What do whiskey and legal operations have in common?
The similarities might not be immediately obvious, but they both require a delicate balance of different elements to create a smooth and satisfying experience.
That made it all the more fitting that our recent webinar, “Legal Ops Emerges as a Strategic Enabler — Are You Ready?” started off with a whiskey tasting.
Agiloft’s Chief Strategy Officer, Prashant Dubey, hosted the event, which also featured Mike Haven, President of CLOC and Intel’s Head of Legal Operations.
Between sips, we enjoyed a lively discussion exploring the intersection of legal operations and CLM systems, as well as the strategies and approaches that legal operations can take to become more strategic members of their organization.
If you didn’t get a chance to experience this event live, here is a breakdown of some of the topics we discussed:
1. The role of legal operations emerging as a strategic business enabler
The industry is noticing a trend where legal operation teams are emerging as strategic enablers of their organizations, and not just within the legal department.
This trend is driven by the realization that contract management is much more than just a legal or procurement process, it’s an enterprise-wide business process that can benefit the entire organization.
Contract management is the best and most direct way that legal operations can make an impact on their organizations and take full advantage of this new opportunity to step outside of their comfort zone and become a more strategic department.
Through effective contract management, legal operations can reduce costs and increase revenue, thereby increasing margins and improving the company’s overall bottom line.
2. Collaboration and communication are key for business alignment and success
Legal operations are already very good at cross-functional alignment, as they are the company’s “jack of all trades” and work with every part of the legal department.
Why not take that natural skill set and use it for the greater good of the company? Legal operations can help their organizations by not only mitigating risks, but by eliminating communication obstacles and breaking down information silos.
Effective communication can bridge the gap between legal and business teams, leading to better understanding of objectives, improved alignment with business goals, better workflow, and more efficient process.
Technology, such as the use of shared platforms and project management tools, can play a crucial role in facilitating this communication and collaboration and building relationships that ensure everyone is working towards the same goals.
3. Be flexible and emotionally intelligent
In addition to all of the other duties of legal operations, it’s important for legal professionals to have three things: IQ, EQ (emotional intelligence) and AQ (adaptability quotient).
Our world is constantly in flux. We can’t have a fixed mindset; we must bend and be flexible and pivot when necessary. Contract management technology can make this pivoting easier by offering a single source of truth, a place where everyone in the organization can have access to contracts and agreements.
CLM systems can help legal departments be more agile by automating tedious tasks and reducing the time and resources spent on them. Taking those tasks out of the equation makes it much easier for legal departments to switch gears as needed to respond to changing objectives and priorities.
4. Be an active listener
In cross-functional teams where everyone comes from a different background with different skills sets and experiences, it’s very important that legal professionals learn not just to inform, but to listen, as well.
By actively listening and seeking to understand their colleagues, legal operations professionals can build stronger relationships and establish trust, leading to more effective collaboration and a more efficient and synergetic company.
5. Use the CLOC model to optimize legal operations
Want to step your game up as a legal operations professional? If so, you’re going to need a framework.
This is where the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium (CLOC) model can help.
With 12 core competencies, including financial management, vendor management, and data analytics, this framework identifies best practices and provides a guide for legal operations teams to follow. By adopting industry-standard practices and improving efficiency, legal teams can reduce costs and align better with overall business objectives.
The CLOC model is helping legal operations professionals optimize their legal processes, enabling more lawyers to practice more law and better manage the budgetary and technical aspects of their departments.
6. Achieve greater success through CLM
Implementing a CLM system is the best way for legal operations to more efficiently manage all of these strategies that were discussed during the webinar.
CLM systems are helping legal departments everywhere to automate and streamline their contract management processes, freeing up time for other more strategic tasks. Not only that, but they are highly customizable and can easily be tailored to best suit a company’s needs as well as integrate seamlessly with their existing systems.
CLMs keep all of an organization’s data in one location for one single source of truth, eliminating information silos and allowing everyone, including customers, to be on the same page at all times.
Cheers to the future of legal ops
The combination of a strong legal operations program and an efficient CLM system can give your company a significant and competitive advantage. Embracing these tools and methods can keep your business ahead of the curve and drive success in an increasingly competitive landscape.
Our hope is that you are able to take the strategies outlined above, distill them into an actionable plan, and use them to achieve greater success and efficiency for your company.