Law departments should learn from “post-vivos” – why was some action a success

We have all heard about and maybe even taken part in post-mortems. What about when something good happens? Does any law department systematically celebrate success and examine why it happened? Let’s call such a positive look back a “post-vivo” and thank the Harvard Bus. Rev., April 2011 at 72, for the idea and some guidance.

When a law department pulls off a coup ”it should investigate what led to it with the same rigor and scrutiny it might apply to understanding the causes of failure.” That can be hard for the same reasons it is hard to dissect a blunder: emotional, cognitive and organizational forces undermine the objectivity of the review. Still, a law department that triumphs should sip champaign but not stop there in its thirst for knowledge (See my post of May 27, 2008: post mortems with 7 references; and April 27, 2010: post mortems with 7 references.).

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