Aspire junior in-house lawyers event: understanding business strategy and preparing for GDPR

Aspire junior in-house lawyers event: understanding business strategy and preparing for GDPR

On 17th May, the LexisNexis Aspire training and networking group met for the second event of the year. The session, which was facilitated by Sophie Gould, included an icebreaker workshop on understanding business strategy, a practical legal skills session on how to prepare for GDPR and a guest speaker Q&A session. 

Understanding business strategy

The event kicked off with an introductory workshop on understanding business strategy, led by Lex Fackrell, Senior Strategy Associate at LexisNexis.  

Strategy is a widely-used word, yet its widespread use can obscure the necessity of pinning down its essential components. Lex explained that, in essence, strategy is:

  • A plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal or set of goals or objectives
  • Aimed at gaining or attempting to gain, a position of advantage over competitors
  • Management's game plan for strengthening the performance of the enterprise

A well-thought-out strategy means you understand priorities and in this way it keeps you focused and in the right direction for your business. Whilst having a strategy can never be an automatic guarantee of success, it helps you to be mindful of what’s important for your business in order to achieve desired results. Allowing you to make efficient use of your time, energy and resources.

Some key tools for putting together an effective strategy are:

  • Understanding the internal and external factors:
    • External: Market size, competitors, geographies, buying channels etc.
    • Internal: customer base, product set, financials, operational assets etc.
  • Undertaking a SWAT analysis - listing the key strategic issues/factors inside or outside the organisation that significantly impact the long-term competitive position of the organisation
  • Strengths - potential factors that make your company more competitive than your direct competitors
  • Weaknesses - potential limitations and defects ingrained in your company and/or weak factors relative to direct competitors
  • Opportunities - future factors that allow your company to improve its relative competitive position
  • Threats - future factors that reduce your company’s relative competitive position

Following this introduction to strategy, the attendees broke up into smaller groups where they looked at a case study, discussed the external and internal factors and applied the SWOT analysis.

To close off the Workshop, Lex shared some practical tips on how in-house lawyers can impress the

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About the author:
Sophie Gould is the Head of Lexis®PSL In-house. Sophie worked as an in-house lawyer for 10 years including seven years as Head of Legal for Virgin Radio and Ginger Media Group. She has also run a legal risk and compliance training business.

 

Since joining LexisNexis in 2009 Sophie has worked on developing our legal and business content for the in-house legal community.  She also runs various networking and mentoring groups for in-house lawyers and works with schools to promote social mobility within the legal profession.