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Business Thinking

Shifting Gears – Maintaining Relevance through Revolution

Winter 2016

Jeff Carr, Former general counsel, FMC Technologies

In his first column for GC Magazine, former FMC Technologies general counsel Jeff Carr reflects on a life spent in legal, as well as what he sees are the structural challenges for the industry apparent on the horizon.

 

 

Myths and Millennials - separating buzzword from bunk

Winter 2016

Alex Novarese and Jaishree Kalia, Legal Business

The legal profession is increasingly obsessed with the challenge of engaging Millennial lawyers. But just who are they and why is finding a way to effectively harness their talents essential to the future of the legal profession?

 

 

Inclusive Growth

Winter 2016

Catherine McGregor, Editor-in-chief

Mastercard’s general counsel Tim Murphy is in the unusual position of having not just overall responsibility for the legal function, but for diversity and inclusion across the company. Murphy sat down with GC to discuss a global diversity agenda and the unique role of lawyers in pushing progress.

 

 

Pioneering not preservation

Winter 2016

Michael Fahey, Former general counsel, Upside Travel Company

In a guest editorial for GC Magazine, Michael Fahey makes the case for why the modern general counsel should not shy away from risk – but rather embrace it to produce optimal outcomes for their business.

 

 

Act like a leader, think like a leader

Autumn 2016

Catherine McGregor, Editor-in-chief

image of elephants leadershipHerminia Ibarra’s insights on leading and developing your own role, as well as that of your team, are surprising in the fact they are rooted very much in the here and now. We outline her pragmatic thinking and ask general counsel to weigh in with their thoughts on Ibarra’s work.

 

 

Tracking Change for In-House Legal Departments

Autumn 2016

Alex Speirs, Editor and features writer

image of innovation mood boardGC spoke to in-house counsel and a global leader in management consulting to learn how process management, measurement and metrics are becoming an increasingly important tool for GCs and how different businesses are putting them to use in order to evolve their service-delivery models.

 

 

The GC's role in preparing for the (inevitable) crisis

Autumn 2016

Catherine McGregor, Editor-in-chief

image of balloon burstingGC distils the learnings from the 2016 Lex Mundi General Counsel Summit with pragmatic solutions for in-house counsel when handling a crisis

 

 

Who do you need to be?

Autumn 2016

Paul Hughes, Cranfield School of Management

image of ChamealonHow do we flex our styles to meet changing and increasingly volatile circumstances?

 

 

Who do you want to be?

Summer 2016

Paul Hughes, Cranfield School of Management

image of monopoly peicesWhat does your organisation need from its in-house lawyers? And is that you?

 

 

WHAT 18 YEARS IN-HOUSE TAUGHT ME ABOUT HOW TO ADVISE CLIENTS

Summer 2016

Pierre Gentin, Former head of litigation at Credit Suisse AG

image of busy streetPierre Gentin tells GC about his experience in-house.

 

 

Crouching Tiger, Dwindling Dragon

Summer 2016

Alex Speirs, Editor and features writer

image of Chinese buildingThe Chinese economy has been the engine for prosperity during a period of unprecedented growth in Asia over the past decade. But a marked slowdown is tempering confidence in the fiscal prospects for the region as a whole and producing a more stringent regulatory environment. GC spoke with leading in-house counsel in the region to test the sentiment on the ground and learn how they were dealing with the new challenges.

 

 

Let's Talk Business: Part Two

Summer 2016

Catherine McGregor, Editor-in-chief

image of high-rise office windowsMasterCard’s Tim Murphy discusses his return to legal after ten years in business roles.

 

 

The View from the top: Ellis Watson

Summer 2016

Catherine McGregor, Editor-in-chief

image of trainers looking from high up at the groundEllis Watson is CEO of DC Thomson Publishing, and has been CEO or a main board director for a range of international companies – First Group, Syco, Celador TV, and a director at News International. At our London-based Enterprise GC conference, he gave what can only be termed a barnstorming keynote, advocating that general counsel embrace what they do best and make a true difference to their company as a key part of the leadership team.

 

 

Our Great Leader: Unravelling the process of choosing the right candidate for the top job

Spring 2016

Catherine McGregor, Editor-in-chief

image of constructorGC talks to rising star in business theory Gautam Mukunda, assistant professor of organizational behavior at Harvard Business School, whose recent research looks at the way leaders are chosen in politics and business and comes up with some surprising results.

 

 

LET'S TALK BUSINESS: PART ONE

Spring 2016

Catherine McGregor, Editor-in-chief

black and white image of people looking out of an office windowMasterCard’s Tim Murphy discusses his return to legal after ten years in business roles.

 

 

PLAYING TO YOUR STRENGTHS: BUILDING DIVERSITY OF THOUGHT INTO BUSINESS

Spring 2016

Catherine McGregor, Editor-in-chief

image of scrabble piecesLeaders at Wyndham Worldwide talk us through its investment in leadership and development, and the company’s use of personality profiling to identify and support talent across the business.

