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39 posts from September 2006

September 30, 2006

links for 2006-09-30

September 29, 2006

Could Your Law School Curriculum Do This?

Yale’s business school is experimenting with a new MBA curriculum:

The heart of the new first-year curriculum is a series of eight multidisciplinary courses, called Organizational Perspectives, that are structured around the organizational roles a manager must engage, motivate, and lead in order to solve problems — or make progress. These roles are both internal to the organization — the Innovator, the Operations Engine, the Employee, and Sourcing and Managing Funds (or CFO) — and external to the organization — the Investor, the Customer, the Competitor, and State and Society.

I can’t wait for the first law school to follow suit.  What would the courses be?  The Managing Partner, the Overworked Associate, the Out-of-Touch Professor, the Client Who Can’t Get a Call Returned, etc? 

Add your suggestions in the comments.  And for a slightly more serious take on law school curricula, check out this prior post:  If Blawggers Ran Law Schools.

links for 2006-09-29

September 28, 2006

Details for the St. Louis Idea Market

It is time for the second St. Louis Idea Market, set for October 17, 2006.  The Market will again take place at the fabulous Lucas School House at the corner of Allen and Gravois in the Soulard area of St. Louis (Map).

The St. Louis Idea Market is an opportunity for you to meet, interact, and brainstorm with some of the most interesting and creative folks in the St. Louis area.  This month’s focus is on CREATIVITY and PLAY:  the big post-it note questions, the “idea speed dating,” and the conversations will all focus on bringing more creativity into your work and personal life, and leveraging that creativity to do amazing things. 

Now, for the who, what, where, when and why:

Who Should Come:  If you are an entrepreneur, business person, blogger, speaker, consultant, designer, webmaster, writer, artist, salesperson, technologist, or _____________, you’ll enjoy the Idea Market.  I only ask that you be passionate about sharing ideas and helping others.  Everything else will take care of itself.

What We Will Do:  Well, there really is no “Agenda,” because the Idea Market is the kind of place where people can bring their business problems, issues, questions, and (of course) ideas and share them with other innovative, creative, and generous folks.  Think of the Idea Market as a sort of a “beta test” for a new type of networking/brainstorming social club that just happens to take place at a private happy hour in a cool, hip place. 

When We Will Do It:

5:30 – 6:00  Bar Opens, Attendees Arrive, Initial Brainstorming.  In the last several LexThink!(R) events and private retreats I’ve done, we’ve posted provocative questions on large Post-It Notes all around the facility.  When attendees arrive, they’ll be given a marker and a pad of smaller, half-page Post-It’s and asked to walk around and contribute their thoughts and answer the questions posted.   This works wonders to get the creative juices flowing and opens up attendees to sharing other ideas the rest of the event.

6:00 – 6:45  Introductions.  Idea Speed-Dating.  We’ll have our own version of speed dating: Attendees will have forty-five minutes (broken up in much smaller chunks) to meet as many other attendees as possible and answer questions ranging from their favorite idea, to their ideal super power.  This is a really fun way to “network” without having the same “Hi, my name is Matt, here’s what I do” conversation over and over.  This was clearly the favorite part for many of the August event.

6:45 – 7:15  Open Space Problem Solving.  If any attendees are facing a particularly vexing business problem, and would like to tap the creative power of the group, now’s the time.  Attendees can announce the problem (or post it on the wall) and any others who’d like to help can break up into small discussion groups to brainstorm solutions.  Alternatively, anyone with a topic they’d like to discuss can also announce it here and interested people can join the discussion. 

7:15 – 8:15  Open Space Idea Sharing.  This is just like the Open Space Problem Solving session, except we’ll focus on new ideas.

