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In 2012, LexisNexis and Cranfield School of Management set out to find out how in-house lawyers add value to their organisations. The findings appeared in our joint White Paper, ‘When being a good lawyer is not enough’. Fast forward to 2017 and there have been seismic shifts in the legal world. More research was needed to discover how in-house lawyers could best adapt, add greater value and remain relevant and competitive.
In our latest research, ‘From Rhetoric to reality: how in-house lawyers increase their strategic impact and add value’, produced with Dr Paul Hughes at Cranfield School of Management, we asked a series of new questions:
The answers provide valuable fresh insights into understanding different approaches to adding value. They make a clear link between the ‘leadership mindsets’ of lawyers and their capacity to influence and add value to a business. The challenge is how to transform this into practical advice for lawyers who want to enhance their strategic impact in a changing business environment.
What are ‘leadership mindsets’?
The ‘leadership mindset’ model is a way of looking at the mental processes and beliefs that provide a framework for understanding how we form our professional worldview. Each mindset type – Expert, Deliverer, Challenger and Strategist/Catalyst – has different attributes and adds value to a business in a different way.
What did we find out?
An understanding of the relationship between leadership mindsets and approaches to adding value is crucial. For those who want to adapt, understanding and utilising this connection helps find ways to add greater value and seize opportunities.
Organisations exert an influence over how lawyers can add value, however the extent of this is mitigated by the type of leadership mindsets lawyers have. Some are far more sensitive to the effects of wider organisational context than others.
What does this mean for in-house lawyers?
Individuals often interpret their organisation through their own ‘lens’, so to understand what an organisation’s wider context and strategic priorities are, lawyers may need to find better, more reliable approaches. Understanding their own leadership mindset and how it is influenced by an organisation is core to successfully adding the greatest value. Otherwise lawyers may only be seeing part of the picture.
Read a full summary of ‘From Rhetoric to reality: how in-house lawyers increase their strategic impact and add value’ here.
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