 

 

WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?

Spring 2016

Paul Hughes, Cranfield School of Management

image of girl waiting for trainWhy your mindset is probably behind the kind of in-house lawyer you are.

 

 

OPENING UP TO NEW PARTNERSHIPS

Spring 2016

Catherine Wycherley, Editor and features writer

image of wasps in a honeycombDon Tapscott's Macrowikinomics (co-written with Anthony Williams) highlighted the groundbreaking step taken in 2007 by Novartis of sharing its type 2 diabetes research online. GC catches up with Felix R. Ehrat, Novartis Group General Counsel, to find out more about the practicalities of open collaboration.

 

 

JOINING FORCES: DON TAPSCOTT AND THE CASE FOR COLLABORATION

Winter 2015

Catherine Wycherley, Editor and features writer

image of cogsBusinesses must think collaboratively to achieve success in today’s – and tomorrow’s – networked world, says management guru Don Tapscott. We examine how his theories might apply to GCs.

 

 

THE INSIDE COUNSEL REDFINED

Winter 2015

Catherine McGregor, Editor-in-chief

image of man looking at the galaxyGC speaks to two icons of THE US in-house legal community, Ben Heineman, former general counsel of GE, and Tom Sager, former general counsel of DuPont, about how the role of the general counsel has progressed and how it might continue to evolve...

 

 

CUTTING OUT CORRUPTION

Autumn 2015

Catherine Wycherley, Editor and features writer

image of shadow handFailure to take bribery and corruption seriously can be a costly mistake. GC looks at methods employed by legal and compliance teams to keep enforcement regimes at bay.

 

 

GC READS… COVERING – THE HIDDEN ASSAULT ON OUR HUMAN RIGHTS

Autumn 2015

Catherine Wycherley, Editor and features writer

image of people sat on bench in a forestDespite being released in 2006, Covering has never been more relevant to the diversity issues facing modern businesses. GC takes a look.

 

 

WHAT DID YOU DO WHEN YOU WEREN'T AT THE OFFICE TODAY?

Autumn 2015

Paul Hughes, Cranford School of Management

image of group sat around a table with laptop and booksHow to get the most out of roundtables, conferences and other knowledge transfer events.

 

 

THE SUM OF ITS PARTS - CHARLES HANDY AND THE HUMAN FACTOR

Autumn 2015

Catherine McGregor, Editor-in-Chief

image of workers up cranesCompanies should be communities of workers and more than mere commodities or machines focused on the pursuit of profit, says Irish management theorist Charles Handy.

 

 

Keep calm and call counsel

Autumn 2015

Catherine Wycherley, Editor and features writer

image of two cars parked outside a garage The worst is happening – now what? GC looks at the role of the general counsel in a business crisis.

 

 

FROM CLIENT TO COLLEAGUE: WHY LAWYERS SHOULD BECOME MORE LIKE CODERS

Summer 2015

Catherine McGregor, Editor-in-Chief

image of office workers and computersJulio Avalos, GC at open source software platform and hosting service GitHub, is a lawyer who has truly embraced the culture of his company. Now he is using this knowledge to question the way legal functions, with interesting results for his relationship with the business.

As with a number of start-ups, there’s an anarchistic bent to GitHub – flirting as it does between open-source hosting, building a community among software engineers and generating profits. This nonconformity is given a playful outlet in its office reception which is a recreation of the Oval Office. Otherwise, the company’s spacious headquarters in San Francisco ticks a lot of the boxes for a Hollywood (California’s other iconic industry) imagining of a tech start-up.

 

 

WELCOME TO LAWYERLAND

Summer 2015

Paul Teta, Vice President and General Counsel, Kolmar Americas

photo of girl on fairground rideWhat’s the view like from Lawyerland? Paul Teta, vice president and general counsel of international trading and marketing company Kolmar Americas, probes the unique lawyer mindset.

Recently, one of my colleagues who works in Kolmar’s treasury department asked me whether I liked being a lawyer. I found it curious that the question did not contemplate working in a legal capacity or doing legal work, but instead, being ‘a lawyer’ as if it is a thing.

 

 

WHAT I WANT FROM MY GENERAL COUNSEL – A CEO’S PERSPECTIVE

Summer 2015

Catherine McGregor, Editor-in-Chief

photo of bt towerGC speaks to Luis Alvarez, CEO of BT Global Services, about his thoughts on the legal department, his own role and how lawyers can get inside his head.

Luis Alvarez is CEO of BT Global Services, one of the global market leaders in managed network IT services for businesses. Luis joined BT in April 1999 as multimedia and internet director, then as country manager for BT’s Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American operations. He became head of BT’s operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Latin America, and was in charge of BT’s Global Telecom Markets (GTM) unit, managing business with carriers and operators outside the UK. He was made CEO of BT Global Services in 2012.

