Creativity is an Act of Defiance

I have mentioned Twyla Tharp’s book, The Creative Habit, on a number of occasions.
I’ve been thinking a lot about creativity and innovation lately. There’s a passage on creativity in The Creative Habit that has had some resonance with me lately, especially as I moved from my old website to a new design and host.
Tharp writes:
Creativity is an act of defiance. You’re challenging the status quo. You’re questioning accepted truths and principles. You’re asking three universal questions that mock conventional wisdom:
Why do I have to obey the rules?
Why can’t I be different?
Why can’t I do it my way?
These are the impulses that guide all creative people whether they admit it or not. Every act of creation is also an act of destruction or abandonment. Something has to be cast aside to make way for the new.”

Cisco’s General Counsel Thinks Small (Firms)

From’s Corporate Counsel
Cisco’s GC Thinks Small
Cisco’s General Counsel, Mark Chandler, has a well-deserved reputation as a thought-leader in the developing area of client-centered approaches to the delivery of legal services. I ended my last presentation on legal knowledge management with his well-known quote: “Technology is absolutely the only way firms will stay efficient and effective. Those who don’t use it well won’t survive.”
More important, however, Chandler has the reputation for walking the walk as well as talking the talk.
In this interview, Chandler addresses, for me, one of the biggest questions facing lawyers who want to develop sophisticated, technology-based law practices outside of the big firm environment: if we build it, will the top corporate clients be willing to come to small, start-up firms or will the “no one gets fired for hiring Skadden” mentality still prevail?
In Chandler’s world, the answer is that small firms are indeed part of the legal services equation. He gives several examples.
If you only want to pay attention to one developing legal trend over the next two to three years, this trend is the one that I suggest that you watch.
As an aside, I don’t think that Chandler was joking when he made the last comment in the article.

September Law Practice Today Focuses on Alternative Billing

The September issue of the ABA Law Practice Management Section’s free webzine, Law Practice Today, is now available. Our theme for this issue is “Alternative Billing,” a much-discussed topic among clients of lawyers, even if lawyers generally try to avoid the subject.
There’s a generous selection of six articles on the alternative billing theme, a list of links to useful Internet resources on alternative billing penned by Tom Mighell and me, monthly columns on law practice management issues, and articles on our core topics – management, marketing, finance and technology. I was especially interested in Kathy Clarke’s introduction to the concept of “appreciative inquiry,” but I’m sure that you wil find many interesting items in this issue.

Why Lawyers Do Not Use Document Assembly Software

[Posted to new host server]
I posted this item on The Blawg Channel today:
“In a rousing defense of the importance of “reinventing the wheel,” the Anonymous Lawyer lays out some of the main rationales many lawyers use when resisting arguments in favor of adopting document assembly tools for generating drafts of documents. The last few sentences are priceless.”
When I thought about it later today, I started to think that maybe I should have put one of those smiley emoticons at the end of the post, but decided to trust that my audience has a sense of humor.