Photo of comet in skyOn February 15, 2003, a comet flashed through the blogging universe:

And so it begins . . .
I realized the other day that I had first written about blogs well over a year ago. In fact, the rise of blogs was one of my 2002 predictions for legal technology in my annual legal tech predictions article. As I was working on updating my website (https://www.denniskennedy.com), I finally decided that I had to have my own blog. Thanks to people like Jerry Lawson, Sabrina Pacifici, and the Support Forum at MovableType.org, it’s finally here

G'KarThe pop culture mavens among you will note the Babylon 5 reference in that first post. I find it somehow appropriate that Babylon 5 has now returned for on demand viewing on HBO Max.

Two days later, on my birthday, I wrote more about the motivation for the blog:

Today is my birthday. The blog is really my birthday present to myself. The start of a trend in gift giving?

Yes, that post would now work as a tweet. I wonder if it was the shortest post I ever made.

I’ve also said in some on my blogiversary / blawgiversary posts:

What I didn’t write about was how, at the time of the start of my blog, I had the overwhelming feeling that I was way too late to the game and that blogging had completely passed me by. Perhaps I over-reacted . . . . The other part of the story, which I don’t usually tell, is that starting my blog was never really about “blogging.” You see, I had been reading Dave Winer’s Scripting News for several years and had become enthusiastic about RSS feeds. In fact, I had produced an RSS feed for my website by hand before I did my blog. What I really wanted was an RSS feed, more so than a blog, and the blogging software (like Movable Type) provided the easiest way to generate an RSS feed. The trouble was that few people knew what blogs were in those days, and far fewer knew what RSS feeds were.

Over the years, in increasingly desperate attempts to get attention, I got the idea to turn the time of the anniversary of this blog into a bit of fun and a reader-appreciation week that I’ve referred to as either blogiversary or blawgiversary week, where I’ve done a number of different experiments, tried new things, and had some fun in ways that tend to earn me a little criticism from those who think that lawyer blogs should be oh so straight-laced and ever so much “on topic.” And never use a word like “blawgiversary.” Yet, I push onward.

I’ve also had a tendency to anthropomorphize my blog and let it speak for itself, even though that tends to result in my blog (1) complaining that I don’t post often enough and whining about the attention I give to The Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast and the Kennedy Idea Propulsion Community and (2) shamelessly asking for blogiversary presents. In fairness, the blog has been a teenager for quite a while.

What I like to do for the blogiversary is to give something back to my readers. There are three things I’m giving this year because I love the Rule of Threes.

  1. From now until March 1, 2021, my online course “Productive Personal Quarterly Offsites for Busy Legal Professionals” will be available for US$99.99 instead of US$299.99. I find the Personal Quarterly Offsite practice incredibly valuable for me.
  2. Starting February 17 at 8:00 AM Pacific and running until 12:00 AM Pacific on February 24, you can purchase on Amazon the Kindle version of my book, Successful Innovation Outcomes in Law: A Practical Guide for Law Firms, Law Departments and Other Legal Organizations, for US$9.99, a 51% discount off the regular price.
  3. On Clubhouse tonight (Monday, Feb 15, 5 PM PST), I’ll be co-hosting “Things I’ve screwed up: stories of failure in LegalTech” w/ Kristin Hodgins, Colin Lachance, Dennis Kennedy, Mike Whelan, and Mike Cappucci. Kristin describes it as “a lighthearted, casual room to share our stories of failure working in legal tech.” I do have some Clubhouse invitations available – message me on LinkedIn if you might want one

And, to my blog, I wish you the happiest of birthdays. We’ve been working on this together a long time and it’s hard to imagine how it would be without you. Hope to celebrate at least 18 more.

Comet photo by Jakub Novacek from Pexels


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

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A work in progress

Part of my #blogfirst approach and an introduction to what I’m now doing at Exponential.Legal (launch date February 1, 2021).


Apollo 11 commemorative glass
Whitney Johnson has said that our “superpowers” are the things we often get complimented for and routinely deflect the compliments because “everyone can do that.” People who are known for generating lots of ideas or being innovators often fall into that pattern. They downplay their superpowers.

