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Perspectives

The CLO strategist

A new kind of legal officer for the modern business

With the right approach to strategy, general counsel and other legal executives can positively influence innovation and growth. This series discusses the importance of a strong strategy and explores three areas where good strategy may be important to a strong legal function: intellectual property, cybersecurity, and ethical technology.

The basics of a strong strategy

The CLO isn’t just a lawyer anymore. Increasingly, CEOs are looking to their legal officers for advice about innovation, value drivers, and growth. As the responsibilities of the CLO expand and the demands of their role evolve, strategic planning becomes more critically important to the CLO’s engagement with the executive leadership team and the successful leadership of the legal function. Creating an effective strategy in either capacity (as a member of the executive leadership team or as the leader of the corporate legal function) requires intentional decision-making in five areas:

  • Vision
  • Focus
  • Value
  • Capabilities
  • Leadership

This article explores how CLOs can follow a five-step process for strategic design, some common strategic planning pitfalls, and tips for implementation.

The CLO strategist: A new kind of legal officer for modern business

Making an impact on business outcomes

In subsequent installments of the CLO strategy series, we’ll put this model into action and explore what CLOs can do to develop effective strategies in the areas of intellectual property, cybersecurity, and ethical technology:

  • Intellectual property
  • Cyber security
  • Ethical technology

Whether the CLO develops strategy in one or more of these areas or focuses on another area of importance, developing a strong corporate legal strategy can have long-term benefits.

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