 

 

DEAL BREAKER TO DEAL MAKER

Spring 2015

Catherine Rodgers, Editor and features writer

photo of person's fist smashing a brickWilliam Weisel, former GC of four publicly-traded, multinational high-tech companies in Israel (scitex corporation, adc teledata, gilat satellite networks and lumenis), unpicks the stereotype of “lawyers as deal breakers”, explaining how corporate counsel can re-brand as deal makers.

Lawyers are commonly viewed as deal breakers who protect their clients right out of deals. General counsel would be wise not to dismiss this notion – justified or not – and we can to respond to it on multiple levels.

 

 

THE MAN WHO INVENTED MANAGEMENT: WHAT PETER DRUCKER MEANS TO GCs

Spring 2015

Catherine McGregor, Editor in Chief

photo of hands stackedPeter Drucker pioneered the study of management as a discipline. The very fact that we are discussing adding strategic value and getting closer to business colleagues is a direct result of his work. Catherine McGregor explores his relevance to GCs and legal departments.

Businessweek gave Peter Drucker the moniker “the man who invented management”. He has long been considered one of the most influential management thinkers, and each year his namesake the Drucker Institute hosts a conference in Vienna that continues to attract the cream of business thinkers and leading CEOs.

 

 

THE 5-MINUTE FINANCIAL ANALYST: FINANCIAL MARKETS

Spring 2015

Catherine McGregor, Editor in Chief

photo of data numbers

We continue our corporate counsel-friendly look at finance for finance-phobes, this time exploring how your company is financed – and the role that stocks, shares and corporate debt can play.

Debt and equity are the two options a company has when choosing how to finance itself. In debt financing, the business borrows money in some form without giving the lender any ownership rights in the company. The company issues bonds which can be bought and sold in the same way as shares. Unlike a share, which is equity in the business, a bond is essentially a loan with a fixed rate of interest.

 

 

WHERE ARE ALL THE LAWYER-CEOS?

Winter 2014/15

Edward Smith, Telefonica

photo of Edward Smith

GCs are quick to trumpet their intimate understanding of business needs. But in the UK there are surprisingly few who become business leaders.

How is your maths? According to 2013 research by recruitment firm Robert Half (quoted in Management Today), 52% of FTSE 100 CEOs have a finance background, 21% have an engineering background, 9% are from retail or hospitality, 8% are from marketing or advertising and 4% are from technology. If you are the stereotypical in-house lawyer, it’s likely you are scratching your head to establish the remainder. To put you out of your misery, this leaves 6%. Perhaps there are lawyers in that 6%? However, the typical FTSE 100 CEO is a 53-year-old accountant. You probably know him (yes, as a rule they are male). If you are anything like me, working directly for him as his general counsel probably represented the pinnacle of your ambition.

 

 

THE 5-MINUTE FINANCIAL ANALYSIS: HOW MUCH IS YOUR COMPANY WORTH?

Winter 2014/15

Catherine McGregor, Editor in Chief

photo of stock market figures

If you’re anything like the picture of a lawyer painted by our contributor Edward Smith of TELEFÓNICA UK (see Where are all the lawyer-CEOs?), you might be thinking about flicking past this section out of fear of being outed as a finance-phobe. We know that’s a stereotype… but lots of our in-house lawyer friends have confided that, for many, finance is an Achilles heel.

Fear no longer! In a regular feature, GC will be taking you through the salient features of finance in its various forms – so you can impress the CFO (or at least nod your head in the correct places).

So how much is your company worth?

 

 

HOW TO BE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF YOUR OWN CAREER

Winter 2014/15

Karen Dillon, Former Editor of Harvard Business Review

image of man's shadow

It’s been a tough road to the top, but you’ve made it. What happens if the view isn’t good enough? Former editor of Harvard Business Review Karen Dillon considers how those who have achieved the role of GC can keep the journey going.

For decades, Alex had aspired to the role of general counsel. He spent the majority of his career in the legal department of a Fortune 100 company, working hard to distinguish himself not only with legal acumen, but with management and leadership skills as well. But when he finally got the nod to assume the top legal position, there was, he confesses now, a bit of a letdown. After chasing that job and that title for nearly three decades – and finally getting it - Alex found himself wrestling with an unsettling sense of disappointment.

 

 

THE WORLD’S GREATEST MANAGEMENT THINKER: CLAYTON CHRISTENSEN

Winter 2014/15

Catherine McGregor, Editor in Chief

image of Clayton M Christensen

Inspired by our specially commissioned piece by Karen Dillon, co-author with Christensen of How Will You Measure Your Life, we present a quick guide to this seminal business theorist.

Being ranked as the foremost management thinker in the world is not a title that appears to daunt Clayton M. Christensen. At the age of 62, the Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School is widely acknowledged as one of the world’s leading lights in innovation. In both 2011 and 2013 he achieved the top billing on the Thinkers50 chart which compiles the global ranking of management thinkers.

 

 

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