It's been a great week for Juno Legal, and after having some insightful conversations with general counsel and in-house lawyers around the country over the past three months, I'd like to share my observations with the general counsel community and those who head legal functions.
Start now. Allocate budget for an innovation agenda. Find someone enthusiastic in your team to be your champion. Focus on one area of challenge. Identify what’s working and what’s not. Come up with a plan with your team (they already know all of the issues and probably some of the answers). Put it in action. Review in three months. Is it better than it was? If so, great - move on to the next area. And if not, fail fast and try again.
What I’m hearing speaking to different general counsel is that lawyers’ perfectionist mindsets can hinder progress. People want the perfect plan, not just a good plan. They want outstanding innovation, design and the perfect model. And so, month after month, teams drown in a sea of work with no forward momentum on transforming the delivery model. Coming up with a plan is not enough. Adding more bodies just creates more hungry mouths. Putting change into action and helping teams embrace this as the new way of working is key.
But to be fair, this doesn't apply to everyone. Some people are knocking off incremental improvements which over time substantially transform how teams deliver legal services and how organisations manage their legal risk. And many are keeping a low profile and getting on with it.
Be open to the amazing change and innovation in our profession. There are some exciting opportunities in the New Zealand market and they have the ability to drive fantastic outcomes for lawyers and for clients. Lift your head from the busy-ness and see what’s happening.
I’ve met some wonderful and generous people who are working hard for all the right reasons to make the delivery of legal services more efficient, more accessible and more collaborative (I'm looking at you Gene Turner). I'm relaxed whether you talk to me about what your team might do differently or how you might resource your next project. But do start a conversation with someone doing things differently and open your eyes to the great opportunities out there.
I'll be thinking up ways to share my findings at a high level across the profession so keep an eye out or feel free to get in touch if you want to share stories.