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The problem with fiefdoms

The Brady Bunch was probably everyone’s vision of what a perfect family was. There two sets of a parent with three children of their own and together they blended the families and everything ended up happily after a 22-minute episode. It might have been fantasy, but the idea is that people should come together and get along.


Businesses need to come together and get along. There can be a Balkanization of a business where there are separate fiefdoms or divisions. I would see that often with law firms where the law firm was brought together by adding solo lawyers together so each lawyer was protective of their client list. I’ve seen that with a third party administration firm where the compliance department fought with the administration department and when the head of administration took over the entire operation, the compliance department resigned en masse (I saw it all). I had a struggle just getting a client list from a chief operating officer who didn’t want anyone to have one, so I had to create one with administrators who treated their list of clients as some fiefdom.


Businesses lose money by being inefficient and when departments don’t work together, there is less money to make. You don’t need an MBA course to tell you that. I’ve seen so much inefficiency in these type of scenarios and it drives me crazy because I’m a one lawyer shop. You need to maximize revenue and reduce anything that impedes that. The problem is that medium and small sized businesses don’t realize how much money they’re leaving on the table by not getting rid of the little kingdoms.



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