New COVID-19 Behaviours

pexels-photo-1005638 cartHow does the new normal feel? Are you starting to fall into a groove, or does it feel more like a ditch with no ends?

I’m starting to get the hang of things. In our local grocery store, they are sterilizing all of the cart handles. This causes a socially distant line up outside during the weekends. So I go during the week.

All of the aisles have a one way direction on the floor. So if you see that rare batch of yeast just a few feet in an aisle, but you have to go the wrong way, what do you do. Do you take the risk and do the right thing and hurry down one aisle and go up properly on the yeast aisle. But how many of you have simply gone backwards and backed up to the yeast for example. How many times have you seen this happen.

It would be faster to simply abandon the cart for a moment and simply walk forward the wrong way in a one way aisle? Or you try to hope no one notices as you try to back up?

Is it easier if no one is in the aisle? How far are you prepared to back up. It seems four feet is easy to do. Forty feet seems way too far. So somewhere between those two numbers you could seemingly get away with it.

All bets are off if you have to pass someone doing this. They will look at you with a steely gaze hoping to freeze your heart. The braver types will likely say something.

I have to say that I personally would back up a total of 14 feet backwards only if no one else was in the aisle. That seems like a good compromise.

 

 

photo by Pexel

COVID-19 Recovery

pexels-photo-4113084 monaThe last few weeks have not been very pleasant.

I managed to catch the COVID-19 just as I was trying to get out of the US back into Canada. Those last flights were quite packed with everyone in a hurry to get home and a number of flights being cancelled.

So I had the full meal deal. Started with some light coughing, then a bit heavier. Body aches and pains ranged all over. The headaches were not debilitating, and I have had worse. The most unnerving part was the fever. That lasted three days. At that point you know the body is trying to handle something but not quite succeeding.

But for me, the worst part was the sore throat. The last night it kept me up all night from the pain.

After about 10 days, things started to break on their own. I couldn’t tell if the cough was going to deepen or not. It’s kind of like spring, where you can sense it is getting warmer, but sometimes a winter storm still catches you. If the coughing took a turn for the worse, then you knew that it was going to catch some momentum and keep on going.

So, I had the self-isolation for two weeks since we traveled out of the country. the COVID-19 must have incubated for a week, since it took that long to show symptoms. After that, health services put me on two weeks of quarantine. That then gave me another week of self-isolation after the last symptom disappeared.

After four weeks of being house bound, I was allowed to step outside. But by that time, the Gollum personality came out, and I enjoyed being housebound. Ordering in food, working from the house. The best part was not feeling guilty about not doing the outside yard work.

But things have normalized. Feeling better than ever. And although reinfection still appears to be something they are not quite sure about, it is nice to have it over and done with. It’s like making a tough decision that you agonize over. Once it’s done, you are flooded with relief.

I am going to sign up for the plasma antibody donations. They may have found an antiviral, but every little bit helps.

So, I count myself lucky. Keep the faith!

 

#covid #covid-19

 

photo

Yaroslav Danylchenko

Never let a good crisis go to waste

pexels-photo-4031818 woman on computer

Never let a good crisis go to waste.
—Winston Churchill

Churchill recognized the basis of good change management. If you needed to get something done but couldn’t under normal circumstances, then a good old-fashioned crisis usually allows you to get the changes you want.

Another aspect of change management includes looking at changes on an enterprise, organizational, and finally an individual level. For the future of law, we are looking at how the education, the delivery, the institutions and the law itself will likely change after COVID-19 has rampaged across the globe. No one really knows for how long COVID-19 intends to affect the overall global socio-economic environment, but March 15, 2021 looks like a good bet. (A bit of a stretch, perhaps, but Johnson & Johnson have a promising vaccine lead with human trials starting in September and likely emergency distribution in early 2021.)

Change management includes a number of best practices you can follow, namely starting at the top, getting engagement from stakeholders, finding champions, scoring some initial wins, and issuing communications. But a sometimes forgotten component is developing a sense of urgency. And COVID-19 supplies this.

