GC Conversations - Reimagining the Future

We were delighted to welcome so many general counsel, chief legal advisors and their deputies and associates to our GC Conversations: Reimagining the Future event.

Key takeaways: GC Conversations – reimagining the future

  1. Balance the need to act with urgency with robust decision making and ensure lawyers play their part in good governance supporting good decision making. Assess how your team can do its best to protect the Board, protect the CEO and other decision makers through this period.
  2. Take this opportunity to reset the business’ expectations about the role of Legal. It is also timely to reset the business’ expectations about the role it plays in community and society, and the way it goes about doing its business. 
  3. Communicate transparently with all your stakeholders and then constantly update those communications to add knowledge as it comes to hand. 
  4. Make yourself available to your team and act with empathy. Try to feel what it’s like to be in another person’s shoes - be that your director, your internal business client, your organisation’s customer or your lawyers and other team members. 
  5. Ditch the stoic Kiwi attitude and don’t try to do it all yourself as general counsel. Ask yourself what expertise you don’t have or didn’t need to build in your organisation in the growth days that you’re going to need going forward - whether commercial, employment or insolvency lawyers or PR support etc. Be aware that you don’t need to do it all yourself and look at who can support you.
  6. Maximise the role of Legal as the connector within your organisation. Create opportunities to bring different business partners together to find solutions.  On the flipside, have the bravery to step aside so Legal doesn’t have to be at every table it is invited to if someone else has a more useful skillset to contribute. 
  7. Be the person who re-enforces the real importance of record keeping and good note taking in your organisation.  Regulators come with 20/20 hindsight and want to know how your organisations made the decisions they made, regardless of the challenging environment those decisions were made in. 
  8. Reflect and review how well you and your team have performed through this crisis and how you’re coming out. Identify and implement those opportunities for improvement.
  9. For your own wellbeing, understand the importance of your professional network especially during a recession. Put time into building your network to ensure you know more people and they know you. Use LinkedIn actively and connect with people who you meet.
  10. The rapid adoption of technology at pace in all organisations shows there’s a huge opportunity here for in-house legal teams. There is great opportunity for the in-house legal profession to support businesses to feel confident to continue with that pace and innovation in the future, for the benefit of our organisations, our profession and also for New Zealand Inc.