SCCA President Emeritus, Angeline Lee, welcomed the invited guests consisting of General Counsel and senior inhouse lawyers. Angeline gave a short overview of the Singapore Corporate Counsel Association (SCCA)’s Competency Framework. This framework aims to develop professional knowledge, hard and soft skills to enable the in-house counsel to possess holistic competency to take them to the next level. Angeline invited the attendees for their views and feedback on the content of Competency Framework.
NTU’s Nanyang Business School Professor Victor Yeo then gave an overview of the Business Leadership programme structure:
A lively discussion followed. SCCA President Wong Taur-Jiun emphasized the benefits of this programme: it aims to enable the participant to understand strategy communicated down from the Board, how to appreciate nuances in strategy, how to imbibe the strategy and implement it in a meaningful way.
Angeline Lee said SCCA and NTU Business School collaborated on this programme to bring non-legal aspects of business strategy to develop skill sets for lawyers in business who are mid-level legal counsel with “high potential”, meaning that the corporate counsel has demonstrated the ability to achieve a higher level capability and has been identified as part of a succession plan.
NTU Professor of Strategy and Marketing, Wee Chow Hou, shared that in essence, “Strategy is about trade-offs: decide what to take up and what to let go.” Prof Wee feels that to be effective, in-house counsels need to understand Financial Statements, Financial terms (like cash flow and gearing) and Marketing terms to facilitate better business understanding and communication with other departments in the organization.
Suggestions and comments included:
- This course should develop the corporate legal department as a competitive advantage to help the company.
- How a corporate counsel needs to adapt to their environment and work with different departments within their organization to elicit relevant non-legal information, in order to partner them to achieve company goals as a team.
- How to get legal services to fit, in a holistic way, the strategy of the company.
- How to “Do more with less”, using the corporate counsel’s own resources to resolve legal issues, since a General Counsel is frequently “in the trenches” while at the same time having to manage a team.
- Should the programme distinguish between skills for a GC and skills for a Board level position?
- Teach participants a thought process by breaking down the in-house counsel’s role in strategy:
- What is the mission and what is my role in this mission?
- What is my sub-strategy, what is my resource plan and who should I tap in the company?
- What kind of planning is involved?
- How an inhouse lawyer conveys legal advice to senior management is as important as the content of the advice, in order to be heard / heeded by senior management.
Angeline Lee thanked all attendees on behalf of the SCCA for sharing their thoughts and suggestions, and closed the discussion with a call for volunteer Mentors.
Please join us for the next Fireside Chat session on 11 May 2017 @ 6pm at SCCA, 30 Merchant Road #02-01 Riverside Point Singapore 058282.