building relationships

In a couple of weeks, I’ll be attending CLOC’s first EMEA Institute in London, which has me revisiting some best practices on building relationships and networking. When I attended my first CLOC conference in April, I found an exceptionally passionate and enthusiastic group of legal professionals that straddled the legal ecosphere. Bearing that in mind, it’s unlikely that we’ll see anyone ducking out early or skipping conference functions, because everyone is invested in being there, driving change, and working together.

But what about in other areas where we have the opportunity to meet new people and develop the relationships that can lead to new business? It’s entirely possible that even with the best of intentions, we can end up with networking fatigue. With that in mind, I’m revisiting an old post on the importance of showing up in order to build relationships.

Sometimes, when attending a conference, it’s tempting (and often reasonable) to combine other business with the business of the conference – maybe you have clients or friends in the same city, and it doesn’t seem like a big deal to miss an afternoon or a meal at the conference. You may even be worried that the social functions of the conference are more of a boondoggle, and the “value” is only found in the educational sessions. So what are you missing out on if you skip group outings or meals? 
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You may recall that at the beginning of 2014, I put together five posts on my wishes for you for the coming year: 

More than wishes, these posts were full of challenges to you on how to make 2014 a better year professionally. So how did you do? Let’s see if I took my own advice in 2014…

Plan & Be Open

I am, by nature, a huge planner. I LOVE lists and keep them everywhere, and I enjoy the challenge of putting together a marketing and business development plan for the coming year. So this was a no brainer for me. 


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Barry Camson is an organization development consultant and trainer who works with organizations to help them be more collaborative and effective. He is a former practicing attorney in Boston. He can be reached at bcamson@aol.com.

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In our first two posts, we discussed some of the pitfalls that befall law firms today, as well as how the ILN network of law firms is managing its members to avoid these same pitfalls. Today, we will look at the ILN’s “secret sauce” and identify how this can be translated to firms, themselves.

Theory of Change

Underlying all of this is the “Theory of Change” of the ILN vis a vis that of the law firms that Maister spoke about. The ILN makes the assumption that trust and relationships will make the network and its members successful in meeting the needs of its members’ clients. The ILN bases its actions on these assumptions. The law firms of 2006 that Maister spoke about believed that skepticism and detachment would make lawyers successful in the courtroom, boardroom and in performing the business of the law firm.


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