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Perfectionism pulverizes productivity – good quality in the shortest time and least cost is the goal

“The pursuit of perfection is one of the great adversaries of speed, performance and execution” writes an author in the Conference Rev., Winter 2011 at 5. In-house counsel should take the advice to heart: “Rather than seeking what cannot in most cases ever be achieved, it makes more sense to seek the highest standard of quality that can be delivered in the shortest period of time, and that is economically balanced relative to the constraints of an ever-shifting marketplace.” Nearly always the added benefit to your client of polishing and pondering and triple checking costs too much in dollars and delay.

Similarly, the author criticizes the rejoinder, “Would you rather have it quick or right?” The choice is not nearly so binary, ever. Decisions always come with probabilities and the precision of those odds don’t appreciably improve after lengthy deliberation and effort.

To hold law firms to perfection likewise hobbles them and impoverishes you. Most of the time, very good work will do very well. Even that aspiration challenges most of us, let alone some Olympian level of quality.

Perfectionism suggests a fear of commitment, an insecure risk intolerance that delays and delays in the hurly burly of business life. Course corrections are available for everyone; perfection for none.

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