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Every general counsel should stop the law department from doing inane, wasteful procedures

Dr. Marshall Goldsmith, in his column for Talent Mgt., Jan. 2008 and 54, points out our bias to add on initiatives. He writes “The recognition and reward systems in most enterprises are geared to acknowledge the doing of something. We get credit for doing something good. We rarely get credit for ceasing to do something bad. Yet, they are two different sides of the same coin.” A general counsel might be reluctant to put an end to a senseless meeting or requirement or style of working because it feels like an admission of error to jettison some long-standing silliness.

It is the rare general counsel who scraps some encrusted practice or procedure (See my post of April 1, 2007: when to stop doing things.) even though the rules and expectations have long gone moldy but still complicated productivity (See my post of March 27, 2005: inventory your management initiatives.). As brevity is the soul of wit, simplicity is the heart of efficiency.

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