December 4, 2006
What Can Law Firms Learn About Group Practice From Hospitals?
Bruce MacEwen, posting here on his blog Adam Smith, Esq., asks that question in applying studies from the Harvard Business School on practice groups in hospitals and their adapting to new technologies. Noting that the most immediate analogy for law firms is to financial services firms, he posits that there are also aspects of legal practice and structure that are more like the independent and "allergic-to-data" doctors working together.
Say the HBS studies: "Most people think that the skills of the individual surgeon are the most important driver of success, but we found that what really mattered was how the entire surgical team was managed and how it prepared for the adoption" of new techniques. MacEwen finds some wisdom in that, as well, for law firms and "practice group management." All the more, I add, since lawyers are doctors too. [Alan Childress]
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