Week of November 2, 2015 on ILNToday – A Roundup!

roundupWe’ve kicked off our 2015 Regional Meeting of the Americas here in San Juan, Puerto Rico this morning, and are enjoying some excellent conversations and, of course, relationship building (my favorite)!

But, there are also top pieces of content for you to review from this week on ILN Today, which I’ll share below!

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Breaking good

Properly activating a break clause in a lease is a hugely important exercise for any business. Break clauses may seem easy to operate, but they can be full of hidden traps which, if missed by the unwary, may lead to the lease not, in fact, being broken, thereby leaving the tenant liable for the rent due during the remainder of the full term. It is not difficult to see how this could give rise to substantial financial exposure, particularly in the sort of high rent neighbourhoods where luxury fashion retailers tend to be found.

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Dej-Udom & Associates Business and Legal Update – October 2015

Japanese FDI Growth Japanese companies continue to show great interest in ASEAN investments and their foreign direct investment (FDI) flows into the region have increased significantly over the past four years. From 2011-2014, Japan was the second biggest foreign investor in ASEAN after the European Union and placed three times more FDI into ASEAN than into China in 2014. Thailand and Indonesia’s biggest source of foreign capital comes from Japan.

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Firm’s Business Chair Elected to Executive Committee of IndyBar Sportslaw Section

David Williams Russell, Chair of the Business Services Group of Harrison Moberly, LLP, has been elected to the Executive Committee of the Sports and Entertainment Law Section of the Indianapolis Bar Association. Mr. Russell has over 30 years practice experience representing clients in sports, arts and entertainment law matters.

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Open Secret—Trans Pacific Partnership Terms Revealed But Trade Secret Provisions Still Murky

This morning the Obama administration publicly released the previously-undisclosed text of the Trans Pacific Partnership, or TPP, revealing, among other things, the provisions related to trade secrets that had previously been discussed here.  As noted in that earlier piece, the administration had said that the TPP would “provide strong enforcement systems, including, for example, civil procedures, provisional measures, border measures, and criminal procedures and penalties for commercial-scale trademark counterfeiting and copyright or related rights piracy. In particular, TPP Parties will provide the legal means to prevent the misappropriation of trade secrets, and establish criminal procedures and penalties for trade secret theft, including by means of cyber-theft…,” according to the statement from Office of the United States Trade Representative (“USTR”).  The just released terms do specify that member parties must provide criminal procedures to combat trade secret theft, but it is not clear that any enhanced civil remedies will be required. 

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“Ask the Expert”- rescheduled date

Due to unforeseen circumstances we were required to postpone our “Ask the Expert” session due to take place at the end of October. We have now been able to fix the rescheduled date for the seminar, and this will take place on Wednesday 25th November. 

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iStock_000024718576SmallToday, I’m bringing you another post from Group Dewey Consulting while I’m traveling for our Regional Meeting of the Americas. This post looks at why the idea of connecting is better than that of networking:


I’m not a big fan of ‘networking’ -that rite of passage for every professional with aspirations of career changes, promotions or new clients. It has its place, of course. But it’s not the business development panacea many would make it out to be. In fact, I think networking can do more harm than good in some ways. To make my point, here are 7 ways ‘connecting’ is better than ‘networking’.

Networking is about finding ways to know more people.

Connecting is about finding ways to know people more.

My linkedIn profile says that I am connected to 1,560 people. That’s not right. I am ‘networked’ with 1,560 people. But I am not ‘connected’ to them. I can’t be. How could I really ‘know’ that many people? Studies, history, and common sense indicate that the human mind is capable of knowing well only about 150 people. Playing the volume game may serve your ego but it will do little for your happiness, let alone your success. I am ‘connected’ to about 50 to 75 people who I know really well and through whom almost all of my referrals come. Deep connections build communities of people. ‘Communities’ are powerful things. They are made up of groups of people who care about each others’ success, who trust and respect one another and who exchange favors and assistance. Connecting is about finding the people most qualified for you to help and for them to help you, and building connections with those people. It is about building a self supporting ecosystem in which all boats rise together.

The objective of networking is to exchange information.

The objective of connecting is, well, to connect.

At networking camp, we’re taught to get a business card, find out about their company and probe for information that can be used later when you follow up. You’ve probably even been asked to role play how you’ll do this. So, networking is about how to get what you want from another person. Networking is very WIIFM [What’s In It For Me]. If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of this type of interrogation, you know the feeling it creates. And you’ve made a mental note to avoid this person in the future.

On the other hand, connecting is about how to help each other. Connection requires you to give something, your advice, your thoughts, maybe only your genuine participation in the conversation or a sympathetic ear. In building connections, your focus is on finding ways to help the other person, however trivial that help may be. As such, connecting is very WIIFH [What’s In It For Him/Her]. Instead of figuring out how to distribute yourself across a large volume of people, think about how to contribute yourself among a group of qualified individuals who can themselves contribute to your success. ‘Networking’ feels much better when you approach the process from the position, how can I make this person feel grateful that they crossed my path? And in doing so you’ll create a positive impression more likely to lead to a mental note to schedule lunch with you.

Networking puts you in uncomfortable situations.

Connecting makes situations more comfortable.

The executives that I coach hate ‘networking’ because they think it means going to ‘rubber chicken dinners’ or stuffy cocktail parties and making nice with strangers. I happen to agree with them. They’ve been told to ‘circulate’ and ‘work the room’ and ‘chat people up’ like some sort of linguistic lion tamer. Who wouldn’t dread that?

