In-House Legal Tip: Understand what your Business Values

In-House Performance Tip

1 min • 06 Mar 23


Many in-house legal team leaders report that their contributions are not always valued by the Business. In return, we ask, “When was the last time you tested whether your legal function was dialled in to visibly support what the business values?” 

By asking and answering this question at least 4 times per year, ideally in conjunction with your internal client(s), the legal team will be able to continually course-correct to focus on that which the business values most i.e. the realisation of its corporate and strategic goals. 

Now, to all those legal absolutists out there who would say that this principle cannot be applied in practice to everything that a legal team does – that is hardly the point. Yes, no one cares that you have kept the corporate secretarial resolutions up to date … even where a failure to do so is an offence under the relevant companies’ legislation. 

Yes - the “important, dull and unseen” work of an in-house legal team will always be there and never valued. However, the key point is to ensure that enough of what you do, and which can be seen by the Business, is increasingly valued. And, this means regularly testing your legal team's alignment to the business's priorities. 

So, if you want to drive greater in-house value recognition – do what the business values, be seen doing it, report that you are doing it … and just get on with the important grind that must be done and which will go unnoticed (unless you mess it up). 

And, be sure to explore these themes: 

· Are you engaging in effective risk management in a business-enabling way? 
· Are you delivering proactive responsiveness to the internal client? 
· Are you engaging in regular face time to understand what the internal client needs and values? 
· Are you confidently pointing out how and when your team adds value to the Business – without showboating?
· How can your team bring a competitive edge to your business in the markets that you operate in? 
· Are you easy to deal with? 

For more of these kinds of performance insights – please join the GLS Legal Operations Community to access a world of in-house legal team performance resources and community events. Join for free right here.

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