Module 4 Briefing Sheet / Class of 2020


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Prior to this module, you developed your personal vision and worked on your team purpose. Now it’s time to take it one step further and begin thinking about vision for your Legal Department. Whether you are in a group of one or 400, you have an opportunity to effect change, perhaps greater than you realize. Vision is generated through conversation, prior to action. Before you can begin to alter the conversations and ultimately the results, you need to have a point of view. Where are you going? What outcomes do YOU believe this Legal Department is capable of creating? In this module, you will have an opportunity link your personal vision with an Organizational/Departmental vision of your own creation.

The second half of this module will focus on a meaningful change you would like to see take place or perhaps are currently in the middle of navigating. In the reading below, you will find valuable information regarding the two dilemmas that leaders face in times of complexity and how to manage them (“Leadership: Uncommon Sense”), the impact of navigating change in the “Survive” and “Thrive” mindsets (“Survive + Thrive”), and how our own personal immunity to change can impact our ability to achieve results (“The Real Reason People Won’t Change”).



  • View Simon Sinek’s TEDx Talks video. Draw your own Golden Circles to reaffirm your own personal “why” and begin to consider the “why” of your department.
  • Read the Kotter, Senge, Fritz, Mills-Scofield and Lahey/Keagan articles.
  • Recall your personal brand and personal vision work from Module 1. Refer to any specific notes or outcomes you have for yourself.
  • Obtain and bring a copy of your Legal Department Vision Statement and Organization/Business Vision Statement (if they exist).
  • Identify a meaningful change that you are either in the process of making or would like to make to help your Legal Department be more effective, or raise its profile in the broader organization, or implement a new policy/procedure, or something else. What is the intention of the change? Who will the change benefit? How will you know that it was successful?


  • What is your own personal “Why” statement? i.e., Why do you do what you do in your in-house counsel role? How does this motivate or inspire you on a daily basis?
  • What is your Legal Department’s spoken/unspoken “why do we exist?” How is this reflected in the Department Mission? Vision? Strategy?
  • How might creative tension (Peter Senge) be keeping you from moving closer to your personal vision? How might you navigate this tension to stay on track?
  • What has been your experience leading a change initiative and what did you learn from that experience (highlights and lowlights)?
  • How would you describe your Legal Department’s culture regarding change?
  • What implications does your mindset (survive vs. thrive or problem-reacting vs. outcome-creating) have on your leadership effectiveness?
  • What are the outcomes and outputs you strive to generate in your role? (Deborah Mills-Scofield)
  • What are some of the “competing commitments” and “big assumptions” that effect your willingness/resistance to change? (Lahey & Keagan)

COHORT MEETING (Meet to discuss the following BEFORE Classroom Session)

  • Check in and share any additional learning from the previous session.
  • If you have them available, share the Vision Statements for your Legal Department and Organization/Business. How do they inspire you?
  • Share your personal vision with your cohort. When you share it, what feels easy and what feels difficult to express. Describe the creative tension.
  • Share your responses to any of the personal reflections above.


Part 1) Creating Department Vision and Inspiring Stakeholders

  • Understand the importance of having a vision for my department
  • Learn creative thinking skills to help you articulate a Department vision that describes desired outcomes
  • Understand the dynamics and impact of “creative tension,” and share best practices to inspire stakeholders as you lead in that tension

Part 2) Leading and Managing Change

  • Learn a model for planning and leading change
  • Identify key steps in planning for change (identifying the change, breaking it down, identifying stakeholders, and reducing resistance
  • Share best practices for managing and leading change

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