Connecting is about finding a person or people who you like and who like you and exploring your mutual interests. Connecting is about being comfortable in a new environment because you are being yourself- not forced to do uncomfortable things. Sure. When you see someone standing by themselves you should go up and introduce yourself. But not because they may be your next big client, but because you would appreciate someone doing so for you. Connecting is about being genuine with yourself and others and then enjoying the trust, respect and compatibility that grows from that.

Networking requires an elevator pitch.

Connecting requires a dialogue.

Let me ask you a question. Why do you have to prepare (and memorize, mind you) a tweet-long, prepared response to the question ‘what do you do for a living’? Is the way you describe what you do, say, to your neighbor so grossly inadequate that you’ll cause irreparable harm if you describe it the same way to a business prospect? Do you talk to you neighbor in polished elevator pitch bytes? You don’t need to tell people how you save the world. And you’re not speed dating. Don’t worry about whether or not someone will remember what you do for a living. Worry about how they feel after having talked to you. Don’t worry about how polished you come across. Worry about how authentic people think you are. Don’t worry about putting yourself in the best light. Shed the best light on the person you are talking with.

Networking is focused on the future.

Connecting is focused on the present.

Watch ‘networker-type’ people in a networking event.  Or better yet, watch their eyes. People who are under the influence of networking will have shifty, distracted eyes. They’ll constantly look around the room for the next person to meet. In conversations they’ll look away rudely to see if there is someone better to meet. Their nervous energy has them thinking ahead, looking to the next business card fix.

Now look at the connectors. They are engaged and focused. Totally ‘present’ in the conversation, listening and speaking as if the other person is the only one in the room. It’s an enjoyable dialogue and you can tell the two have made a connection. And those connections will generate new opportunities for the connector much quicker than the pollinating flightiness of the networker bee.

Networking is imperfect.

Connecting is perfect.

At conferences, organizers often have to bribe people to meet each other with games and drawings. If you meet enough people and prove it by getting their business card, a cartoon stamp of your card or some clue to the game, you’ll be rewarded with a chance to win something. Maybe you’ll even get a prize- like a yellow smiley face jar opener. Networking is admittedly an imperfect way to grow your business. But it is the most feared way and that’s what makes it so much fun for organizers to inflict on their attendees.

Building connections, on the other hand, is perfect. There’s really nothing you can do to make it better. You can’t force a connection. You can’t give it away as a prize. And you can’t file away a connection anywhere but in your heart.  Making a connection is the prize and everybody wins.

Failing at networking causes more damage than failing to connect.

When networking doesn’t work, people worry they are doing something wrong. Or worse, that they look foolish. They doubt themselves, curse the process and renew their commitment never to do it again. Networking is unfamiliar territory, often feels awkward and a difficult behavior to master, let alone adjust to. But when people fail to find people that they connect with, they don’t view that failure as their fault. It fact, it is quite trivial. That may be because people have been connecting with other people since their first breath of air. No matter how introverted you are, no matter how secluded your existence has been, you know how to connect when you meet someone you like. Making a connection produces a sense of euphoria. For most people, though, the idea of ‘networking’ produces a feeling far different.

No. Networking is dead. It’s been dead a long time. Thank goodness all I’ve ever really needed to be successful were my connections.

About Group Dewey Consulting

Group Dewey Consulting, LLC provides growth consulting and training services to law firms, practice groups and lawyers. Our core expertise is in business development coaching and training, lateral partner due diligence, marketing, opportunities research, practice group management and legal services strategy. We base our services on simple, sensible techniques and principles to overcome the complexities of a dynamic marketplace.

EricDeweyEric Dewey, MBA is a Principal with Group Dewey Consulting, and has over 25 years of marketing and business development experience in four industries including chief marketing executive and practice administration roles at four large law firms. He holds an MBA and two marketing certifications and writes the blog, Lawyer Up!  He can be reached at eric@groupdeweyconsulting.com or 502-693-4731.

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Lidings Contributes to the Annual Doing Business Research

Lidings partners Andrey Zelenin and Sergey Patrakeev took part in preparation of an analytical review of how easy or difficult it is for a local entrepreneur to open and run business in Russia for the Doing Business rating, held annually by the World Bank Group and the International Finance Corporation providing objective measures of business regulations in 189 economies. 

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New York Joins California in Battling Gender Bias: An Extended Interview with Susan Gross Sholinsky

Click above or watch via YouTube, Vimeo, MP4, or WMV.

Employment Law This Week (November 2, 2015) has released bonus footage of its interview with attorney Susan Gross Sholinsky, a contributor to this blog and a member of the Women’s Initiative of Epstein Becker Green.

As Ms. Sholinsky discusses, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed a series of bills aimed at battling gender bias in the workplace and addressing fair pay, pay transparency, sexual harassment, accommodations for pregnancy-related conditions, and more. This follows Governor Jerry Brown’s signing of the California Fair Pay Act in early October. 

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Shutts & Bowen LLP Opens New Chapter with Move to Southeast Financial Center

MIAMI — October 29, 2015 — In one of downtown Miami’s biggest moves in recent years, the Florida law firm Shutts & Bowen LLP has moved its Miami office across the street and up 25 floors to Miami’s Southeast Financial Center at 200 S. Biscayne Blvd.

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