Well, technically Sunday was day one, but Monday was day one of the educational sessions, so I’m calling it day one.
Jason Jennings got things going, with a great keynote where he discussed the “5 Secrets to Put Strategic Unity on the Fast Track”. Among the many good points made by Jason, one of the things that really caught my attention was his description of the shared traits of the leaders of the best companies in the world, and how those traits affect the rest of an organization. For example, these leaders were happy to share their plans, their knowledge, and their strategy. They wanted everyone in their organization, and everyone they did business with, to understand the purpose of their work, and their place within the overall purpose. Given that, I couldn’t help but wonder if those of us who are practicing this whole idea of sharing and learning from one another in the online world, are in fact, practicing leadership?
We are, after all, on the forefront of sharing ideas and knowledge openly. We’re open to new ideas, and also open to letting go of old ideas as we acquire more knowledge. We’re accountable to the folks we share with, they’ll know if we start passing off bad information, or straying from the truth, and they will call us out on it. I also like to think that those of us living in this space, who really want it to benefit our careers, are also good stewards, both of the information we have and share, and also of the attention and time spent by those who follow us.
The rest of the day for me was spent in the Litigation Support track, and the one thing that really jumped out at me in those sessions, and also from a breakfast discussion at a Cowen Group event this morning, was the things that need to be in place before we can even think about implementing project management disciplines. Simply put, legal project management depends on measurements and workflow processes. You have to define the processes and document the work well before you can think about what to measure, and how it fits into a project management process. Same thing goes for making technology and strategy decisions, you have to understand how you work, what work you do, and what your end result looks like before you can make the correct decisions. It’s an idea I’ve been working on quite a bit, and one I’m determined really takes quite a bit of time. Others are further along this process, but it takes work, and it takes buy-in from management, which can only come from having good measurements to show the value. So we measure and document and try to spot the trends and the patterns that will inform us of the best way to plan for the future.
Good data can only help, right?
As always though, above and beyond all of the educational sessions, having the chance to catch up with old contacts, meet some online friends in person, and make new connections is the biggest benefit to being here. Again, it’s that network of folks who are willing to share what they know that is the best resource we walk away from at the end of the week. I look forward to building it even more!