NOTICE: RELAUNCHING OF WEBSITE – WWW.HAWAIIESQUIRE.COM

Dear clients, readers, and friends I am letting you know that starting next week I will begin migrating content from http://www.hawaiiesquire.wordpress.com to http://www.hawaiiesquire.com. This represents a disruption in my posting schedule and you will not see new content from me on both sites (old and new) for 2 weeks.

While I realize that may seem simple, I assure you that my friends in the tech community have long advised that I do this and my awesome IT and web management crew are working hard to do it as soon as possible. Expect to see a better user experience, which means more resources and content to be useful for small business and startup owners.

In the meantime, please continue following me on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin, as I will be doing frequent updates through those social media avenues – I will be doing another speaking event soon, so please follow, as it will be a good one.

Finally, I would like to say that wordpress.com has been a great home to my website and blog for over a year. I highly recommend those of you starting a business to do a blog and a website if you are not savvy enough, and start here, as they make it easy and accessible. It has definitely made my practice better and gives me a unique voice in the crowded field of legal services.

So I will see you all soon again and please favorite, bookmark, subscribe, or just write a note to yourself to in the future go to www.hawaiiesquire.com.

Mahalo!

-RKH

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Leadership Write-up: Managing Diverse Networks, Part I

Introduction: Impetus for the Post

This past Tuesday, as the uproar over SOPA and PIPA reached a crescendo with Wikipedia and many other sites shutting down in protest I was able to participate at The Greenhouse Innovation Hub’s discussion on the two anti-piracy bills. As an attorney who deals with IP issue, focuses on social media marketing, and has worked with legislators as a committee clerk, I felt like it was the perfect storm for me to bring my perspective to the table.

A year ago, I would not have been able to tell you what the heck was going on or why I was participating in so many different activities and interests, other than that I wanted to be a part of something and work on things that fascinated me.  Now, after the 2011 Leadership Institute is pau, can I say that I think was attempting to “manage my network.”

Dr. Tanya Menon of Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management came and gave a special presentation to Leadership fellows this past November. Her topic was discussing the research behind “managing diverse networks” and why it leads to successful leaders and relationships. Her research focuses on “how national culture affects people’s everyday assumptions and their patterns of decision making.” To say the least it was very fascinating, and I gained so much in an hour that I have wanted to do this post for a long while, but have not had the time to sit down and type it. So with the New Year passed, my resolution was to get this topic out in January at the very least. In addition, as this might take 2-3 posts to wrap-up I want to plant the seed in your mind that I am planning something for my Leadership Institute project (which all fellows have to choose and then execute after the class is over).  Let’s just my project does not just involve attorneys, but hopefully other leaders in Hawaii. So let’s get to what Dr. Menon shared!

What is “Luck” and What is a Good Network?

If you remember my earlier post on Corporate Hawaii, you will recall that Colbert Matsumoto basically said create the opportunities for lightning to strike. Well, Professor Menon basically agreed. She herself said she did not believe in luck, and that it is chance and probabilities. Why?

She argued that successful people build networks that allow them to know what is important, when, and to whom. This people infrastructure forms the basis of situations that look like luck to outsiders. To understand this we need to explore what is a good network. In turn, we need to play that Kevin Bacon game based on John Guare’s Six Degrees of Separation.

So here’s the question, if you were playing the game, who would you pick to get to have the least amount of degrees to Kevin Bacon, John Wayne or Burgess Meredith?

Generally, most people’s reaction is to automatically pick John Wayne due to name recognition. The reality is Burgess Meredith is the correct answer, why? It has to do with this notion of creating weak, indirect, but diverse networks versus forming a clique, which is strong, direct, and redundant. Burgess did many films, tvs, and even commercials whereas John Wayne was only known for a certain genre of movies. Therefore, while John is well-known is reach beyond his world is limited, whereas diversity gives Burgess more reach.

Keeping a tight-knit group means strong bonds and direct, which are helpful, but it also means redundancy of information, which can lead to group-think.

The Why: Redundant vs. Diverse

I know what you are thinking, but John Wayne is more well-known, so how is Burgess successful? That is only one-part of the equation, remember I said it would demonstrate what is a good network. A clique, forms a kind of feedback loop, where a person in the clique is only seeing the same people and gaining very little new knowledge due to limited input. Whereas a network with structural holes, that is it is weak, indirect, and diverse presents what? Opportunities. It is basically the knowledge-gap at work or the “strength of weak ties” (or diversity).

