The role of the GC is rapidly evolving, and a vital part of this change is the increasing role of GC as a trusted advisor.
GCs tell us that becoming a strategic partner is among their highest priorities.
Many legal departments want to establish themselves as a strategic function rather than a legal function alone. Taking the initiative to do this will boost your reputation as a dynamic resource that can seamlessly work with the broader business.
What does it mean to be a strategic partner?
- Making time to establish relationships with key stakeholders. To close the gap between legal and other departments in the business, you need to establish relationships with key stakeholders in these departments. These relationships provide you with the knowledge required to thrive in your position.
- Understand other departments in the business and how they operate. Take the time to get to know their stakeholders, the pressures on them, and the projects they have on their plate. Being in the loop with upcoming projects is crucial. It enables you to think ahead and identify potential legal concerns or obstacles that will need addressing.
- Being involved from the get-go, enabling you to identify commercial opportunities whilst protecting the overall growth of the company. You’re able to have foresight of timelines and manage expectations (if needed), reducing the likelihood of being seen as a blocker to accelerating commercial progress.
- Growing the reputation of a strategic advisor gives you leverage when seeking budget for legal projects as you can communicate the commercial importance of such projects and how they tie into the company’s growth.
Little things get in the way of big things
Most in house lawyers have a big range of tasks to cover. When less strategic work increases, it starts to block the other work. This means there is less time to:
- Spend time with the other key stakeholders
- Do complex work that only you can perform
- Plan and build internal processes proactively
- Do other types of efficiency work like build playbooks
Unlocking the business value of legal work
Legal teams have to go beyond strictly legal questions to help solve business problems. At Lexoo, we’re working with legal teams to help them plan and address key stakeholders on projects that involve legal. One of the ways that we’re assisting legal teams to establish this strategic role is through workshops.
Leading workshops on strategic questions
When multiple stakeholders work together to make critical business decisions, there’s a high chance there’ll be alignment issues or knowledge gaps. A great way to push past this bottleneck is by using a workshop.
Legal workshops ideas:
- Legal team roadmap and priorities: plot the path ahead, and share it with key stakeholders so they can see progress and linking with broader business goals
- Define a project earlier in its lifecycle: take the initiative to coordinate the project from the outset, not just when the “legal aspect” comes in.
- Process mapping workshop: to look to how the work is done between different teams to increase efficiencies
Facilitating a workshop early in the life cycle of a business concern places legal ahead of legal need so there is more time to plan and prevent legal steps from delaying progress.
Try these workshops out internally (feel free to get in touch with us to learn more) and see how they work for you.
Lexoo can help you plan and facilitate these workshops: talk to us to find out more.