Deneen Consulting
Street address
Walnut Creek, CA Zip
925 229-1858

Date: Fri, 13 Oct 2000 14:54:05 -0700

Mr. Rod Welch
The Welch Company
440 Davis Court #1602
San Francisco, CA 94111 2496

Subject:   Legal document hyperlinking software


Here is some correspondence following up our meeting on September 27.


John Deneen

Deneen Consulting
Street address
Walnut Creek, CA Zip

Date: Fri, 13 Oct 2000 14:54:05 -0700

From:   John J. Deneen


Subject:   Legal document hyperlinking software


  1. Who Wants to Improve Management?

  2. Communication Metrics Cost Savings; Preparing for the 21st Century

  3. Potential Bootstrap/SRI CRADA with LANL/Xerox


The links above are an intro about "Who Wants to Improve Management?", etc. and business development discussions with LANL. Below is the technical basis for the Welch Company's scope of services in managing administrative safety controls, regulatory and legal issues.

"Since communication is central to all management activity, adding intelligence to information improves every facet of business life. Reduction in cost and time for paper handling alone is a significant savings. Major improvement also occurs in the following traditional problem areas...

Our mentor Dr. Engelbart...


"Because it's such a big scale thing, you have to find an appropriate evolutionary environment and get that established. There are a lot of things that need to coevolve, so what's an appropriate environment to support that? And as you're learning how to do better at collective work, you'll have choices about where you're going to apply your early gains, because you're not just going to be able to lift up all of society, boom, like that. Say, "Oh, look, what if, as we paid early, special attention to learn how to be more effective collectively, we applied as much of the new capability as possible to improving selected parts of society's improvement infrastructure."From the early '60s, I'd been calling that "bootstrapping." The better that gets, the better we're going to improve all the other things we want to improve, including how you're going to improve improvement."

Proposing computer augmentation capabilities as developed by Rod Welch, including re-engineering it for fortune 1000 clients under the direction of Dr. Engelbart with open-source code programming support by SRI International, could lead to many new business opportunities. Eg., as suggested below by Matt Conover (environmental attorney, registered for the State of Washington), the National Judical College staff for further endorsement and referral to judges with budgets for purchasing.

Let's discuss.




John Deneen
925 229-1858

Deneen Consulting
Street address
Walnut Creek, CA Zip

Date: Fri, 29 Sep 2000 18:47:41 -0700

From:   John J. Deneen

To: Matt Conover

Subject:   Legal document hyperlinking software


"Faster, better, cheaper intelligence anytime, anywhere using the Internet and the science of Communication Metrics. Intelligence improves management, saves money, reduces stress."

What Experts Say about the Welch Company...

Contact: Rod Welch (415 781 5700)


Law is a Slow, Costly Metric of Business Communication

"Today, we call Aristotle's point about small deviations being multiplied by time, Murphy's Law. We use litigation in place of physical combat to adjust performance that drifts off course or does not measure up. Litigation requires a showing that original understandings were followed, for example the requirements of a contract.

What did we say?
What did we intend?
What did we hear?
What did we see?
What was considered?
What did we do?
Why did we do it?
What should we do differently?

These are the simple questions asked in a lawsuit for which no one knows the answer, because everyone is too busy on the Information Highway talking and listening to capture the record and create the connections that yield accurate knowledge of management details. As a result, the legal process is the only intelligence role for the practice of management. (see also discussion in POIMS) Of course, we all feel bad when the microscope of the discovery process exposes the critical mass of errors everyone had earlier attributed to Murphy's Law, as a compliment to the worry about the Devil in the Details.

When there is not enough time to discover that communication is not aligned with requirements, the devil and Murphy go on the march. Most losses caused by poor management are absorbed. Managers prefer to buy-off mistakes through reduced earnings, because intelligence that discovers and fixes mistakes, also, brings accountability. Cultural dynamics spawn a spiral of cover up, as managers maneuver to avoid accountability, while gaining credit for success by use of strong communication skills. Written records are feared and avered in favor of reliance on talking and listening that provide latitude for deniability. Limited time and culture reward facile verbal skills to tell a plausable story so that people can talk their way out of accountability for mistakes, and talk their way into credit for success. Formal management systems, traditionally called documentation, are pajoratively dismissed as "paperwork," because they are expressly aimed at accomplishing management accountability. Instead of earning 10% - 20%, management accepts 3% - 5%, and argues that intelligence is too expensive.

