Module 4 Briefing Sheet / Class of 2021


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Some of the pre-work is intended to provide foundational information. While some items of pre-work may not be discussed during the Academy session, it provides a necessary introduction to the material that will allow our faculty to maximize facilitation time when we are together for each seminar.

Prior to this module, you developed your personal vision and started thinking about your team’s 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 to link your personal vision with an Organizational/Departmental vision of your own creation.

The second half of this module will normalize the challenges so many experience in the face of change and provide you with the opportunity to focus on a meaningful change you would like to see take place or perhaps are currently in the middle of navigating, Covid-related or otherwise.

In the pre-work readings and video below, you will find valuable information regarding:

  • The tension you might face when holding both the future you envision and the reality in which you currently operate in your mind at the same time (“Holding Creative Tension”)
  • The distinction between outcomes and outputs as you consider your vision (“It’s Not Just Semantics: Managing Outcomes vs. Outputs”)
  • The impact of navigating change in the “Survive” and “Thrive” mindsets (“Survive + Thrive”)
  • How our own personal immunity to change can impact our ability to achieve results (“The Real Reason People Won’t Change”).



  • View the recording of Dana Galin's Q&A about the value of having a department vision.
  • View the Simon Sinek TEDxPugetSound video and draw the Golden Circles to reflect your understanding of your Legal department’s “Why?”
  • Interview one to three stakeholders who are impacted by the work your legal department does. Have a short conversation with them using the following questions:
    • What business outcomes would you like to see our legal department help create?
    • How does our legal department contribute to your team/organization’s success currently, and how might we contribute in new and different ways?
    • How can our legal team be invited to the table earlier in your planning processes and as a result what might change?
  • Read the Kotter, Senge, Mills-Scofield and Lahey/Keagan articles.
  • Recall your personal brand and personal vision work from Module 1 and your work with Dana. 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 Legal Department’s spoken/unspoken “why do we exist"? How is this reflected in the Department Mission? Vision? Strategy? How does this inspire or motivate you?
  • Where do you notice creative tension that may be keeping your Legal Department from moving closer to its 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?
  • How has navigating the way we work (during Covid-19) informed your skills for leading or managing change?
  • What implications does your mindset (survive vs. thrive or problem-reacting vs. outcome-creating) have on your leadership effectiveness and how you navigate change?
  • What are the outcomes and outputs you strive to generate in your role?
  • How would you describe your own willingness/ resistance to change?

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 does your personal vision align to the Mission, Vision and Strategy of your Legal Department?
  • 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 and the role you might play in its development
    • Explore elements of an aspirational future for your Legal Department that you (and others) can turn into an inspiring department vision

Part 2) Leading and Managing Change

    • Learn a model for planning and leading change
    • Understand the dynamics and impact of “creative tension,” and share best practices to inspire stakeholders as you lead in that tension
    • Learn how people personally navigate change and what might get in their way

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