Even if a law department figures out the right strategy, there are many slips ‘twixt cup and lip. At least 10 of them come to mind as problems with implementing the proper strategy:
1. Too much work
2. Lack of sufficient metrics to determine whether the strategy is successfully implemented
3. Lack of clarity as to what the strategy is
4. Personal accountability by lawyers (See my post of Oct. 20, 2005 on accountability pushed down for budget reductions.).
5. Adequate resources such as money or technology
6. Too low a priority on tasks to do
7. Unclear decision rights by those who must act (See my post of March 6, 2006 on six styles of decision-making; March 18, 2005 on intuition and decisions; May 10, 2006 on decisions and frames; and Jan. 17, 2006 on errors in decisions.)
8. Too many delays and complications from consensual decision-making
9. Ignorance on how to manage projects, make decisions, fashion effective teams, etc.
10. Fear of failure and risk-aversion (See my posts of April 12, 2006 on risk aversion and personality styles; Jan. 16, 2006 on the principal-agent aspect of this; and Oct. 18, 2005 generally on lawyer on risk aversion.).
11. Sabotage and passive-resistance (See my post of Jan. 17, 2006 on passive-aggressive behavior.).
12. Conflicting strategies
It’s a wonder law departments ever accomplish any strategic initiative.