However, where accountability can be attributed to others, a lawsuit is filed. A lawsuit can be seen as a highly focused, very expensive metric of management quality. It usually shows that nobody follows an agreement because management lacks an intelligence, process, an internal metric, to discover miscommunication before it impacts performance. Therefore, the law imposes an external metric to force a course correction, an adjustment called adjudication.

How does the law determine the correct course? How does this differ from our daily practice on the job, and can these methods be brought closer together to avoid mistakes that result in the need for adjustments by outsiders called "lawyers"?

In court people explain their understanding of what was said, intended, agreed and committed to perform. Decision-makers listen. Writings are examined. Experts testify and standards of practice are presented from papers, books, magazines and other sources. Witnesses are questioned about differences between what is said by different people at different times and with what is written that is conflicting on important matters.

So far, this is pretty much the same as daily management practice of dialog and documents. Managers talk and listen, consult experts and ask questions in order to avoid mistakes in deciding what to do. Managers ask about planning, budgets, schedules, policies, indeed everything that affects an organization. They ask why actions were taken, and investigate whether a different course would have been better? This inquiry is often in the form...

"Tom, what's the story on widget delays?"

Managers adjust course everyday by changing employees, vendors, policies, products and so on. The information management relies upon to discover needed adjustments is called "evidence" in the courtroom. Those whose decisions are adjusted often complain about being "second-guessed."

So, if managers are gathering evidence and making adjustments everyday, why is there fear about doing similar "second-guessing" in the courtroom?

Here is a difference!

In court, someone writes down what everybody says. It is called a "transcript" and is used to compare testimony. This method reveals more conflicts than can be recognized by conventional management practice, because it is more comprehensive and accurate than relying on personal recall and notes to align information with controlling factors. Another difference is that a lawsuit is focused on a few narrow subjects, whereas a manager has to focus everyday on all of the subjects that impact the work. The players and the process in a lawsuit are not impeded by limited span of attention because they are paid to devote the time and attention needed for everyone to be carefully questioned about what was said, intended and done.

Another big difference is that legal practice uses communication experts, called "lawyers" to write a story, called a "brief," on the chronology of events that show causation for the subjects that impact a dispute, and it shows alignment of related facts and authority, such as a law, regulation, contract, etc. This is an additional step that takes extra time and costs more money, relative to daily management that relies more on conversation to tell the "story." Of course in court, as in the management arena, a judge hears everyone's "story" on the witness stand.

In management, people who get good at telling stories move up. Their "people" skills and strong "communication" skills expedite the work using feel good management practices. These skills avoid accountability for mistakes, and maneuver to gain credit for improved earings. But, in court, everyone's story is analysed for alignment with the record and controlling forces in commitements, contracts, laws and regulations. Despite assiduous efforts to destroy the record under feel good management practice, information is discovered from vendors, staff, customers, agencies and other sources. As a result, merely being good at telling stories is not sufficient for success in the courtroom. This may be one reason why managers fear the courtroom, and decry second guessers. The extra time and expense of analysing the story uncovers conflicts that need adjustment which are overlooked in daily management practice of relying on conversation. Managers are disappointed and frustrated that the intent to save money and expedite, by relying on conversation that avoids costly analysis, turns out to cost thousands or millions of dollars more than the cost of analysis needed to improve the first-guess, so that there is less need for second-guessing.

Thus, the courtroom objective to reach an impartial, objective decision by avoiding reliance on guessing and conversation, conflicts with the common sense of "feel good" management that operates on "guess and gossip," but avers second guessing and fears accountability.

Since people are not going to stop talking, Communication Metrics says use technology to improve the first-guess so there is less need for second-guessing in order to get the "story" right, under Aristotle's rule about the cost of errors in our story.

What should the technology do?

Since the full story can cover a lot of details, and since judges have limited span of attention like everyone else, legal briefs summarize related bodies of detail into headings, similar to headlines in a newspaper or magazine.

