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Best practices favor new practices, but often wrongly

“We tend to assume that old thinking is somehow bad and new thinking is axiomatically good.” This quote comes from Willie Pieterson, Reinventing Strategy: Using Strategic Learning to Create & Sustain Breakthrough Performance (John Wiley 2002) at 7. This predilection blocks us from identifying what’s important, as compared to what is trendy and new. Much of what we take as new thinking merely dresses up old ideas as new or is simply faddish.

Best practices for law departments crop up like fads, and appear to be something novel and different – knowledge management, e-billing, convergence, outsourcing, offshoring – but old and tested thinking, if well executed over time, may well cross the finish line first.

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