The Bridge - June 2010 - (Page 11)

2010 Educational Conference in Boston On December 16, 1773, a group of colonists in Boston threw shiploads of “taxed” tea into the Boston Harbor. 236 years later, a different substance found its way into the Boston Harbor. The attendees of the ALA’s 39th Annual Educational Conference and Exposition arrived in Boston only to discover that two days before the start of the conference, a 10-foot water pipe sprang a leak, forcing the authorities to shut it down and cut off the Greater Boston area from its water supply from the Quabbin Reservoir. Before the water was shut off to the ruptured pipe, more than eight million gallons an hour of brown water gushed from a massive crater in the ground and rushed down a hill into the nearby Charles River. For attendees from the West Coast trying to adjust to the time change, it was especially difficult to wake up the first morning and not be able to buy coffee from the corner Starbucks because the water from the backup reservoirs was deemed “unsafe” for drinking. As challenging as that may have been, it was nothing compared to the challenges faced by administrators of law firms for the past year and a half. Although law firms are slow to change and generally resistant to it, the economic downturn has forced all firms to rethink their business models, and discover new ways to become profitable and sustain growth in this new economy. David Chi Morrison & Foerster David Chi can be reached at (415) 268-6554 or The ALA Educational Conference in Boston was my third national conference. I hadn’t planned on going to Boston, but thanks to the generosity of the Golden Gate Chapter, I was able to attend this year’s conference as the lucky recipient of the conference scholarship. With law firms forced to make tough decisions such as layoffs, salary freezes, and budget cuts in the past 18 months, the prevailing theme of the educational sessions at this year’s conference was change. The sessions focused on coping with the stresses in today’s challenging times, creating a positive work environment, and adapting to change as the key to business success. All three of the general sessions reflected this theme in one way or another. In the first general session, Matt Weinstein presented “The Power of Humor in the Workplace” and spoke of how supporting laughter, play, and “human” values in the workplace can have a lasting impact on building team morale, reducing job stress, and increasing productivity. The general session on Wednesday featured Dr. Jeff Salz, explorer and authority on authentic cultures (he has a Ph.D in cultural anthropology). He shared amazing stories of his adventures and the lessons he learned from his more than 35 years of exploration and expeditions across the globe. He discussed how applying his “Six Steps to the Top” can bring about transformational change in your life, attitudes and work environments and help you overcome adversity. Finally the closing general session was given by Matt Roloff, star of the top-rated TV series, “Little People, Big World” on The Learning Channel. Matt took us on an inspirational journey as he reflected on his extraordinary life and the many obstacles that he had to overcome as a “little” person. He showed us how we can all lead extraordinary lives with belief, action, resilience, and some creativity. Of the educational sessions I attended, my favorite was the one on “Effective Negotiation Techniques” presented by Emily Epstein, associate faculty at Harvard Law School’s Program on Negotiation. In the session, she explained what negotiating success is and how a truly successful negotiation results in your ability to maximize substance while strengthening the relationship in the process. In other words, a win-win strategy is the best strategy for long term success. She also mentioned how important it was to consider the impact of our actions and that intent does not equal impact. For a large portion of the session, she had us work on a negotiation simulation exercise that revealed our own negotiation strategies and tactics. What was fascinating about the pricing exercise was that there was only one option that would result in a win-win outcome for (Continued on page 23) 11 Golden Gate Chapter June 2010

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Bridge - June 2010

The Bridge - June 2010
President’s Message
“Lost” Lessons for Conference Commitment
Business Partner Appreciation Luncheon
2010 Educational Conference in Boston
Hot Topics From the List Serve
Membership Update
2010 Business Partner Services
2010 Salary and Benefit Survey Order Form
Member Anniversaries
Job Bank
Golden Gate Chapter Leadership
June 2010 Calendar

The Bridge - June 2010