An analogy for management initiatives – comparing them to legal advice

Throughout the day, law department attorneys give advice.  This is the essence of what they are doing – counseling business clients.  Every now and then, a business client’s need comes in the form of a project.  A project has a reasonably clear starting point and ending point, with steps in-between that are, for the most part, familiar to the lawyer. 

We can analogize this difference between quotidian counseling and defined projects in the sphere of managing the department.  Every day, senior lawyers make decisions about workload, feedback, reassignments of responsibility, and use of existing technology.  We can liken these actions their ongoing counseling role as a lawyer.  In similar contrast, every now and then a law department embarks on an initiative.  Be it a client satisfaction survey, a review by consultants, a competitive bid, or any other initiatives, they start, proceed through various steps, and end.

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