Radiant Law recently hosted a workshop for a distinguished and eclectic group of General Counsel/In house Lawyers at Asia House, London W1.
The theme of the day was to help lawyers separate “Legal Process from Legal Counsel” in an increasingly busy and resource constrained world.
This was a day for rolling up the sleeves and participating rather than passively receiving presentations, so we decided upon a format of round table discussions facilitated by Ciarán Fenton, Leadership and Behavioural Change Consultant, John Michelis of the WIT Group, Inderpal Lall Head of Corporate Legal Services Avis as well as members of the Radiant Leadership team.
We started with the only presentation of the day which was given by Paul Gilbert of LBC Wise Counsel who gave a thought provoking analysis of the results of a GC survey carried out on behalf of Radiant Law. The most arresting finding perhaps was that 80% of GCs believe they have a compelling need to invest in process and technology over the next 12 months whilst the same proportion admit they have no separate budget under their control to invest in the very thing they need the most.
65% of respondents had invested with an external supplier in the last two years while 19% were not formally assessing what is available in the market by way of process and technology. Over 60% of respondents identified cost or uncertain value or outcomes would be the biggest obstacles to investing in process and technology.
With those sobering results it was on to the workshops with the innovative format of attendees moving from table to table for the different topics which were variously, “The Change Challenge”, “Feel the fear and do it anyway” (not a dating guide but an interesting topic about the emotional investment in change), “Designing and Implementing new contracting processes”, “How to integrate suppliers into your existing team” and finally “A client’s perspective – building the business case and finding a way to move forward”.
This format allowed delegates to discuss their own real-world experiences of how to improve contract support including the failures and successes in a round table format with their peers. The results of these discussions were collected and summarised for the whole group by the facilitators in the penultimate session of the afternoon. It seemed clear that while many had effected change of varying degrees of complexity not all of the change was facilitated by the kinds of innovative process and technology that are available in today’s market. This raises the challenge of how lawyers can identify what they don’t know.
The final session of the day was a panel discussion with in-house representatives including Robin Saphra of Colt, Ed Mayer of Sky and Richard Keenan of BT and Vicky Lockie of Pearson International hosted by Justin Cornish of Radiant Law. The panel were encouraging that change using process and technology is possible but under no illusion as to the leadership such undertakings require.
We will be producing a white paper summarising the experiences of the participants and the full results of the survey which will be shared in due course.
Below is a short video of our workshop: