Balancing Your Legal Scorecard - Part 2

Written by Richard Hall

Balancing Your Legal Scorecard

A Performance Management Tool For The Legal Department

The Balanced Scorecard Perspectives

The four perspectives ofrepparttar Scorecard provide a balance between short term and long-term objectives, between desired outcomes and drivers for those outcomes and between objective and subjective performance measures.

Many measurement frameworks advocate a balanced range of measures. The Balanced Scorecard is prescriptive about this range, and about how one perspective definesrepparttar 119228 drivers forrepparttar 119229 next.

Financial Perspective: The Balanced Scorecard encourages legal departments to identify their specific financial objectives as relates torepparttar 119230 financial objectives ofrepparttar 119231 entire organization. Thus,repparttar 119232 legal department embracesrepparttar 119233 organizations financial strategy. As such,repparttar 119234 financial objectives serve asrepparttar 119235 focus forrepparttar 119236 legal department’s objectives and measures ofrepparttar 119237 other three perspectives.

Every measure should be part of a cause-and-effect relationship that culminates in improving long-term sustainable financial performance. The Balanced Scorecard is an illustration ofrepparttar 119238 strategy, starting withrepparttar 119239 long-term financial objectives ofrepparttar 119240 organization and then linking them to other initiatives such asrepparttar 119241 operational processes ofrepparttar 119242 legal department and its investment in employees, systems and outside resources that combine to producerepparttar 119243 desired economic performance.

Clearly it is important to getrepparttar 119244 ‘right’ measures. Although it is people, decisions and actions that change performance, measures setrepparttar 119245 goal, andrepparttar 119246 old adage “what gets measured gets managed” is still true today.

Leading organizations are now finding new financial measures, as well asrepparttar 119247 non-financial measures. Rather than simply consideringrepparttar 119248 obvious financial measures of revenue, profit, share value or dividend cover, consideration is being given to a recently developed measure: Economic Value Added. This expressesrepparttar 119249 amount of value added byrepparttar 119250 efforts of each department (the legal department for our purposes) inrepparttar 119251 organization and how those efforts helprepparttar 119252 overall financial objectives ofrepparttar 119253 organization.

The Organizational Perspective: One ofrepparttar 119254 key drivers for an organizations success, except in a few rare cases, is organizational efficiency and cost effectiveness. As such, how an organization performs from a bottom line point of view is clearly a top priority for management.

With that in mind, all organizations have their marquee departments,repparttar 119255 ones that deliverrepparttar 119256 maximum contribution torepparttar 119257 specific type of financial measure that matters most to them. All organizations also have their average departments andrepparttar 119258 departments that cost them lots of money, but that they just can’t operate without (many timesrepparttar 119259 legal department, which is seen as a drain onrepparttar 119260 bottom line).

To maximize financial return, it isrepparttar 119261 operational efficiency and cost effectiveness ofrepparttar 119262 ‘marquee’ department that should be addressed. Departmental measures that reflectrepparttar 119263 issues that really matter torepparttar 119264 organization need to be developed. From these,repparttar 119265 key objectives and measures for howrepparttar 119266 other departments (such as legal) should operate can be established.

In this way an even more powerful link can be established between organizational focused objectives and improved financial performance.

The Legal Department Perspective: Delivering added organizational satisfaction can be achieved throughrepparttar 119267 operational activities ofrepparttar 119268 legal department. Throughrepparttar 119269 Balanced Scorecard framework organizational focused measures can be supported by measures ofrepparttar 119270 legal management processes that are most critical in meetingrepparttar 119271 organizations expectations. The objectives and measures for this perspective thus enable a focus on maintaining and improvingrepparttar 119272 performance of those processes that deliverrepparttar 119273 objectives established as key to satisfyingrepparttar 119274 organizations financial objectives, which in turn satisfy stakeholders.

With this approach,repparttar 119275 Balanced Scorecard offers a vehicle to focus on a complete value chain of integrated business processes. It is this that represents one ofrepparttar 119276 major opportunities forrepparttar 119277 benefits thatrepparttar 119278 Balanced Scorecard can provide over traditional departmental performance measurement systems.

This top-down value-chain process can reveal entirely new areas, withinrepparttar 119279 legal department’s business processes, where an organization can gain additional advantage.

The effect can be phenomenal; a reduction in process costs of 1% when combined with an identical reduction in wastage can typically deliver an increase in profits of over 15%.

The Innovation and Learning Perspective: The adage “our people are our greatest asset” has been honored more in breach thanrepparttar 119280 observance in all too many organizations. It is an issue managers cannot afford to ignore, however. The operations ofrepparttar 119281 organization are undertaken byrepparttar 119282 people within it. The ability, flexibility and motivation of staff arerepparttar 119283 foundation of most financial results, organizational objectives and departmental activities that are measured inrepparttar 119284 other quadrants ofrepparttar 119285 scorecard.

Organizational expectations are always changing and legal departments are, as a consequence, required to make continuous improvement. This relies heavily onrepparttar 119286 department’s ability to innovate, learn and improve, which collectively delivers better results forrepparttar 119287 whole organization.

The idea that everything else eventually depends uponrepparttar 119288 staff of an organization could suggest thatrepparttar 119289 ultimate single indicator of long-term sustainable success, if there were such a thing, would berepparttar 119290 speed at whichrepparttar 119291 organization can learn to do new things successfully. Used in this way,repparttar 119292 Balanced Scorecard framework gives consideration torepparttar 119293 importance of investing forrepparttar 119294 future. Not just in traditional areas of investment such as R&D, but also inrepparttar 119295 human infrastructure ofrepparttar 119296 organization – creating a ‘learning organization’ – if ambitious long term financial success objectives are to be achieved.

The Well Being of Society

Written by Dane Lyons

Many timesrepparttar question has been asked. “What actions constitute for good and evil?” To this simple question there have been numerous answers.

Some people believe law is good and lawlessness is evil. Therefore actions which reside inrepparttar 119227 bounds ofrepparttar 119228 law must be good and those which do not are evil.

Some people believe God is good andrepparttar 119229 Devil is evil. Therefore actions which abide byrepparttar 119230 teachings of God are good and those ofrepparttar 119231 Devil are evil.

Some people believe that happiness is good and that which is not is evil. Therefore all actions resulting in happiness are good and those which do not are evil.

All ofrepparttar 119232 previously stated beliefs contain a great deal of merit but are also raw and undefined. My belief, in a sense, is simpler. Many timesrepparttar 119233 simplest answer really isrepparttar 119234 best. Although, life is a complex jumble of nuances that many times can not be easily defined. Therefore I treat my definition of good and evil as merely a starting point by which greater questions can be based.

I believe life is good and death is evil. By this I do not simply mean that it is moral to live and immoral to die for each man lives and most certainly does each man die. In thisrepparttar 119235 glory of life would be nullified by death and morality would be nothing as it would cancel itself out. My belief is that morality is not singular. It does not reside within nor is it relative to only ourselves. It is an absolute, life itself is morality. In this I believe society,repparttar 119236 interaction of all living things, isrepparttar 119237 greatest good.

Now we have a answer upon which all moral dilemmas can be based.

Is it good to kill a living being to preserve ones self? To answer this you must first ask “Does this preserverepparttar 119238 well being of society?” The answer is yes. In most cases it is morally sounds to end a life to preserve your own. To live we must eat and to eat we must kill.

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