, I find it valuable both to do the exercise and to develop criteria for determining what should go forward and what shouldn’t. Most important, it has freed space to create and test new ideas and I feel that my load has lightened.

Definitely worth a try. A good project for your next Personal Quarterly Offsite.

Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh from Pexels


[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (https://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

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Download my FREE “57 Tips for Successful Innovation Outcomes in Law” (PDF).

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