Impact x 3


That’s what we, as lawyers, want to deliv­er in whichev­er field or con­text we are work­ing. Whether in-house or in pri­vate prac­tice, this notion can be neat­ly divid­ed into Busi­ness Impact (ensur­ing deliv­ery on day to day mat­ters), Strate­gic Impact (process improve­ment, inno­va­tion and future-proof­ing) and Cul­tur­al Impact (why and how we are doing things and the well­ness of teams and indi­vid­u­als). Nev­er has the inter­de­pen­den­cy of these three facets been more evi­dent or important. 

When Covid first struck busi­ness, for many teams and firms it was like being thrown over­board. Ini­tial­ly, you’re under water (the first shock) and you have to get your head above water (mak­ing sure every­one can work), then you’re tread­ing water (as teams are able to col­lab­o­rate and internal/​external clients are kept hap­py); but ulti­mate­ly this is not sus­tain­able or desir­able. We want to per­form an ele­gant and pow­er­ful but­ter­fly stroke into the sun­set of a hap­py future.

As we dis­cuss this with­in our own team and with clients, it has become plain­ly obvi­ous that we can’t do that unless we intel­li­gent­ly review our posi­tions around the Busi­ness, Strate­gic and Cul­tur­al Impact(s) and then: recal­i­brate and repri­ori­tise in light of chang­ing cir­cum­stances, bud­gets and busi­ness objec­tives. Fur­ther, we may find it some­what lib­er­at­ing to accept that it’s not nec­es­sar­i­ly going to be a smooth and lin­ear pro­gres­sion. We may get the but­ter­fly stroke and then, for some rea­son, need to tread water again — and that’s fine (and like­ly nec­es­sary). As the eco­nom­ic sit­u­a­tion devel­ops, legal restric­tions change, cus­tomers adapt and lock­down flex­es, our need to remain sen­si­tive, respon­sive and iter­a­tive is ever important. 

We were real­ly encour­aged by the obser­va­tions and wis­dom from Richard Susskind and Mark Cohen in Legal Geek’s Uncer­tain Decade events recent­ly. Key mes­sages that res­onat­ed for us were that: devel­op­ment to adopt tech, inno­va­tion and flex­i­ble work­ing has now been (and will con­tin­ue to be) accel­er­at­ed; the future is pos­i­tive, but we must be vig­i­lant and par­tic­i­pa­tive in the change; inhouse teams and GC’s hold a lot of pow­er, influ­ence (and respon­si­bil­i­ty) in that process; law firms and com­pa­nies must be(come) ever more cus­tomer-cen­tric. How­ev­er, the point that stood out for me the most was how impor­tant cul­ture is in rela­tion to all of this, which brings me back to our impact triumvirate”. 

In these fast-chang­ing, uncer­tain and chal­leng­ing times, it’s nat­ur­al to spend time on imme­di­ate imper­a­tives with an eye on future-gaz­ing (the Busi­ness and Strate­gic impacts), but we must con­tin­u­al­ly eval­u­ate why and how we are doing things — and ensur­ing that all mem­bers of our teams and organ­i­sa­tions are always aligned, pulling togeth­er and look­ing after each oth­er (the Cul­tur­al impact). It’s a del­i­cate, but impor­tant bal­ance that we need to review holis­ti­cal­ly and con­tin­u­al­ly main­tain to get things right.

On that point about look­ing after each oth­er, I can’t write bet­ter than legal’s wis­est owl, Paul Gilbert. Today the enor­mi­ty, cat­a­stro­phe and grav­i­ty of our time is impos­si­ble to under­stand. The his­to­ry of now, only exists in the future. All we can do today is to find the courage to be vul­ner­a­ble and the oppor­tu­ni­ty to be kind.” The Covid cri­sis and the more recent anti-racism events has brought forth a won­der­ful sense of cama­raderie and ral­lies of we are in this togeth­er’. Let’s cap­i­talise on that sen­ti­ment and momen­tum whilst bring­ing kind­ness into our per­son­al, team and organ­i­sa­tion­al DNA

When peo­ple are in mul­ti­ple loca­tions, with dif­fer­ent per­son­al pres­sures, styles and desires, we must be atten­tive and con­sid­er­ate to ensure that: (a) our pur­pose is clear; (b) our val­ues are strong; and © each one of our team is ful­ly includ­ed, engaged and moti­vat­ed. It’s the only way we can suc­cess­ful­ly deliv­er on our Busi­ness and Strate­gic impacts — con­tin­u­al­ly tweak­ing each as nec­es­sary — and how we’ll swim strong­ly, togeth­er and with purpose.

For a dis­cus­sion on how the Lex­So­lu­tions team can sup­port your in-house legal team or law firm when it comes to busi­ness and strat­e­gy, con­tact manu@​lexsolutions.​com.

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Further reading