setting goals for legal department

Ten Things: Setting Goals for the Legal Department

The beginning of any calendar year is always busy with key administrative tasks for an in-house legal department.  My next several posts will deal with such items.  One of the more daunting tasks (whether you are general counsel or not) is setting useful goals for the upcoming year.  Legal departments do not always lend themselves to neatly setting goals like the business units, i.e., it can be difficult to measure “success” in legal vs. measuring profits and sales or setting key performance indicators (“KPI’s”).  That said, setting goals for the department or yourself is important and a fresh opportunity to take stock of many things.  I always approached yearly goal setting as, among other things, an opportunity to market the department (i.e., all the great stuff we were doing), get a deeper understanding of what was important to the business, and gather feedback on how the department could improve in the upcoming year.  Meaning, don’t shirk the opportunity and think of goal setting as some type of pain-in-the-neck HR exercise you have to muddle through.  Embrace the process as the more thought and effort you put into goal setting, the bigger the payoff.  And, there will be a payoff for you and your team if done properly and with some enthusiasm.

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