We all know there’s never been more pressure on General Counsel and their teams to perform at a higher level in a wider range of areas. In fact, it can be daunting to keep up, given the complexity and the rate of change underway today in so many different parts of the business—especially when it comes to accelerating performance in the legal environment. Whether you are stepping up to a leadership role for the first time or are a seasoned General Counsel starting in a new organization, a structured plan for the Legal function is critical to your future success. Let’s look at how to address this.

Take a single day to map your next six months

Develop a plan and set your priorities right at the beginning in order not to get overwhelmed by the demands and day-to-day activities of the organization.
Our research has revealed that the three critical resources to enable success for you as a new General Counsel are your time, talent and relationships.

  • Time: Crushing new demands will be made on your time, and you must treat it as your most valuable asset. What are your priorities, where do you want to spend your time, and how will you enforce that?
  • Relationships: Unsurprisingly, to be successful, you must build relationships with stakeholders across the business. Who are your most important stakeholders and how will you communicate and engage with them?
  • Talent: Great talent not only makes you look good but helps you make the most of your time. Often, a new GCs’ biggest regret is not moving fast enough on their talent challenges and opportunities.

It will be of great help if you:

  • Define your aspirations;
  • Plan to run Legal as a business;
  • Consider where you spend your time;
  • Assess your team and talent issues;
  • Examine your relationships and influence; and
  • Build your own 180 day plan.

The Four Faces model
As a leader, there are endless demands on your time. In your 180-day plan determine early how to balance your time and energy across four critical dimensions. Based on research with GCs, Deloitte developed the Four Faces model of Legal, which examines the roles and responsibilities in four key areas.

Assess and agree what’s important and urgent
Using the Four Faces model, take some time to reflect on which key priorities will determine your success. Think and talk this through systematically, looking at alignment between your stakeholders’ expectations, the wider organization’s strategy and your desired outcome. Decide how you can operationalize the Legal work and run legal as a technology enabled function.

Key considerations

  • Be wary of letting the urgent overtake the important.
  • What has the potential to slow you down? Are you covering or mitigating it adequately?
  • What are the big issues?
  • What and where are the largest drains in resources – either time or money?

Your 180-day plan
Moving from great ideas to execution requires a detailed plan with clearly defined timelines, deliverables and KPI’s.
Our Executive Transition Labs are research-based frameworks developed specifically for executives assuming new roles. The design helps you as a newly-appointed executive hit the ground running, and thrive in your new role and specifically are geared to help you map the first six months of your journey and accelerate your success and that of the Legal Department.
Your 1-day Lab culminates in the creation of a plan that you are confident to execute. The plan is populated with relevant milestones including issues that require immediate attention, as well as longer term priorities that are critical to the success of Legal and you as General Counsel.

For more information, please get in touch with Hans Albers, Director Legal Management Consulting Deloitte Legal.

Hans Albers
Deloitte Legal
+31 6 3111 2604