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Important terms diluted by over-use: best practice, innovation, leadership, strategic, world-class

Sloppy use of significant terms by those who care about the management internal legal teams creates clichés and robs the terms of their punch. Five such words are particularly prone to be sprinkled too liberally.

Rarely can we say that some activity is a “best practice,” yet the over-worked term pops up everywhere (See my post of June 6, 2006: with four references.).

Not all changes warrant the accolades of “innovation” (See my post of Dec. 17, 2007.).

Not every person in authority is a “leader” (See my post of June 11, 2008: leadership.).

Not every decision taken has “strategic” importance (See my post of May 31, 2006: difference between a strategy and a plan.).

Few law departments, and certainly far fewer than proclaim it, deserve praise as “world class” (See my post of May 16, 2007: misguided goals embedded in the aspiration.).

Lawyers should be careful about their choice of words, especially charged management terms like these five, yet many spray these high-octane terms as if they were water.

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