By creating a system with structural holes, this network may be weak and indirect, but has diversity of inputs, meaning that the person at the center of it can broker information.

The key is to brokering the holes in the web, among disparate groups, which gives people who can manage diverse networks the ability to profit because a) you can control/broker the flow of knowledge and b) have access to diverse, unique information.

In addition, I think this Wired article largely echoes what Dr. Menon was saying:

Opposites Don’t Attract (And That’s Bad News) | Wired Science | 

I am going to stop here for now, as this is a lot to take in, but I will use this interesting question for you to ponder that Dr. Menon asked us during the seminar:

Why is it that many CEOs and other top-level executives happen to also smoke? 

If you are fascinated with leadership and management studies I would urge you to “Subscribe” today because the follow-up posts to this will be interesting.

Last Post of 2011 and Looking Forward to 2012

thanks to all who visited and supported this site - hope 2012 is just as good or better!

Aloha Everyone!

Hope you are having an awesome Friday for this last aloha Friday of 2011. I just wanted to take the time, as I close out for the day to wish you all a happy and safe New Year’s Eve and for a start of a good New Year. In addition, I would like to thank all my friends, acquaintances, clients, readers, supporters, and yes even my Twitter followers for making 2011 a good start for me.

Storytelling in 2011 

I appreciate getting to know you all in the various settings that I have and welcome meeting new people and reconnecting with old friends whether it be in social media, IRL networking, or for coffee. Also thank you for allowing me to tell you all my story and journey of an attorney that loves the intersection of law, business, and politics in the realm of small business and startups.

Past Highlights 

I would like to highlight thanks to all of you for the positive feedback regarding this site and my services. In particular, I would like to continue to make this site a place a resource for small businesses and startups navigating transactional and compliance issues. Thus from this 2011 you will continue to see posts series like the following:

Because I care about the Hawaii community and am finding that I meet new people of this great state via social media I will continue to do special write-ups on:

New Features for 2012 

Although like all good growing businesses, their ideas change and grow I will be rolling out new features and ways to get information into struggling business owners’ hands. In fact, I’ll admit that being an attorney who just started going solo there were times I wish there were resources for me, and there were, but I will continue to try to deliver information to the people who want its and need it. I would like to thank various people and organizations that have given me feedback before I talk about my 2012 features.

First the Thank Yous

Thank you to my friends at Off-Menu Catering, all of you give so much support and thoughtful feed back to carry me through continuing to serve small business.

Thank you to The Greenhouse: Innovation Hub and in particular Doc Rock (@docrock) and John Garcia (@johngarcia) for creativity and inspiration, Jill (@swamwine) of SWAM, Danny (@wangchungs) of Wang Chung’s, and Shawn of Small Business Planning Hawaii (@SBPHawaii) for bouncing ideas off of to deliver services and information to small business owners. Melissa Chang (@Melissa808), Jennifer Lieu (@jlieu), and Capsun Poe (@capsun) always guiding lights for social media use.

Mahalo to the Young Lawyers Division, HSBA, and Leadership Institute for providing guidance to an attorney.  To fellow attorneys Wayne J. Chi and Scott C. Suzuki thank you for doing talks with me, some more planned in the future! To William (@alohastartups) of Alohastartups.com, much thanks as you are providing a great resource for startups in Hawaii and I am excited for the plan in 2012. However, I think I still owe you a post from 2011! Thanks to Rechung (@TheBoxJelly) of The Box Jelly for providing a space for legal talks and helping Hawaii coworkers.

Finally, thank you to Marcus Landsberg, a fellow Hawaii attorney that has helped out and set down this path of being a solo practitioner like me and showing that solo does not mean alone.

. . . Back to New Features of 2012

Ok, enough with the thank yous and let me get to the new features that you readers can look forward to from me in 2012 for this site in particular:

  • PODCASTS – that’s right Hawaii small business owners, no worries if you cannot make it down to one of my talks! I will be providing portions of them for you to watch in your store or at home.
  • One-sheets – simple pdfs talking about one particular issue for you to download, print, and share.
  • Newsletter – I am not sure what the frequency will be, but definitely watch your e-mail inboxes!
  • REVAMP of blog and website – I will be shifting gears and making sure that I deliver to you content in a more user-friendly style!

That’s it for this year! Have fun and be safe this New Year’s Eve and see you in 2012 (Year of the Dragon!).

-RKH