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Psycho-babble about psycho law departments

Ah, there was such promise in Rees Morrison's post, "Passive-aggressive law departments: is yours one?" Morrison's opener is irresistible:

"The doctor is in. A fascinating article in Harvard Bus. Rev., Oct. 2005, at 83, explains what it means to be a passive-aggressive organization, what causes that dysfunction, and some techniques for exorcising the demon. This short post can only choose bits and pieces from the article as they relate to some law departments.

"... Is there plenty of lip service but no accountability and no enforcement? Does everyone espouse client satisfaction but no one changes how they serve clients? Are smiles and congeniality rampant but a new initiative, like knowledge management or work/life balance, is hamstrung by second-guessing and struggles to make any headway?"

And just as I'm prepared to burst through the cubicle walls with tales of former woe and take any steps the article recommends, I am thwarted by this conclusion:

"According to the article, the cure might follow from (a) diagnosing the disease, (b) transfusing new blood, (c) removing or replacing many organizational organs at once, and (d) making decisions and making them stick. "

I haven't read the HBSR article yet. But my concern is that if I indeed take the time, I will be left with the kind of empty "management-talk masquerading as advice" in which so many business magazines specialize, and zero solutions that will make my work and those of my colleagues better and more profitable tomorrow. Bring on the anecdotes, I say! Bring on the case studies and the how-tos. Then I'll vote with my feet -- or, rather, my mouse, and subscribe.

Posted by Laurel Newby on January 18, 2006 at 01:53 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

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