- Corporate Legal should be aligned with the company’s strategy, and its success or failure in supporting that strategy should be judged by two outcomes:
- Legal’s financial sustainability: By disciplined, continuous cuts in unproductive costs, free up dollars for reallocation to spiraling new demands.
- Prevention of legal problems: Guided by Legal but executed across the business, proactively head off liability, regulatory jeopardy, and reputational harm from avoidable catastrophes (e.g., Boeing’s 737 Max, GM’s ignition switch).
- Accountability for financial sustainability and prevention of legal problems requires a proven manager to run Legal. Not general counsels or others whose experience is limited to practicing law.
- Currently, Legal is isolated from company strategy as a siloed function, whose efforts and resources are deployed in reactions to events. And those reactions are dictated by the legal profession’s blind spots and idiosyncrasies, not guided by meaningful alignment with company strategy.