8:15 – 8:45.  The Idea Market’s Greatest Hits:  We’ll share with the entire group the best ideas, greatest tips, and most interesting conversations from the evening.  We may even play musical chairs or a game of Twister.  ;-)

8:45  Unreasonable Request Time.  One of the most compelling ideas I’ve stumbled across while blogging is Lisa Haneberg’s Unreasonable Requests.  In short, we often have things we’d like to ask others for, but are afraid to ask.  I’m going to ask everyone to write down an unreasonable request, post it on the wall with their name and phone number, and anyone who wants to grant the request can do so.  Because the requests are, by definition, “unreasonable,” I don’t expect many to be granted — so everyone who gets one granted will be totally surprised.

8:45 – ??.??  Cocktails on the Patio (or elsewhere).  We’ll stick around the School House as long as they’ll let us, but anyone who wants to continue their discussions after we’re politely asked to leave can do so at one of about 30 Soulard bars/restaurants that are within walking distance.

The Food/The Drink:  I’m looking for a sponsor for the food.  The School House will have a full cash bar open for the duration of the event.

The Cost:  FREE. 

The Space:  The Lucas School House is one of the coolest spaces I’ve found in St. Louis.  It is a hybrid space, with plenty of space for discussion, along with a stage and state-of-the-art audio/video capabilities.  There’s also wifi, of course. Here are some pictures of the downstairs and upstairs spaces.

0004      0055

Did I mention there’s a full bar? 

How To Attend:  If you’ve e-mailed me before, I hope I’ve sent you a link to sign up at a site I’ve set up for the event.  If you’d like to come, and haven’t gotten an e-mail from me, you can sign up here.

Any Questions?  E-mail me at Matt@LexThink.com or call my cell phone at 618–407–3241.

We look forward to meeting all of you.

September 27, 2006

links for 2006-09-27

  • Ever wonder what would happen if you put a bar of ivory soap in the microwave? Me neither, but cool nonetheless.
    (tags: video humor)

September 26, 2006

Don't Forget the E-mail Clause in Estate Planning Doucments

Saw this on Lifehacker:  What happens to your email when you die?  Suggests (linking to a CNET article) attorneys press clients to include password data in estate planning documents so heirs can get to your email, photo sharing, music, and other online accounts when you die.

Is anyone doing this?

September 25, 2006

Women Want a Story

Here’s a fascinating article from iMedia Connection on what motivates men and women to purchase things.  The whole thing’s worth a read, but what jumped out to me were these paragraphs that discuss how others’ purchasing decisions impact men and women differently: 

Men are willing to make a purchase once it has been demonstrated that someone else was successful with the same purchase; kind of a, "that worked for Joe, so it'll probably work for me" mentality.

Women posit things differently. It's good to know if something worked for Sally; it's better to know what Sally's motivations were for her purchase. Success in itself isn't meaningful unless the conditions leading to success are the same. (So much for women not being cut out for the sciences!) This can be thought of as, "it may have worked for Sally, but Sally bought it for reason A and I'm interested in reason B, so the same purchase might not work for me."

If you have testimonials on your site, and want both men and women to be impressed, this is important stuff.

St. Louis Idea Market: Take Two

I’ll have much more information by tomorrow, but wanted to get the word out that the next St. Louis Idea Market (I know, the first one was “The Soulard Idea Market”) will take place the afternoon of October 17th. 

Pheeder for Client Communication?

Have ten client appointments you have to cancel tomorrow because you got stuck in trial?  Don’t have the staff to do it for you?  Try Pheeder.    Here’s how it works:

Enter your phone number, plus the numbers of the friends/clients you want to contact.

Pheeder will call you so that you can record your name and a message.

After you hang up Pheeder will call all of your friends. Pheeder will tell them they got a message from you and then it will play your message.

If any of your friends records a reply to your message, Pheeder will call you back so that you can hear their replies.

There is no step 4. This is pretty simple really. So give it a shot!

I haven’t read their privacy policy, and don’t speak to the ethical issues of offloading client numbers and a message to a third-party service, but this is yet another cool Web 2.0–ish application that gives a peek into what’s possible.  Did I mention Pheeder is free?

Provocative Post Pondering Provocativity

Kathy Sierra posts a tremendous article (even by her lofty standards) about how to be provocative and why it matters.  Please read it.