As law departments add staff, they lose the ability and agility to decide speedily. Bureaucracy in all its forms strangles initiative and decisiveness – more people have to be consulted as more levels of approval are necessary, endless meetings take place inside and outside the law department, more PowerPoint decks snowfall down, more memos and drafts, more teams and policies and e-mails.
Multiple reporting layers stifle alacrity and initiative; project groups – ever bulkier to address all interests –proliferate; bi-weekly scheduled teleconferences become the norm and the minutia expands to fill the hours; the arteries of managerial effectiveness clog.
Yet large law departments innovate more and probably develop more expertise! They do so despite bureaucracy’s heavy hand.