THE STRATEGIC LAWYER + + + politics.::. get the jist.::

Diagramming the Diagnosis


Diagnosis Detail: Mind Map © Susan Deefholts

These past couple of weeks, I’ve been working on a map of the elements of what Rumelt calls the “kernel” of strategy, which consist of a diagnosis, the formulation of a guiding policy, and the deployment of coherent actions in support of that guiding policy. The above is a detail of the “diagnosis” portion of the map, showing my sense of the general structure of the process one would need to undertake in order to formulate a useful diagnosis. It seemed appropriate to post this detail, since I’ll be digging more into the diagnosis aspect of the process in the weeks to come. I figured it might be helpful to have a visual map to refer to in composing/reading the posts.

Most of the steps are obviously contextual–while it may be a good idea for person A to follow a given step as part of a useful diagnostic analysis, because of his or her particular situation, others can likely skip that step, if it’s not relevant. The map, in that sense, is meant to be more about suggestions of types of things to think about and generalized stages to follow, rather than a hard, fast and unerring methodology. It is also formulated in the context of career planning, so has prompts at various stages that are particular to the type of diagnosis that would be needed in working out career directions and goals.

The diagram is still in progress, and in some ways, it would likely be better addressed by a flowchart, but you get the idea. Any suggestions for additions, or comments are, as always, welcome.

(As a note for those who are curious about such things, I used the mind mapping software FreeMind to put it together. I don’t find FreeMind super useful for mind maps I create when I’m brainstorming because it is too tidy and linear–I tend to like my brainstorm mind maps to be more haphazard and all over the place. But for something like this, where I’m mapping out a method or technique, it’s great! Highly recommended.)

Note: this is part of a series of blog posts related to my upcoming book for new lawyers, law students and students considering a law degree. The project is tentatively titled “Strategy for New Lawyers: Career, Practice, Life”. Posts in this series are tagged “strategy for new lawyers” and are listed in the category “Strategy.” If you are interested in learning more about this book, please subscribe to this blog, as I will be posting posting updates and information as it becomes available, in the weeks and months to come!


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This entry was posted on September 19, 2014 by in Strategy and tagged , , , , , .


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