Monthly Archives: January 2009

John Gardner’s Advice

This is a quote from a speech John Gardner gave when he was 88:

“The luckiest people are those who learn early … that it’s essential to take charge of your own life. That doesn’t mean you don’t accept help, friendship, love, and leadership–if it’s a good leadership–from others. But it does mean recognizing that ultimately you’re the one who’s responsible for you. No excuses. Don’t blame others. Don’t blame circumstances. You take charge. And one of the things that you take charge of is your own learning… Life is an endless unfolding, and if we wish it to be, an endless process of self-discovery, an endless and unpredictable dialogue between our potentialities and the life situations in which we find ourselves. John W. Gardner, Living, Leading, and the American Dream (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2003).

This is exactly what I believe. It is great when you can find in writing what is in your head! This quote is included in Life Entrepreneurs. The last part of the book talks about trends in the entrepreneurial age (since, apparently, we have moved out of the information age):

  • Untethering – moving away from traditional structures, working 9-5 at the same company for life (the median tenure at one company is now 4 years). People want flexible work schedules and work lives;
  • Authenticity – finding “work” that matches your authentic self and focuses on your passions and values. Most younger workers are looking for work where they are valued and can make a difference and they aren’t willing to work for 30 – 40 years and then retire to “do good.” They want to make a difference now.
  • Integration – people are focused on integrating their work life and home life or at least finding time to do what they want, whether it is surfing, hiking, or following your children’s soccer careers. There is less compartmentalizing home v. work going on.

I think very successful companies do all of these things with their employees. I think successful employees seek this environment out and thrive in it!

Yosemite National Institute

Well, I just dropped my 5th grader off this morning at school for a week in Yosemite with his class of 56 5th and 6th graders. We spent the last few days packing and shopping and then packing and shopping again — all the while seeing other families in a similar predicament at REI or Target looking for cold weather gear that actually fits our growing kids — Jasper’s feet are officially big – not just bigger than mine, but just plain big – size 9 men – for an almost 11 year old, that seems unbelievable to me. The Yosemite program that they go to is amazing – it is with the Yosemite Institute. The kids spend a week testing their limits; hiking in the snow, hiking in the dark (or moonlight) on the valley floor; all the while journaling about their experience. I am so glad we are at a school where our kids can have this type of experience! If you want to see what the weather is like there – check out their webcam.

2009 Predictions & Trends

I wrote a Predictions & Trends blog entry for work that is posted at the e-Discovery Team website run by Ralph Losey at Akerman Senterfitt. I thought about this for quite awhile. I have been to so many industry events and talks this year, even giving my fair share of talks and listening to others as well. The bottom line is when things go South, people contract their scope and double their efforts to control costs and do what is really going to have an impact. Litigation is no different, especially when so much money is at stake. My predictions fall into 5 major areas with a 6th one I couldn’t keep out:

Cooperation (and Colaboration)  – this applies to any business not just eDiscovery

Controlling Costs – everyone is interested in this at the moment given the economy and the state of our bank, brokerage, investment and other accounts…

Effective Information Management – finding what you want when you want it will become really important, not just to lawyers. Just look to your own inbox…

Use Technology to Your Advantage – there are so many choices in this area that I can’t even begin to tell you about them all. I can tell you about what Cataphora is doing if you want to know more about sophisticated search and retrieval technology.

Industry Turmoil – well, the eDiscovery (or some call it lit support, and, on the advanced side, some would like to call it analytics)) industry is going to be full of surprises and changes this year. Some companies will bite the dust in a spectacular fashion, while others will rise from the ashes like a phoenix. At any rate, there will be many changes in the players.

Competence – this is needed no matter what you are doing! If you aren’t competent in this area, find someone who is and pick their brains or hire them!

As I say in the last sentence of the blog entry, “Get in, hang on, it’s going to be a bumpy ride in 2009!” I look forward to hearing your comments!