Rees Morrison Morsels #34 – additions to earlier posts

Acronyms for levels of involvement in decisions. In a comments on decision (See my post of Aug. 24, 2006.), I referred to a three-level system to describe who is responsible for decisions, who is accountable, and who is authorized to make them. A five-level system sports the acronym RASCI: responsible, accountable, supporting, consulting and informal. To me, the latter is too rigid and Tayloristic.

Alliances of law firms. There is an international employment law alliance called “ius laboris”. According to LegalWeek, Sept. 21, 2006 at 3, the alliance, which was created in January 2001, now represents more than 1,200 lawyers (See my posts of May 9, 2005 listing 12 networks; and Dec. 19, 2005 on six more network alliances.).

Forced performance ranking systems. A study in 2005 of so-called rank-and-yank systems by Steven Scullen, associate professor of management at Drake University, “found that if a company used the ranking system and fired 10 percent of lower-ranked employees, that company’s performance improved markedly, but the gains shrank rapidly in successive years as the overall quality of the workforce increased.” According to the NY Times, Sept. 10, 2006 at BU 3, this is one more reason why forced ranking is not a force to be reckoned with (See my posts of May 4, 2005 on forced ranking of employees; and Nov. 14, 2005 on arguments for it.).

State taxes imposed on law firm services. I learned during a demonstration of a software package in March 2004 that three states then taxed law firm services. How do law departments deal with that cost? Do such taxes apply to legal services provided within the states that tax or from the states that tax? Of course, invoices from foreign law firms may have included in them a value added tax (VAT). Those taxes can be a challenge to matter management systems in the US (See my post of July 17, 2 2005.).

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