Weekly Rundown: Lifestyle Branding, Lawyers on Instagram, and Working Smarter
By Sarah Larson
Why do some businesses succeed while competitors fail? How do professionals evaluate which activities will bring them personal and professional fulfillment? What lessons can leaders learn from successful Google teams? That, and more, in our weekly roundup of interesting news and guidance from the world of marketing, PR and business development.
Amidst Retail Implosion, Vineyard Vines Brand Thrives
Retail is dying, and an empire that employs nearly 5 million Americans is imploding. But amidst the closures affecting iconic brands such as Toys R Us, Bon Ton, Sears, and more, at least one specialty retailer is sailing smoothly along.
A Forbes feature on the preppy clothier, Vineyard Vines, notes that “As clothing brands weather price wars, the rise of fast fashion, the decline of department stores and the explosion in online shopping, Vineyard Vines has thrived. Founded in 1998, the company now has 95 stores, and sales of its colorful, whale-logoed shirts and neckties hit $476 million in 2016. Even more impressive, the Murrays have managed to scale while maintaining 100% ownership of the company…”
The article explores the secret to the success of brother owners Shep and Ian Murray, which they say is remaining true to themselves and the lifestyle brand they’ve created. “We couldn’t out-polo Polo,” Ian says in the Forbes piece. “We couldn’t be glitzier than Bergdorf Goodman, and we couldn’t be tougher or more rugged than Patagonia. But we could be us–and we like to go to beach bars and have fun.”
Read the full article on Forbes com.
Courts Scrutinizing Lawyers’ Social Media Activity
It’s painfully obvious to those of us in the communications business that some things just should not be posted online – or that people shouldn’t behave poorly in person and then incriminate themselves online. That goes for lawyers, too.
A New York attorney found that out the hard way when she fibbed to the court about missing a court filing deadline. She claimed that she had been caring for her sick mother in Mexico, but Instagram photos showing her in New York and Miami during that time refuted her story. A federal judge in New Jersey last month imposed a $10,000 fine on the attorney, who later withdrew from the case.
The New Jersey Law Journal examined that case and other recent rulings in a story that reflects increased attention being paid by the courts to lawyers’ social media accounts.
Banishing the ‘Busy’ Plague
How many times have you heard a friend or colleague bemoaning how little sleep they got the night before, or how much they have on their plates? Being insanely busy still is seen by too many professionals as a badge of honor, instead of what it really is – a sign that you are overextended and, most likely, neglecting the most important people and roles in your life, not to mention your own health, in the process.
This article from FastCompany reminds us that it doesn’t have to be that way, noting “You’re largely in control of how busy you are.” It recommends creating a list of your top priorities and only saying yes to endeavors that move you closer to them. Every opportunity must pass the “wow” test: if you feel anything less than genuine excitement, say “no.”
Law Practice Management Gets the ‘Lean’ Treatment
Law.com recently released Lean Adviser Legal, a subscription program that offers lessons and tools to help lawyers and law firms master a client-centric approach to managing the legal project lifecycle. Created by Alex Geisler, a litigator with Duane Morris, the “lean” approach, as you would imagine, aims to eliminate wasted efforts and maximize efficiency
The interdisciplinary program was built on time-tested approaches from lean manufacturing and management consulting, adjusted for the legal industry.
The Five Keys to a Successful Google Team
How can leaders improve their organization’s productivity, revenue, and pretty much everything else? Google says, focus on making people feel safe enough at work to make mistakes.
The tech giant’s HR folks tried to answer this management question using data and rigorous analysis: What makes a Google team effective? They spent two years interviewing more than 200 employees, examining more than 250 attributes of more than 180 active Google teams. In the end, they were shocked by their conclusion that the type of people on the team matter much less than how the team itself functions.
“Psychological safety was far and away the most important of the five dynamics…Turns out, we’re all reluctant to engage in behaviors that could negatively influence how others perceive our competence, awareness, and positivity. Although this kind of self-protection is a natural strategy in the workplace, it is detrimental to effective teamwork.”
Read more about Google’s conclusions about the factors that help teams succeed here.