I reflected on my own innovation history and the story I have made out of that history when I was writing my book, Successful Innovation Outcomes in Law. Note how I separate “history” and “my story.”

It’s hard for me to think of “innovate” in the present tense.

For me, “innovation” is something that you see looking backward. It’s hard for me to think of “innovate” in the present tense. With very few exceptions, what I now see many innovations arose directly out of addressing real-world problems right in front of me, often with constraints that would make others give up. I sometimes like to say that innovation happens when you have no budget. Or a very small one – one software license, budget to attend one event or conference, the price of a book or two.

Looking back on my innovation history now, I see much more innovation now than I once did. A good deal must remain confidential, but some goes back a long way and I talk about them regularly, like automating all of my firm’s estate planning documents in 1990.

I’ve also, perhaps too slowly, moved from the common perspective that ideas are magical and intuitive and that some people are uniquely gifted to have more ideas than others. I lived in that world for a long time.

In recent years, I’ve realized that this perspective downplays the learning, collaboration, and plain hard work that characterizes ‘idea people.’ And the willingness to move out of their own silos to get and bring back insights.

There are three things that characterize my use of ideas and the value I bring to ideation, and none of them is the large volume of ideas people often associate with me.

There are three things that characterize my use of ideas and the value I bring to ideation, and none of them is the large volume of ideas people often associate with me.

  • First, I always pull from areas outside the focus area or silo. That’s essential for me.
  • Second, ideas are just ideas, not parts of me. A criticism of my idea is not a criticism of me. I can move forward and help us keep improving ideas. Sometimes, it bothers me that people don’t like my favorite idea, but it’s usually not the right forum and I can use it later elsewhere if I want.
  • Third, Mike Cappucci, a while back, referred to me as an “idea therapist.” I like to help people question their ideas, evolve them, and achieve their potential by asking questions and making small suggestions to change someone’s perspective.

In the last few years, I began to realize that the “magical” approach to innovation was both not right and kind of lazy on my part. Was I supposed to just sit around and wait for inspiration to hit me? If my best ideas came to me on bike rides or in the shower, did that mean I should just take more bike rides or showers?

The “bolt of lightning” for me was the realization that innovation and all that associated with it was a discipline that people had been working on for many years and there was a lot of literature and learning out there. In fact, it was a mature field with lots of giants already leading the way once I got out of my legal silo.
And that’s where I’ve concentrated. I saw that much of what I thought I had created out of thin air reflected standard innovation practices and my own variations of standard innovation tools. There were systematic processes and approaches that showed up, often in sloppy ways, in my efforts. My time with the people in the Mastercard Digital Payments and Labs group taught me a lot about practical innovation skills.

I began to adopt the innovation processes I found that fit me best and follow and learn from, dare I say it, innovators in the field of innovation. I’ve put a lot of that, along with quite a few experiments, into the law school classes I’ve taught.

Working intensively for several days with Mike Cappucci and Dean Khialani gave me the chance to be involved with two people thinking deeply about productization of legal services as a form of innovation in law. Having them tell me that one of my articles on productization of legal services inspired them was flattering, to be sure, but I appreciated getting to see the early stages of the Launch Lifecycle approach that you will find in the Exponential Legal course.

I decided a while back that I wanted to refer to myself as a “consulting innovator,” playing off Sherlock Holmes’s job title: “Consulting Detective.” However, Holmes had Watson, Mr. Hudson, Lestrade, the Baker Street Irregulars, and many more.

And that also forced me to confront one of the biggest aspects of innovation that I’ve been trying to fool myself about: No matter how much I’d like to convince myself that I can do innovation all by myself, it truly is a team game.

I decided a while back that I wanted to refer to myself as a “consulting innovator,” playing off Sherlock Holmes’s job title: “Consulting Detective.” However, Holmes had Watson, Mr. Hudson, Lestrade, the Baker Street Irregulars, and many more.

I’ve learned from hundreds of innovators over the years. Collaboration is essential. Because Tom Mighell and I wrote a book called “The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies,” you might have thought that I would have had that realization a bit earlier than I did.

Whenever I talk with other people doing innovative things in law, they often seem to be working alone, under-appreciated, without recognition. The word I most often hear from this group of people: “frustrated.” I’ve been there.