Headings are summarized at the beginning of the brief so that the meaning of a vast amount of detail, including months of testimony, endless exhibits and hours of argument can be absorbed quickly for initial, cursory understanding. These headings provide a link or pointer, like a table of contents in a book, to the details that support the meaning of each heading.

This practice is an analog of the human mental process that connects summary to detail.

Mental pointers of summary understandings, however, become disconnected over time from relevant details of original sources, due to commingling in the mind of intervening events that have similar elements of fact patterns. This creates ambiguity in the mental state alternatively called "cursory," "seat-of-the-pants" or "snap" judgements. Top managers have learned that a lot of money is saved and earned by investing time for analysis to avoid ambiguity that causes mistakes due to snap judgments. This lesson takes time to learn. Most managers are too young to have discovered the secret of investing intellectual capital. They and their organizations pay a heavy price in lost revenue, legal expense and adverse judgements that underscore another difference between standard management practice using "guess and gossip" for making snap judgements, and the legal process.

In court, people are paying for carefully weighed judgements.

The law does not guarantee a "correct" decision, but the process is designed to enable the decision maker to carefully weigh all of the facts, correlations, implications and nuance that bear on reaching a "correct" decision.

Therefore, legal briefs use an organizing system that essentially "hard wires" the connections of summary to details so that the details can be quickly retrieved for analysis of alignment with original sources and controlling authority, in order to verify the correctness of understandings drawn from a heading and thereby improve the chances of getting a correct judgement. It is more accurate than cursory, seat-of-the-pants methods, but it also takes a lot of time, expense and expertise.

Finally, when everyone is satisfied that the facts are established, a carefully prepared history of similar subjects is used to determine an appropriate adjustment. This history is called "case law." It is like case studies used in management, except case law is linked back to original sources so that alignment of meaning is easier to recognize and to maintain for use in future cases.

The crucial difference then between legal practice and management practice can be summarized in the concept of "time."

Executives write things down, ask questions, listen to experts, and apply company policy and case studies. Their focus is on getting things done in a cost-effective manner. They do not overlook conflicts on purpose that are later exposed in court. But managers in the New World Order do not have enough time to think, much less to write everything down and create the links that expose conflicts, nor to consider the full range of subjects that impact performance. They do not have enough time to link daily cursory, seat-of-the-pants decisions to the details that justify a course of action, or point to a different, more strongly supported judgement.

Limited time causes limited span of attention, the Achilles heel of communication. Only when a lawsuit occurs, is there enough time to understand, because the process forces everybody to slow down and invest in experts, called "lawyers," to align communications for the full range of subjects that effect performance, develop feedback and discover deviations that require adjustment, which previously were overlooked due to limited span of attention.

Thus, legal adjudication is a slow, costly metric that discovers understanding long after events transpire when it is too late to avoid mistakes. It provides "lessons learned" for next time, but only if there is enough time to align the daily flow of information with the relevant lessons that fit within limited span of attention.

Traditional legal practice is therefore not conducive to daily management. Managers need a system of dynamic discovery, to understand and follow-up current events before mistakes are made. i.e., managers need Concurrent Discovery.

Without effective Concurrent Discovery, people are forced to rely on personal experience and short-term communication skills for talking and listening, because it is fast and easy to rely on what we already "know" by using "common sense." In daily business, people spend hours in meetings, have 5 or 6 calls and receive 10 email, then summarize meaning in a few comments to the boss, a colleague or customer. Those exchanges become input for conveying cursory impressions to third parties, resulting in the daily "communication" process of guess and gossip, because there is not enough time to connect summary to details. There is not enough time to check the contract, the policy, the regulation, the lessons learned inventory, and so on." ...



John Deneen
925 229-1858

Matt Conover wrote:


I though that perhaps your friend with the legal document software could market it to the National Judical College staff for further endorsement and referral to judges with budgets for purchasing.

The NJC has a new Model Courtroom of The Future which includes voice activated video cameras, on-screen colored cursor marking of images of evidence, and other nifty innovations.

The enclosed webpage for the National Judicial College appears to be not up-to-date with the latest press releases in the Reno Journal Gazette. So perhaps he can just use the email addresses in the directory section.

Have Fun,

Matt Conover
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