The universal temptation.
It is included in these pages because it is necessary.
GT-SC stands for Goody
Two-Shoes Crapola. It results from pious fraud and foggy thinking. We are
a profession of verbally skilled individuals who prosecute or defend an issue
depending on who gets to them with a retainer first. While this ability ultimately
serves society, it creates risks within our ranks. When this skill is misused,
the misuse must be called.
In the terminology of clinical
psychology it is usually the consequence of the attempted resolution of cognitive
Examples within the legal profession
A personal injury firm determines
to settle a case for 70% of its verdict value because they don't want to spend
the additional time necessary to litigate the matter. Their explanation to
the client is rank with GT-SC as they "recategorize" the risks and benefits.
The senior partners of an insurance
defense firm feel the economic pressures attendant to that niche in the profession
and wish to broaden the firm's scope. They bring in a lateral transfer with
experience in areas of the law into which they would like to expand the practice.
However, they don't want to change what has been a comfortable and, until
recently, risk free, professional environment. So they don't resolve the
conflict between the existing non-attorney firm administrator (who feels threatened
by the lateral transfer) and fail to give the lateral transfer sufficient
resources or authority to change anything. The conclusion after a year: they
decide to give themselves country club memberships as a way to recruit new
The narcotic in GT-SC is that
it is never completely untrue. It is always a matter of perception, of emphasis
or of "spin". Although not of the legal profession, a good example of GT-SC
is in the polar arguments concerning public education, the teachers union
and alternatives. Both sides have points to make, and while there is spin
and counter spin, children pass through an educational system that consumes
increasing resources with decreasing results.
Practical tips for the planner.
The planner has to distinguish between stealth and deceit.
There are two tracks: confront and reconcile or out GT-SC 'em.
The first track, while appearing
more honorable, is more risky. In most planning situations there are components
of self defined expertise that are part of the equation. "Experience" and
"professional judgment" are called upon by those who are resistant to change
or who adhere to a self serving prime directive. A good trial lawyer knows
to not overestimate the value of having the "facts" on your side in a confrontation.
Stealth, in this situation,
means allowing a resistant party to declare a position clearly and then holding
him or her to it. Attorneys are hard pressed to declare "If I knew you were
going to hold me to my word, I wouldn't have spoken". In a market driven
planning process, getting a commitment to include market factors in the practice
development process before the market research is undertaken can be effective.
Planning meetings should have
written agendas, distributed in advance. GT-SC always wants to "think about
it" as part of the stall-it-to-death defense.
Choose the sequence of agenda
items so as to get agreement on conceptual issues before decision points are
reached. Using our insurance defense firm as an example, once there is a
sufficient lack of confidence that the status quo will be acceptable in the
future and that change should be considered, the planner should get;
1) A commitment to the methodology
by which options will be considered,
2) The value market research
will be given in the evaluation of those options and
3) The level of variance from
the status quo that will result.
Always caption the commitment
to change as an action statement. "We should increase the annual billable
hours we spend on commercial law and decrease those spent on insurance defense
by 1500" is much more GT-SC proof than "we should look at increasing our
commercial law hours since insurance defense is becoming less profitable
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