Fortunately, the other Exponential Legal founders, Mike Cappucci, Christie Guimond, and Marc Lauritsen, have both pulled me into the very cool Exponential Legal project and helped me realized important (and fun) it is to be part of a great team. I can’t wait to see how this evolves.

The takeaway: Innovation is a discipline. It can be learned and be made repeatable. The Exponential Legal course, I’m convinced, is a great way to do that in law, especially in the area of productization, which is more important than ever. We can also build a community of innovators in the process. I’m excited about that. If you might be too, check out Exponential.Legal and join us on this great journey.


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

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For many years, I’ve enjoyed reading the posts of several bloggers who are trying to read 52 books in 52 weeks. I’ve also wanted to find a good way for me to keep track of the books I’ve read. And it gives me a good reading target to shoot for.

Last year, I read 67 books, exceeding my goal by quite a bit. Or, more accurately, I listed 67 books that I read. I don’t list books that might reveal certain things I might (or might not) be working on.

I thought that I might do more reading than ever in a  year of pandemic. That wasn’t the case. In 2019, the number was 89.

I’d guess that I probably started more books without finishing them than I ever have before. I also probably read more audiobooks than ever before

You will also notice that I’ve been attempting to read the entire catalog of books of certain authors of detective stories.If you forced me to pick my top books for 2020 (in alphabetical order) that I’d recommend, I’d probably list:

Agency, William Gibson 

An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States. Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

Demand-side Sales 101, Bob Moesta

Hit Refresh, Satya Nadella

Influenza, Dr. Jeremy Brown

Junkyard Planet, Adam Minter

Stamped from the Beginning, Ibram X. Kendi

The Brain’s Way of Healing, Norman Doidge

The Expertise Economy, Kelly Palmer and David Blake

The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, Dan Egan

The Peripheral, William Gibson

Why Customers Buy . . . And Why They Don’t, Martin Lewis

I’m doing the same thing in 2021. My approach is the same in previous years – I’ll simply update this post from time to time from time to time throughout the year as I finish books.

I’ve enjoyed doing this challenge every year and hope you find the list useful. And I encourage you to take the challenge yourself.

I welcome your recommendations of good books I might read this year.

As Bill Taylor says, “Are you learning as fast as the world is changing?” Challenging yourself to read 52 books is probably a good way to start to answer that question.

December

November

October

September

August

July

June

May

21. How to Be an Antiracist, Ibram Kendi
20. How to Draw Without Talent, Danny Gregory
19. How Buildings Learn, Stewart Brand
18. A Brief History of Earth, Andrew Knoll
17. A Timeless Way of Building, Christopher Alexander
16. A Pattern Language, Christopher Alexander
15. Technological Revolution and Financial Capital, Carlota Perez
14. Welcome to the Jungle, Hilary Smith
13. Billion Dollar Whale, Tom Wright
12. Creative Confidence, Tom Kelley

April

11. The Code Breaker, Walter Isaacson
10. Four Lost Cities, Annalee Newitz
9. The Data Detective, Tim Harford

March

8. Not Dark Yet, Peter RObinson
7. The Darkness, Ragnar Jonasson
6. American Traitor, Brad Taylor

February

5. Parable of the Talents, Octavia Butler

January

4. Parable of the Sower, Octavia Butler
3. Testing Business Ideas, David Bland & Alex Osterwalder
2. I Came as a Shadow, John Thompson
1. The Price of Peace, Zachary Carter


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

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Coltrane and Pollock photosI held my December personal quarterly offsite yesterday. It was enormously productive and you’ll hear more about it later. I love this approach to planning, especially in our current tumultuous times.

The big takeaway for me is summed up by the following quote on my office bulletin board from Whitney Johnson.

Some of you will recognize it from her approach of focusing on market risk rather than competitive risk.

However, it also captures something of the John Coltrane and Jackson Pollock pictures above and the guitar photo at the bottom of this post.

Play where no one else is playing poster

 

Let it rock!


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

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

When Allison Shields Johs and I speak about LinkedIn, we are always struck by the number of lawyers and legal professionals who tell us that they know that they are only using a very small fraction of the power of LinkedIn and they know they need to get much better at LinkedIn.

