A mainstay of my consulting principles holds that one of the best contributions a consultant can make to a general counsel is to open the toolbox. The tool box of management practices includes lots of choices and approaches, the mixing and matching of which to the particular circumstances of the law department make the most sense (See my post of July 6, 2011: 500 hammers and best practices.). The more alternatives you know about as a manager, the more likely you are to select the right tool for the job.
Tool-box management covers a set of inter-locking beliefs. One size definitely does not fit all; syncretism prevails in the contest between ideological poles; context shapes the desirability of a management choice; always keep adding to and improving; priorities change from time to time and so should management initiatives, resources and their implied limits guide what is possible. All these ideas relate to a management style that favors the toolbox.