Law schools, for example, were already at the forefront of change; they have been slowly incorporating online classes for years. The American Bar Association guidelines released in February indicate that over 150 law schools have moved to an online course format. This should have the added benefit of reducing costs and overall debt load of students.

Whether the online format is as good or better than the traditional classroom format that most lawyers are familiar with remains to be seen; but most learning may have taken place when you were reading on your own in any event. To confirm which format is better, a multifactor comparison in a peer-reviewed journal with replicated examples would be required to show the difference between online and traditional schools. Which is a long, polite way of saying it will probably never be confirmed.

The online learning model fits in well with the Canadian Centre for Professional Legal Education’s Practice Readiness Education Program (CPLED PREP). PREP, which will launch this June, is a nine-month program with four phases involving interactions, transactions and simulations. This is a new way of promoting other forms of competencies, such as professional ethics and practice management, which would nicely compliment an online law school. The old-fashioned articles may be the next thing to go. Up online, I mean.

We have all likely been experiencing this more cloud-based style of law firm. Most of us have had experience working remotely. I volunteered to give up my office almost a year and half ago. There may have been a day and a half of regret right at the beginning, but it has been smooth sailing since then.

This time in their remote offices has given lawyers ample experience in using the full capability of the digital platforms that their IT departments have (ideally) been working on for the past few years. These capabilities would have included video conferencing not only with staff but with clients as well. Lawyers have also had the opportunity to learn all about the security protocols that IT has been talking about in order to access secure documents from any location.

Necessity being the gender-neutral parent of invention, our organization has seen how Microsoft Teams teleconferencing has been a tremendous way to view and speak with members of one’s team. Documents for a team meeting are easily loaded and located. Chats can be posted and followed as comments are collected.

After a couple of weeks of working in this manner you can see how a law firm might transition to become virtual. Meeting with clients could be conducted over video conferencing right from the start as clients accessed the law firm’s web site.

It is even easier to see how numerous new firms could come into existence as virtual right from the start. Once again, CPLED PREP uses the format of a virtual law firm for students, where they meet clients online and all the firm lawyers and staff operate remotely.

This training allows new lawyers to see how a law firm would operate as it works on various files. Newly licensed lawyers would see the immediate benefit in this and may no longer be driven to join a traditional law firm. Some traditional leverage may soon be lost.

The virtual firm becomes even more enabled by the Federation of Ontario Law Associations guidance of March 20 on how to close real estate transactions remotely. Video confirmation of document signing can be acceptable. At least on a temporary basis.

The U.S. Supreme Court, for the first time since the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic, has suspended oral hearings. Courts in Canada have begun moving various functions online. No doubt the need to observe witnesses’ demeanors in person will continue for some time, though.

Probably the greatest change to the legal profession will be the clients. These past few weeks have enabled clients, and people in general, to try new things. All of the professions have reached out and demonstrated that they are prepared to meet with clients in a virtual manner. Using Zoom to set up a meeting with one’s lawyer or accountant no longer seems awkward, and the savings in time and cost has greatly increased the value proposition of many professionals. Client expectations will evolve over a very short time.

We should note that clients do not necessarily request professional advice to be delivered in a new fashion. But if they see it happening elsewhere, they are likely to drift to where they can take similar quality advice better and faster.

The type of legal advice provided has changed greatly over this present and urgent timeframe. A good portion of lawyers appear to be operating on a just-in-time provision of legal services. COVID-19 has become so topical so quickly, and the demand for answers so immediate, that there has been an incredible amount of free legal advice provided on blogs and other sites. This no longer seems like the standard identification of legal risks and the follow-up of ‘please come see our firm,’ but rather, ‘you can see some very concrete advice on how to deal with various COVID-19 related legal issues.’

All of this has also raised clients’ expectations, and in the future they will want to see practical and immediate legal solutions to their problems.