LinkedIn book cover imageThat’s part of the reason we wrote our book: Make LinkedIn Work for You: A Practical Handbook for Lawyers and Other Legal Professionals.

As we near the end of 2020, we realized that there has never been a time when it is more important to level up your LinkedIn game than right now. And we wanted to find a new way to help lawyers and other legal professionals do just that.

We are excited to announce that our new online course called “LinkedIn Essentials” is now available.

We designed this course to transform your use of LinkedIn in tangible, positive ways. You will learn how to develop and implement your own strategy, how to power up your Profile, how to add Connections that make sense for you, how to participate in LinkedIn to help others and get your message across, and to create your own action plan, with metrics, for the next three months.

The course consists of 3+ hours of video lessons, hands-on, practical worksheets to help you implement the learnings of each lesson, tips and a chapter from our book, and a final lesson with some of the questions we get asked most frequently about LinkedIn. There is a ton of useful information in this course that you can implement to measurably improve your professional networking in actionable ways.

You will level up your LinkedIn game.

You will level up your LinkedIn game. Your LinkedIn presence will be transformed.

This course is based on our book, Make LinkedIn Work for You: A Handbook for Lawyers and Other Legal Professionals (available on Amazon) and our long experience using LinkedIn and teaching LinkedIn strategies and skills to legal professionals.

Until the end of 2020, the course is available for the special price of US$349.99, which includes a free membership in the Kennedy Idea Propulsion Laboratory Community on Mighty Networks and free membership in the LinkedIn Essentials course group.

Use this link to purchase the course and the bundled free membership in the Kennedy Idea Propulsion Laboratory Community. You will join through the Mighty Networks platform and setting up an account with them.

Level up your LinkedIn game today.

ALSO check out my Productive Personal Quarterly Offsites for Busy Legal Professionals course and the exciting new Exponential.Legal Essentials course for innovative legal professionals who want to create products.

Make good use of the rest of 2020!


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

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Logo for The Kennedy-Mighell Report podcastTom Mighell and I updated on progress on our Second Brain Project in the latest episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast on the Legal Talk Network.

Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell discuss the top tools under consideration for effective and efficient data organization in their Second Brain project.

Tom and I decided to work in public on what we are calling our “Second Brain Project.” It’s similar in a few ways to other “Second Brain” approaches you can find, but there are a lot of differences because our “job to be done” is quite different.

In simplest terms, it’s a personal knowledge management project that Tom and I are working on together, but our paths will diverge at some points because our approaches are different. We are using the podcast to think aloud and share our approaches and questions (mainly questions) with others on this project.

There’s already been a lot of discovery. Tom talks in this episode about his categorization of people into “filers” and “pilers.” Tom is a filer and I am a piler. The toolbox and processes we develop will be different.

We walk through some of our challenges and what a Second Brain tool (or, realistically, a set of tools) needs to accomplish at the “organization” stage of our process, a number of approaches, and some tools we are considering.

Somewhat somewhat surprisingly, we have gravitated to the same primary tool to start with. I don’t want to reveal that before you listen to to the episode, but you might have a notion about what it might be.

Here are the earlier episodes in our Second Brain series so you can play along at home.

As always, we welcome your feedback, comments and questions.

Find the episode here and consider subscribing to the podcast in your favorite podcast app so you don’t miss any of the episodes.


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

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Monk meditatingWith CDC and other guidance recommending that we shut down family holiday gatherings, I started to think about alternatives for this week.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s much to be said for reading, napping, bingewatching TV, puttering, eating Grand Traverse cherry pie, and the like.

However, there’s a part of me (and probably of you) that thinks it would be good to use some of this “found time” productively.

I turned my attention to my practice of Personal Quarterly Offsites. At first, I considered the idea of doing some prep work for my end of the end Personal Quarterly Offsite at the end of January. Then, I wondered why I was limiting my Personal Quarterly Offsites to the end of each quarter.

Could I do more than four in a year and did they really have to happen at the end of the quarter?

Two answers. 1. Because I cooked up this exercise for myself, I could literally define it however I want. 2. I am the boss of me.

