The bottleneck general counsel is bad for the department and for law firms

“When decision rights are not clear or well distributed, every decision tends to get pushed up the hierarchy.” Consequently, if a general counsel does not define the roles and responsibilities adequately for those on the org chart and does not devolve authority and power to them, the top lawyer will end up making too many decisions and slowing the entire process. Complaints by clients about the slowness of the law department are a good clue to clogged arteries of decisions. Surveys can help calculate the cost of glacial decision-making.

I adapted the preceding from the MIT Sloan Mgt. Rev., Vol. 50, Winter 2009 at 38. The article explains how to combine process mapping and network analysis techniques to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of important decision processes (See my post of Jan. 10, 2008 #3: process maps; Aug. 28, 2005: process maps; and Feb. 16, 2008: flow charts compared to process maps.).

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