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Building an Outstanding Legal Team : Battle-Tested Strategies from a General Counsel

Building an Outstanding Legal Team : Battle-Tested Strategies from a General Counsel

Author: Bjarne P Tellmann
Publisher: Globe Law and Business
Publication Date: 19 Jun 2017
ISBN-13: 9781911078203
Bookstore 1


In this practical “how to” guide, Bjarne P Tellmann, General Counsel draws upon more than 20 years of leading top legal organisations to provide a structured plan for upgrading your legal team in an age of disruption.
The challenge: In an era of exponential change, the role of the general counsel (GC) has become one of the most complex, intense and challenging in the corporate world. GCs, must lead, unify and inspire diverse groups of people across the globe with subtlety and diplomacy. The stakes have never been higher and the consequences of getting it wrong can be existential. GCs must react to these challenges with ever-fewer resources and at a time when the legal profession itself is undergoing disruption.
The response: To succeed in this “new normal”, GCs must become their own chief executives. They must lead, communicate, inspire, build cultures, manage talent, formulate and execute strategies, ensure efficacy, anticipate and manage risk and manage quality control – all in addition to being top-notch lawyers. This book gives GCs the battle plan they need to get there in three parts.

Table of Contents

1. The Changing Context
1.1 Macro-economic changes
1.1.1 Regulatory expansion
1.1.2 Globalization
1.1.3 Risk convergence
1.2 Cost pressures
1.3 The twin revolutions
1.3.1 The Innovation
1.3.2 The Professional Convergence Revolution
1.3.3 The GC as chief executive
Part I: The Hardware
2. Talent and Risk Assessments
2.1 The continuous process
2.2 Start by thinking
2.2.1 Why is it so important to spend time thinking?
2.2.2 When is it best to do your initial focused thinking?
2.2.3 Weekly and annual focused thinking
2.3 Develop your foundation
2.3.1 Build your foundation – assess the company and your team
2.4 Stop, look, listen: evaluate your talent
2.4.1 On-boarding process
2.5 Assess your core legal risks
2.5.1 Secure alignment
2.5.2 Time frame
2.5.3 Steps
2.5.4 Lessons
2.5.5 How to assess risk materiality
2.5.6 Mapping your risks
2.5.7 Remember to communicate and align
2.5.8 The three “golden rules” of risk
3. Designing an Integrated Team Structure
3.1 Appoint specialists and generalists
3.1.1 Specialists
3.1.2 Generalists
3.1.3 Enabling function lawyers: specialists or generalists?
3.1.4 Who decides: specialists or generalists?
3.1.5 The optimal ration of specialists to generalists
3.2 The rise of the legal operations officer
3.2.1 Do you need a legal operations team?
3.2.2 Who should the legal COO report to?
3.3 Appoint your legal leadership
3.3.1 How large should the leadership team be?
3.3.2 Insiders vs. outsiders
3.3.3 Mistakes will be made
3.3.4 Hire the right type of leaders
3.4 Map over the rest of your organization
3.4.1 The matrix
3.4.2 Reporting lines into Legal or the Business – or both?
3.4.3 Who reports to whom?
3.4.4 Flat vs. layered hierarchies
3.5 Budget
3.5.1 The importance of having a unitary budget
4. Law Firms
4.1 Disruption in the legal profession
4.1.1 The Innovation Revolution
4.1.2 Cost pressures
4.1.3 Regulatory reforms
4.1.4 New competitors
4.1.5 The law firm competitive response
4.2 Unbundle your work
4.2.1 Classify your workflow
4.2.2 Identify solutions for different categories of work
4.2.3 Optimize your mix of internal to external resources
4.3 Put the right policies in place
4.3.1 Gatekeeper policy
4.3.2 Billing guidelines policy
4.3.3 Engagement letters
4.3.4 Internal legal department controls
5. Alternative Legal Services Providers
5.1 What are ALS providers?
5.1.1 The origins of ALS
5.1.2 Alternative staffing providers
5.1.3 Legal process outsourcing providers
6. Selecting the Right Partners
6.1 Leverage legal procurement professionals
6.1.1 The benefits of involving procurement
6.2 Strategic partnerships
6.2.1 What it means to be “strategic”
