I recently had the honor of presenting at the 2014 Chief Legal Officer Forum in San Francisco hosted by the Argyle Executive Forum on the topic of General Counsel: The Global Corporation’s Next Agent of Change. The transcript of our session is available here. It was clear from our discussion that no matter the industry, the size, the location, or the legal department structure, the one constant that General Counsel are currently grappling with is the need to change. While many legal departments receive ongoing training to develop their legal toolkits and skill sets, business skill set training (like talent development, change management, and project management) is often an afterthought. Yet, given their increasingly strategic and business-oriented role, it is vital that General Counsel and their teams be equipped with the tools to manage through these massive amounts of change.
The most successful, visionary General Counsel are those that are creating an impetus for change by identifying current pain points with their teams, utilizing the power of the team to create a vision for the legal department’s future, and then putting in place the people, tools, and processes to ensure that change can happen successfully. Many of those General Counsel spoke at the Forum and it was inspiring to hear their stories. For great examples of real, leading-edge legal departments that are embracing change in a sophisticated way, read the stories of AIG, AON, and HP in our recent whitepaper, General Counsel: The Global Corporation’s Next Agent of Change.