But as Yogi Berra said, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”

 

 

#legal #covid #motivation #changemanagement #law

Covid-19

pexels-photo (2) pantry

Covid-19 requires serious action. But, admittedly, there are the occasional lighter aspects.

After our BC board meeting, we decided to fly over to phoenix to see some friends just for a few days. Of course, after we arrived then the talk about shutting the border came up, so he headed home. I’ve always used the hand sanitizers at airports, but now they seem to be set at jumbo discharge. I struggled to wipe it all over my hands. With all the foam still covering my palms and back of my hands, I felt I couldn’t walk away from the hand station since I am sure everyone would be askance as  to whether foaming at the cuticles was a new symptom. I resorted to cleaning up to my elbows.

After travelling out of the country, we self-isolated. This is sort of like retirement. Twice the husband and half the income. So of course I organized the pantry.

An idle mind is the devil’s play ground. I thought about organizing items according to ability to open them. Perhaps cardboard on one level, bags on another and cans on a different another. Using mind-mapping, I decided on three levels. The first level would be food regardless of packing material. Salmon and pasta. The next level would be stuff you put on food. Tomato sauces, panko crumbs. The top level would be stuff you put on food, but probably shouldn’t. Things like syrup and jams.

Fortunately, my wife only laughed. Retirement looks positive!

 

#covid-19 #inspiration

Speaking about adversity…

pexels-photo-1448055 dogSince we have our west coast trail hike coming up, I decided to do a bit of real practical training. Up at the cottage I took the dogs, maguire and seamus, for a walk and I also took one of the backpacks and loaded it up with one of the 20 litre carboys we have there. (I did fill it with water.)

 

High school has been a while, and I sort of forgot that one litre equals one kilogram. In my defense, we actually only took imperial training back then in school. ( Back in those days, once we etched an answer in our tablets, you really didn’t want to change it afer that. And I mean those stone tablets)

 

I put this on my back and we wandered around for a while. Fortunately, the road was flat, and I only had to stop and do my shoelaces once. Also fortunately the cap on the water carboy was quite tight. Yes, it was heavy and sloshed.

 

I might try slinging one of the dogs across my back, but they wouldn’t like it, and they would slosh more than the water did. One hopes that with increasing adversity comes greater abilities to deal with the new adversity in the future!

 

business motivation changeit adversity management inspiration personaldevelopment

photo by Pexel

Adversity

pexels-photo-313690 stress
 The great psychiatrist Dr. Lucy tells the hapless Charlie Brown that “Adversity prepares one for the things of life.” Charlie Brown quizzically asks “What things?” and the good Dr. says “More adversity.”
A little non-sensical, but this has remained with me for several decades. We can even bring in The Princess Bride when Wesley says that “life is pain, highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.”
One writer lists over 6 different types of adversity such as mental, physical, spritual, financial, social and emotional. To think that we could be hit by 6 different planes of existence all at once can be overwhelming.
Ultimately one hopes that can there can be more than simply pain for pain’s sake. But everything we read says that adversity can be a force for good since it can bring out the best in you.
But I leave you with Albert Einstein who said that adversity introduces a man to himself. We are not what our problems are, but how we react to them that counts.

Balls to the wall

pexels-photo-258455 engineBack in University, I always thought this meant agressively pushing someone against a surface. Later, with the adage of the internet and google (and yes university was a long time ago), I eventually learned this simply meant giving it your all. Ball wise.

The phrase “balls to the wall” actually refers to  the centrifugal governor of a steam engine. This used used spinning balls to adjust a valve limiting the amount of steam entering the engine. As the engine sped up, pressure and centrifugal force of the spinning balls pulled them outward toward the wall of their housing. This activated a lever to limit the amount of steam.

So, if your balls were against the wall, that meant your engine was spinning as fast as it possibly could.

Even if the saying is actually benign, it attacts so much attention I haven’t had the nerve to try that phrase during some business meeting.

 

#motivation