- David Redding
Group Development is the fourth pillar of the Litigator's Foundation. It is the formation and deployment of a dynamic Litigation Group.
The Litigator cannot stay Missional if he tries to go it alone
To stay Missional throughout his career, the Litigator must be constantly developing, deploying and leading a dynamic Litigation Group ("LG") that is comprised of case teams that work in concert to accomplish the Mission. If he doesn’t, he will burn out from post-trial exhaustion or morph into a processor who litigates the process rather than a Litigator uses the process to reach resolution of disputes.
Preparing for Trial is a dynamic process that is characterized by constant change and activity. Dynamic processes require dynamic people who are positive in attitude and full of energy and new ideas. To be Missional, the LG must be compromised of dynamic and highly motivated members who are prepared to meet the unique challenges of the Litigation process with little or no supervision.
Group Development has three elements—the first is Leadership
The leader of the Group (the "LG") will be (by default) responsible for the outcomes produced by the LG, but that will be “leadership” (in name only) unless he also is able to influence dynamic movement toward advantage among the LG’s members. The LG must have Leadership to be dynamic.
The second element of Group Development is individual initiative
Individual initiative ("I2") is the ability and willingness to take action in furtherance of the LG’s articulated purpose to resolve disputes—without specific instructions. The members of a dynamic LG are people who are equipped to exert I2 rather than simply wait to be told what to do next. To inculcate I2 in the members of the LG, the GL must stay committed to three undertakings:
First, he must make the Mission clear to the members of the LG and reinforce it consistently in all that he says and does
Second, he must teach the members everything he knows
Third, he must incentivize I2 by rewarding it whenever a member exhibits it—regardless of the short-term outcome.
The third element of Group Development is Teamwork
Teamwork is the integrated effort of the LG members to Prepare for Trial as a case team. While I2 will produce dynamic efforts from individual LG members, those efforts will not produce a dynamic result for the client unless they are integrated with the efforts of the other members through Teamwork. Teamwork is the responsibility of the GL to cultivate through his Leadership.
Through Leadership, I2 and Teamwork, the GL develops a dynamic LG that is Missional in all it does.