Law Firm Culture - Its Importance And How To Overcome It

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In the 1540s, Jesuit missionaries to the Wichita tribe found a ready audience, and the whole group adopted Christianity. But when the missionaries announced they were going on to the next tribe, they were killed. The explanation, "If our enemies had become Christians, it would be a sin to kill and eat them."

Similarly, the best firm policy or loss prevention program is no match for the wrong firm culture.

"Culture" includes the fwm's stated values, its perceived values, the values it actually rewards as embodied in its boneheaded compensation system, its management system, its problem solving systems, the ability and method of its members and employees to communicate, its methods of dealing with bad news, its ability to recognize good news, the degree to which it recognizes exemptions from its roles, the method, if any, of assuring that new members of the organization know that the organization has a culture and what it is, and a method of adopting changes to the culture when necessary.

Originally Published in the 2004 Symposium Issue Of The Professional Lawyer - June 2-5, 2004.

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