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Showing posts from September, 2010

A Justice Index: The Quest for the Holy Grail of Court Performance Measurement

My colleagues and I have long sought what is for us the Holy Grail of performance measurement -- a simple, easy to grasp index of the performance of courts and the justice system that could be used by both insiders and outsiders. Such an index recently was brought back into sight by two prominent proponents, legal scholar and law professor Laurence H. Tribe, and journalist and author Amy Bach.

Tribe is a scholar of constitutional law and former Harvard Law School professor whose students include Barack Obama, John Roberts and Elena Kagan. Tribe took the position of Senior Counselor for Access to Justice, U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) earlier this year. In that position, he will lead an initiative aimed at improving access to civil and criminal legal services and will work with federal, state, and tribal judiciaries in strengthening fair, impartial, and independent adjudication. He will also exchange information with foreign ministries of justice and judicial systems regarding eff…

Who Has More Innovative Ideas Than You Do? Your Employees

You’ve got to give people at all level of your organization the opportunity to find solutions to problems. You’ve got to mobilize everyone to generate improvement strategies, not just the people at the top. A court that depends solely on its senior management to address its challenges risks failure.

That is the advice of Ronald Heifetz, Alexander Grashow and Marty Linsky give to managers and leaders in their article “Leadership in a (Permanent) Crisis” in a recent issue of Harvard Business Review. The three are partners of Cambridge Leadership Associates and authors of The Practice of Adaptive Leadership (Harvard Business Press, 2009).

Their advice for adaptive leadership is reason enough to give all court employees all of the court's performance data on demand, whenever they need it, in real time -- not just once a year or once a month. But there’s an even more compelling reason that should strike at the heart managers who aspire to leadership: You don’t have a monopoly on good…