The result: a Mini Personal Quarterly Offsite now scheduled for Friday morning this week. Not a big deal, but a little refresh and course adjustment for the end of the year.

On the agenda:

1. Taking a fresh look at what I’ve learned from the Kennedy Idea Propulsion Laboratory Community on Mighty Networks so far and seeing what I can improve.

2. Ways to finish the year strong, including, given how 2020 has been, should I see how much time in December I can take off?

3. Spending some time on Value Propostion Canvases and Business Model Canvases for some of my ongoing projects.

If this idea appeals to you, I recommend that you check out my “Productive Personal Quarterly Offsites for Busy Legal Professionals” online course. ($99.99, or $39.99 for Kennedy Idea Propulsion Laboratory Community Premium members).

Doing a run-through of the course now and doing a mini-offsite this week will give you some quick focus and a bit of experience before you have your end-of-the-year Personal Quarterly Offsite.

Or you can skip productivity for a few days and make good unproductive use of your found time this week. I expect to do a lot of the latter, but wanted to stir in just bit of the former.

Course details here.


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

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DennisKennedy.Blog is now part of the LexBlog network.

LinkedIn Profile. Also, see LinkedIn showcase page for Dennis Kennedy’s books.

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

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

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Logo for The Kennedy-Mighell Report podcastTom Mighell and I each recently purchased the new Oculus Quest 2 virtual reality headset. The result: our latest podcast episode: “All-In on Virtual Reality: VR Tech & Its Many Potential Applications in the Legal Field.”

“All in” might be an understatement. We believe this was our longest episode in the 14+ year history of the podcat.

Here’s the description:

Dennis and Tom discuss the exciting ways VR technology has been used in legal matters and its potential to become an essential tool in the practice of law.

We are indeed excited about this new generation of virtual technology and what we might be able to do with it, in law, education and elsewhere.

Give the episode a listen and let us know what you think.

And remember to subscribe to the podcast on your favorite podcast app so you don’t miss an episode.


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

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DennisKennedy.Blog is now part of the LexBlog network.

LinkedIn Profile. Also, see LinkedIn showcase page for Dennis Kennedy’s books.

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

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

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Logo for The Kennedy-Mighell Report podcastMicrosoft Teams has moved up to the top of the priority list for many legal organizations. That made now the perfect time for Tom Mighell and I to take a closer look at Teams with a true expert in the latest edition of The Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast on the Legal Talk Network.

With the help of our friend, Ben Schorr, we were able to get the amazing Karuana Gatimu, Principal PM Manager of the Customer Advocacy Group for Microsoft Teams, to guest on the show and answer all of our Teams questions.

Not only does Karuana have “hands-on” experience with all things Teams from the customer perspective, it turns out that she spent some of her early years in tech in the legal world.

You will get many great insights, tips and resources for learning about Teams in this episode. Karuana also got us talking about a potential new career field for lawyers interested in tech in a world where courts will be looking move even more of their activity online. Don’t miss that.

Although we encourage you to subscribe to The Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast in your favorite podcast app, remember that new episodes of the show release every other Friday on Legal Talk Network.

Let us know what you think of this show.

Be sure to check out the new Kennedy Idea Propulsion Laboratory Community!

Kennedy Idea Propulsion Laboratory logo


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

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DennisKennedy.Blog is now part of the LexBlog network.

LinkedIn Profile. Also, see LinkedIn showcase page for Dennis Kennedy’s books.

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

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

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

LinkedIn book cover imageJust in time to help you level up your LinkedIn game for 2020, here are 47 tips from Allison Shields Johs and me.

There are plenty of practial tips for each essential building block of your LinkedIn efforts – Profile, Connections and Participation.

Both networking and your network have never been more important than they are today. Level up you game before the end of the year with these great tips.

Want even more? Allison and I’s book, Make LinkedIn Work for You: A Practical Handbook for Lawyers and Other Legal Professionals, is available on Amazon.

 


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

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DennisKennedy.Blog is now part of the LexBlog network.

LinkedIn Profile. Also, see LinkedIn showcase page for Dennis Kennedy’s books.

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

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

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.