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.

IP strategy for competitive advantage

When intellectual property (IP) is largely a matter of searches, filings, negotiations, and enforcement actions, its world begins and ends in the legal department. Add strategy to the mix, and suddenly the world expands across the organization and beyond. Managing IP in line with enterprise strategy—and in collaboration with other functions and the business units—is a multidimensional endeavor. It’s also an opportunity for CLOs to flex their business muscles and bring real impact to the success of the organization.

This article takes a closer look at five self-reinforcing choices of an effective IP strategy.

Offense, defense, and teamwork make cybersecurity stronger

The growing frequency and severity of cyberattacks has pushed cybersecurity higher on the agenda of the board and C-suite executives, including the CLO. An effective cyber strategy needn’t take the legal team into highly specialized IT territory, but it does require a basic familiarity with the issues and what they mean from a risk and compliance perspective.

This article explores how the CLO can create a multidimensional approach and leverage key relationships to develop a proactive and effective cybersecurity strategy.

Opportunity at the intersection of ethics and technology

As technology brings enhanced capabilities to organizations, C-suite executives, including CLOs, are facing questions about ethical use. You don’t need to be a tech wizard to manage the associated legal risks, but CLOs need to understand the importance of ethics in technology and help craft a consistent approach to ethical decision-making that applies to all technology used in the organization.

This article explores how the CLO can lead in developing an effective ethical technology strategy.

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