“Only two essential problems in managing a law department”

“There are, in essence, only two problems in organizations: how to divide things up, thereby ensuring that the right people do the most appropriate work; and how to integrate the tasks of diverse individuals, functions and teams to ensure that the organization gets things done.”

I am no fan of simplistic dichotomies, as many would pooh-pooh this binary split from Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones, Clever: Leading your smartest, most creative people (Harvard Bus. Press 2009) at 130. Fine and agreed, but for general counsel splitting and lumping – another way to describe the bifurcation of management into two big problems – has some merit: it gives a framework to organize many of the decisions they have to make. What is more basic than who does what and how do we pull it all together?

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