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How to lead innovation in the in-house legal function

Insights and case studies into managing change and transformation in the delivery of legal services.

In An innovation playbook for the 'future-fit' legal function, general counsel, heads of legal operations and other leaders responsible for the delivery of in-house legal services share their insights into managing innovation-based change. 

Thirty-five in-house leaders at different types of organisations across the world were interviewed about innovation in their legal departments. In An innovation playbook for the 'future-fit' legal function, we condense their experience into 10 essential lessons that collectively address the five main stages of innovation that we have identified. 

Our research reveals a step change is underway in how in-house legal functions view their role and purpose. They are preparing for a future that looks very different from their focus and activity today. To become ‘future-fit’, they are embracing technology and new service delivery models in growing numbers, and are championing an innovation agenda to manage legal workflows more effectively. 

Some in-house legal functions have already made giant leaps forward. They are undertaking a complete reimagining of what it means to manage in-house legal resources so as to foster radical change within their organisations.

However, our research finds that most in-house functions are at the beginning of the innovation curve, focusing their attention on strategic planning and capability building. Few have yet implemented transformative innovation across the entire legal function. 

Many different lessons can be drawn from across these 35 interviews. The diversity of viewpoints and experiences suggests there is no single roadmap for change that will work for all organisations. We encountered different stages of maturity, diverse priorities, and varying levels of resources available to invest in innovation. 

What unifies these disparate in-house leaders, however, is their desire to put innovation front and centre in their thinking about the ‘future-fit’ legal function.

Innovation playbook for the ‘future-fit’ legal function

Download the playbook to find out how General Counsel and other leaders responsible for in-house legal services are approaching innovation-based change.

The five stages of innovation

Vision, strategy and purpose

Vision, strategy and purpose

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Teams, structures and capabilities

Teams, structures and capabilities

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Technology and data

Technology and data

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Working with advisers and suppliers in new ways

Working with advisers and suppliers in new ways

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Piloting new approaches

Piloting new approaches

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The future of the in-house legal function

Read our latest perspective on how the in-house legal function should respond to the forces that are transforming its traditional operating model.

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