Transform your legal department in six months
Whether you’re a new general counsel (GC) in a legal department or simply looking to make positive changes in your department, the process of change is never simple. Lawyers are notoriously late adopters when it comes to change, so this can make the process even more difficult. The following are some keys steps to engage and communicate with your team in a meaningful way, define your goals and measure your performance, create a framework to identify changes to make, and manage a successful change in your legal department.
Recognizing the need for change does not guarantee those within your department will adopt that change. In fact, 70% of all major changes in organizations fail1 . Often, the reasons changes fail is a perceived lack of engagement by leadership and a failure of communication with the team that must implement the change. Avoid these pitfalls by meeting with the legal team as a whole to share with them your short- and long-term vision of the legal department. Create an internal legal department team of stakeholders (we’ll call them the executive team) to work through ideas on initiatives and get their feedback. GCs of a large legal department may not be able to do this personally; delegating this authority is fine, as long as everyone in the legal department knows that this transformation is a priority for the GC and that the delegate has the full authority of the GC on this project. Nothing—and I mean nothing—kills transformation in a legal department faster than the perception that a project is not a priority for the GC. Even if the GC isn’t present at all meetings of these stakeholders, it must continually be reinforced that this project is a priority that the GC is watching closely.
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