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Rees Morrison’s Morsels #118 – additions to earlier posts and short takes

Back references to metaposts on this blog. In the first 224 posts after number 4,500, I included back references to 215 metaposts. That is nearly one per post. Since I have 370 metaposts, almost anything I write could point to a previous collection of posts. At times, now, I grow weary, and just write the post without historical citations on this blog.

Four-month secondment of attorney to Legal Aid Society. A chapter in Robert Haig, Ed., Successful Partnering Between Inside and Outside Counsel (Thomson Reuters/West 2009 Supp.), Vol. 1, Chapter 17 §17:23 fn. 3, explains that in 2007, UPS sent an attorney to Legal Aid on a four-month secondment (See my post of Aug. 24, 2008: pro bono programs of law departments with 12 references.). That is a significant commitment to the cause!

Bucket of cold water on Delphi technique. As written in William A. Sherden, The Fortune Sellers: The Big Business of Buying and Selling Predictions (John Wiley 1998) at168, a psychologist pored over an extensive set of studies that had used the Delphi method and concluded in 1991 that “no evidence was found to support the view that the Delphi method is more accurate than other judgment methods … consensus is achieved mainly by group pressure to conformity” (See my post of Dec. 9, 2005: Delphi method, the nominal group technique.).

Legal departments as complex nonlinear adaptive systems. William A. Sherden, The Fortune Sellers: The Big Business of Buying and Selling Predictions (John Wiley 1998) at 73, discusses the economy as a “complex nonlinear adaptive systems.” This seems to sum up law departments. There can be no full descriptive metrics of them. They endure intractable problems; there are no best practices; and there might be no practical models of them.

A “list of qualified internal candidates for every critical position in the company.” Novartis tracks 14,000 high-potential individuals through a database “which rates each person’s potential, learning agility, people skills and ability to drive results and change.” As outlined in strategy + business, Issue 56, Autumn 2009 at 47, the database lists qualified successors for “critical positions,” which I presume includes the chief legal officer and possibly some of his or her direct reports. What confidentiality protections there must be on that system (See my post of July 29, 2007: high potentials with 10 references.)!