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The second-mover advantage and law department practices

Journalists covering the legal industry love to write about innovative practices. A scoop is a piece on the next big flavor. Some general counsel, too, would like to come up with the latest and greatest management technique.

But a solid body of research into business success points out that businesses which adopt a pioneer’s initiative may not trail in the dust but in fact race ahead – the second-mover advantage. Pioneers take a lot of arrows; settlers live longer. Law departments can innovate or they can imitate but they will probably fare better if they selectively choose from somewhat tested ideas.

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