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Perspectives

Business Chemistry for Chief Legal Officers

How science improves legal work relationships

The role of in-house lawyers continues to evolve, requiring them to work with a variety of teams that don't just include other lawyers. How can our Business Chemistry® framework be applied to help chief legal officers (CLOs) and in-house lawyers work seamlessly across diverse teams?

Effectively managing people, relationships, and teams

The ability to build rapport, work seamlessly with a diverse group of others, and cultivate a strong team culture can be imperative to the successful role of a chief legal officer. Whether you're seasoned in-house counsel, new to in-house practice, in a department that's large or small, a focused effort on understanding unique working styles and developing personal relationships can go a long way.

To help leaders better tackle the challenge of effectively managing people, relationships, and teams, Deloitte has created a framework called Business Chemistry®. Business Chemistry focuses on working styles—more specifically on observable behaviors likely to be seen or demonstrated in the workplace. With a focus on research, analytics, and data, Business Chemistry can help professionals not only better understand their own working style but also easily identify other types in the workplace.

Business Chemistry uses an online assessment to match individuals to one—sometimes two—of four types:

  • Drivers: Value change and generate momentum
  • Guardians: Value stability and bring order and rigor
  • Integrators: Value connection and draw teams together
  • Pioneers: Value possibilities and spark creativity

Each type has distinct likes and dislikes that can be managed and navigated in a work context. It's not a personality test or a skills assessment but rather a simple-to-understand and easy-to-apply framework for helping develop better interpersonal work-oriented relationships and building stronger, highly functional diverse teams.

Three tips for CLOs: How to leverage Business Chemistry

  • Know yourself. In business, each of the four Business Chemistry types is roughly equally represented. Review the four types and their defining characteristics and decide which you might be. It's OK if more than one type feels right; most people have some characteristics of all four but identify more deeply with only one or two.
  • Know your colleagues. While the four types are evenly distributed in the workplace generally, when we isolated Business Chemistry results for in-house lawyers, we discovered an interesting trend. Integrators and Guardians are the most prevalent type, each comprising roughly one-third, while the remaining third is almost evenly split among Drivers and Pioneers.
  • Consider the environment. Understanding your type and the types of others in your department can help you to better execute on the team's vision and strategy, manage change, navigate negotiations, and deliver value. It may help you to be more effective at coaching others on setting goals and identifying areas of improvement. As a leader, you can use Business Chemistry to think about the overall work environment, potentially leading to higher levels of employee engagement and work satisfaction.

The Business Chemistry framework has been purposefully designed to be easy to remember and easy to apply in the workplace. With a little time invested in learning the four types and observing the behaviors and preferences of your colleagues, you could be able to easily identify the types and leverage the strengths of each, both at the individual and team level. Doing so may allow you to interact more effectively with colleagues within the legal department and externally, design impactful teams, build strong and effective relationships and manage the working environment to improve more and drive productivity. To read the full article, download the Business Chemistry for Chief Legal Officers PDF.

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For more information about Deloitte's Business Chemistry assessment, or to schedule a Business Chemistry lab for your team, contact USChiefLegalOfficerProgram@deloitte.com.
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