Vision, strategy and purpose
This is an exciting time to lead an in-house legal team. The leaders interviewed for our research are not shying away from asking fundamental questions about the relationship between their function and the wider business.
For example, they are rethinking how the legal function can best support business colleagues to achieve enterprise-wide goals, and are looking to other corporate functions for guidance on how to become strategic business partners. In turn this is shifting how the legal function is viewed by colleagues from being a cost centre to a business enabler.
Sabine Chalmers, Group General Counsel at BT, argues that it is important to go back to basics to challenge assumptions about what a legal function can and should do, and how it adds strategic value. “It is healthy to start with the assumption that your business doesn’t need a legal team at all. Work up from that starting point to clearly define your vision and strategy for the function. That really focuses your approach,” she says.
Like Sabine, many of the interviewees in our report, An innovation playbook for the 'future-fit' legal function, are searching for an appropriate balance of top-down planning and bottom-up ideas capture, and are documenting their vision and priorities in innovation strategy.
The lessons related to this stage of innovation are:
- Lesson 1 – Align your legal innovation priorities with enterprise goals
- Lesson 2 – Divide your transformation vision into short-term and long-term horizons
- Lesson 3 – Create a clear innovation roadmap, but be prepared to deviate from the path