6.3 Key performance indicators (KPIs)
6.4 Law firm “panels”
6.4.1 Are panels the right choice for all legal departments?
6.5 How to establish panels
6.5.1 Select the right work for the RFP
6.5.2 Panel scope
6.5.3 Decide on the right levels of support that you need
6.5.4 Research and identify candidates; gather market intelligence
6.5.5 Diversity
6.5.6 Generate and issue RFPs
6.5.7 Evaluate responses and select finalists
6.5.8 Establish finalist interviews
6.5.9 Set agenda for meetings with the finalists; interview them
6.5.10 Select and announce your panel
6.6 Are panels forever?
6.7 Panels for Alternative Legal Services Providers
7. Technology
7.1 Processes before technology
7.2 The evolving technology landscape
7.2.1 The Second Machine Age
7.2.2 Moore’s Law and the second half of the chessboard
7.2.3 The Internet of Things and Big Data
7.2.4 Cloud computing
7.2.5 Artificial Intelligence (AI)
7.2.6 Autonomy and replacement
7.3 In-house technology applications
7.3.1 Communication and collaboration tools
7.3.2 Self help tools
7.3.3 Efficiency tools
7.3.4 Transparency tools
7.3.5 Artificial Intelligence and machine learning
7.4 Procurement of technology
7.4.1 Build or buy?
7.4.2 Off-the-shelf or custom?
7.5 Process, technology and risk reduction
Part II: The Software
8. Culture
8.1 What is culture?
8.1.1 Culture as behaviour
8.1.2 Culture as values and beliefs
8.1.3 Cultures and subcultures
8.1.4 Your subculture must be aligned with your company’s culture
8.1.5 Actual culture vs. stated values and beliefs
8.2 Why is culture important?
8.2.1 Culture as a baseline
8.2.2 Culture as an attractant
8.3 Can you build a culture from scratch?
8.3.1 Legacy cultures – evolution not revolution
8.3.2 Influencing in new cultures
8.3.3 Write your culture down
8.3.4 Beware of the unwritten rules
8.4 Hack your culture
8.4.1 Large-scale hacks
8.4.2 Small, iterative hacks
8.5 Making it “sticky”
8.5.1 Screening
8.5.2 Induction
8.5.3 Rituals and reinforcement ceremonies
8.5.4 Stories
8.5.5 Influencers
8.5.6 Sanctions
9. The Generational Context and the Rise of the Millennials
9.1 Millennials, Gen-Xers and Baby Boomers
9.1.1 The Baby Boomers
9.1.2 The Gen-Xers
9.1.3 The Millennials
9.1.4 How have these traits shaped the Millennials?
9.1.5 What is the problem?
9.1.6 How to approach Millennials
9.1.7 How to balance interests across the generational divide
10. Leadership Skills
10.1 Professional excellence
10.2 Innate curiosity
10.2.1 Constant learners
10.2.2 Formal vs. organic learning
10.2.3 The Internet vs. books
10.2.4 Future literacy
10.2.5 Importing and exporting good ideas
10.3 Excellent communicators
10.3.1 Storytelling
10.3.2 Focus on “why”
10.3.3 Clear written communication
10.4 Excellent business judgement
10.4.1 Market visits
10.4.2 The business of the law
10.5 Results driven
10.6 Autonomy
10.6.1 The pros and cons of law firm training
10.6.2 The pros and cons of government training
10.7 Courage
10.7.1 Manipulative business partners
10.8 Flexible leadership style
10.9 Cultural intelligence
10.9.1 Leadership savvy
10.9.2 Disagreement and “face”
10.9.3 High vs. low context cultures
10.9.4 Trust
10.9.5 Reasoning
10.10 Grit
Part III: Critical Threads
11. Change Management
11.1 Ten lessons about change
11.1.1 Change is the natural state of being
11.1.2 Start with “why”
11.1.3 Change is an inherently emotional process
11.1.4 Regularly track and discuss your team’s emotional state
11.1.5 Do not let your team freeze up
11.1.6 Never look back!
11.1.7 Change can give you the best work of your career
11.1.8 Focus on what you can control; do not worry about the rest
11.1.9 You are in charge of you!
11.1.10 This is the “new normal” – so get used to it!
12. Strategic Direction
12.1 Roadmap principles
12.1.1 Vision
12.1.2 Mission
12.1.3 Strategies and tactics
12.2 Example of strategic priorities
12.2.1 Strategy 1 – Develop our people
12.2.2 Strategy 2 – Provide the right advice at the right time
12.2.3 Strategy 3 – Leverage our global strength
12.3 When and how to execute your strategic direction
12.3.1 When?
12.3.2 How?

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