Friday May 6, 2016. A moment I had (surprisingly!) come to dread. It wasn’t the idea of being in front of large groups of people, I’m an attorney and speaking to large groups is common for me and actually quite enjoyable. I wasn’t speaking though! I was playing the piano… and I hadn’t had a piano recital in 42 years…
I have never abandoned my love of the piano, but over the years I found I wasn’t pushing myself to conquer difficult pieces – after a few mistakes I would simply turn the page and move on to the next song. I tended to play the same ones from year to year. It was this realization that prompted me to sign up for piano lessons last fall – when my 12 year old signed up for her 4th year. Even then however, I questioned whether I REALLY needed to take lessons again. I’m an adult! Do I REALLY need someone to look over my shoulder to accomplish what I want to do? Wasn’t it just a question of more time? Couldn’t I do all this myself?
Here is where I am reminded of your company, and your contracts. Laws change, people change, technology changes (daily!) and along with those changes you’ll have many learning experiences, some pleasant, some not. If you continue to use the same processes and the same contracts, opting for that “easy play,” you’ll miss opportunities to improve your business practices. More important? You’ll miss making updates that NEED to be made to protect your business. That non-disclosure agreement you’ve used for the last ten years may not actually protect your company trade secrets the way you wish it did… that employee non-compete might not reflect your market anymore… your order form may actually conflict with your actual practices. One of the first things I do with new business clients is to talk about the business… what does it do? What forms and contracts does it use? Where SHOULD it be using specific documents? For instance, if it’s using outside programmers, has it ensured that the work produced by those third parties will belong to the business? Do its underlying business forms reflect its current business? I have found that EVERY business can benefit greatly from an overview and update of this sort… we all tend to get comfortable with our processes, and to play those same pieces over and over again.
I survived the recital. And yes! I’ve already signed up for lessons for next fall. Pushing myself in this area was a great experience, and something I intend to continue.
Avoid that old habit of playing the same pieces, and using the same forms! Please give me a call to talk about a business review, my contact information is below.
Isakson, Carole Clark. practices in Business law, Computer and Software law and Real Estate. Put her experience to work for you today and contact her with your business’ legal questions and concerns!