Post #890 – August 4, 2021

Unintended Consequences of Being Addicted to Commodity Work


One firm leader commented to me that while "most fans of efficiency are very strong on the left-brain – any innovation very much starts in the right hemisphere.”  Thus, the “define, measure, analyze, improve, control" mind-set doesn't entirely gel with the fuzzy front-end of invention.  When some new revenue generating idea starts germinating, you don't want to overanalyze it, which can happen in an efficiency obsessed cultural framework.  

That said, one wonders whether this propensity to simply accept commodity work as a natural way of legal life is not indicative of an addiction. 

Here are some examples:

• We don’t pay as much attention to our overall Brand Image

(Do we care that some work we do might actually demean our public profile?) 

• We reward partners for doing shit work

(Are we over-rewarding some who have large billable hours?) 

• We don’t force proper delegation

(Are we negating our promise to clients to have their work done at the proper level?) 

• We don’t focus on longer-term market innovation opportunities 

(Are we demoralizing those who have some ambition?) 


Being addicted to commoditized work is the result of strategy decay – and strategy decay is like cancer – it happens little by little and the longer you take to deal with it, the more deadly it becomes.

Read this Article


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