SCCA Fireside Chat with Nanyang Business School

May,15 2017

SCCA Fireside Chat #2 on a programme overview of BUSINESS LEADERSHIP PROGRAMME FOR CORPORATE COUNSEL held on 11 May 2017 evening at SCCA @ Riverside Point 

At this second Fireside Chat co-hosted by NTU and SCCA, NTU’s Nanyang Business School Business Programme Director Paul Li emphasized how this programme was customized to meet professional challenges mid-level to senior in-house counsel are likely to face.  Paul also outlined the Leadership programme’s 5 Guiding Principles: Application-focussed, Learning from and with others, Executive Challenge, Mentoring and Creating a Learning Community.  The aim is for the experiential learning to instil insights to participants to transform them into more effective leaders. 

NTU’s Nanyang Business School Professor Tan Joo Seng, the lead trainer for Module 3 (“Leading Teams and Driving Change”), took participants through the practical applications of cross-functional leadership skills (including Technical and People skills) to bring value, and manage risk and accountability. Participants will be taught how to be effective in managing different challenges using a portfolio of specialised tools, eg. Scoping, Structuring and Sorting Tasks. Prof Tan also explained how each participant will learn to identify her team behaviour and performance (eg. Implementer, Shaper, Finisher) using the Belbin team roles assessment exercise.   Finally, Prof Tan touched on Change Management, referring to John Kotter’s “8 Step Change Process Model” and how that is expected to benefit the corporate counsel against a backdrop of organisational changes, regardless whether the corporate counsel is implementing top-down changes or managing in the midst of constant changes.

 

Questions and suggestions included: 

  • In-house counsel perform different team roles at different times, based on the specific situation.  Does this programme teach how to be an effective team member, follower? 
  • Could the programme design include helping an in-house counsel transition from a passive role to an active role?  Is there a methodology to transform that role to make a success of managing change and being an active and effective team leader? 
  • A senior in-house counsel may be good at “managing downwards” but not good at “managing upwards”.  How does she cope when there is a change of top management or business direction? 
  • What is the strength of a team?  This programme needs to teach how to identify gaps in certain roles to create a balanced team and how the team members can compensate for gaps to achieve the desired results. 
  • How to identify company change drivers?  Emotion – why do people resist change and how to lower the barriers to change? 
  • What context and approach should I consider when I exercise my role as a team leader vis-à-vis my reports in my legal department, contrasted with my role as a team member vis-à-vis the Board? 
  • Could this programme weave organizational and cultural learnings to enhance the advantage for the in-house counsel as an influencer? 
  • Driving and managing change is a delicate process.  An in-house counsel supports the various business functions as part of the business team.  She acquires different perspectives in working with team members and this will assist her to a better understanding of how change is implemented. 
  • The corporate legal department is a recipient of change; we have no choice!  What can this programme teach me to better manage the fallout from change?  When there is change – I can challenge, complain but in the end I still have to comply!  What can I learn from this programme that will help me? 

In his responses, Prof Tan commented that a team role is shaped by the team requirements and a team process, which differs from a functional role.  This programme teaches team awareness, creation of a team action plan, how to switch team roles and play your roles more effectively.  Change management process is extremely important as it has universal application.  There is usually a gap between change objectives and results.  There are coping strategies for organizational change. 

At the end of this very fruitful and interactive session, SCCA President Emeritus Angeline Lee thanked all attendees on behalf of the SCCA for raising their questions, sharing their suggestions and closed the discussion with an invitation to network and to continue sharing ideas. 

Please join us for the final Fireside Chat session on this Leadership programme on 15 May 2017 @ 6pm.  Due to overwhelming response, SCCA is catering dinner and the venue has been changed to larger premises at: 

Location:       Co. High Street, 75 High Street, Singapore 179435

                          Level 3 Event Hall

Time:             6:00pm – 9:00pm