“It’s a community, it’s a movement.”

These were among the closing words from Mary O’Carroll, the Head of Legal Operations at Google and CLOC board member, as the first CLOC EMEA Institute wrapped up last week. And for those of us in attendance, you could certainly feel the energy. It was not unlike what we saw at the CLOC Institute in Las Vegas in April.

“There’s so much passion here!” was a phrase you’d hear a lot throughout the day, and it was not misspoken. CLOC is a young organization, but in the last two years, the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium has grown tremendously and is creating a tidal wave of enthusiasm and change throughout not only legal ops, but the legal industry itself. Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll delve deeper into a couple of the sessions that I attended at the conference, but for now, I wanted to leave you with a couple of important things. 

The first is a question for companies and firms that are considering hiring someone in ops, or why they should be supporting their ops person, and that is:

Do you think your legal department is supporting the business in the optimal way?”

If you can say yes, then great. But legal ops professionals by and large are paying for their roles in the first month, because they have the skills to step in and run the department like a business.

Secondly, I’d like to share the takeaways from each of the panelists that participated in the closing “fireside chat” – while their comments were technically directed at legal operations professionals, their advice is something that we can all take to heart and implement in our own corner of the world.

  • Find the pain points, get quick wins, and earn respect – Christine Coats, Oracle
  • When you make a[n] [ops] change, avoid touching revenue for as long as possible. – Steve Harmon, Cisco
  • Hire people, or surround yourself with people, who are smarter than you. – Mary O’Carroll, Google
  • Network, network, network. – Brian Hupp, Facebook
  • Ask for help, and say thank you. – Connie Brenton, NetApp

I look forward to seeing how CLOC continues to grow and develop, and if you get the chance to be a part of this movement, jump on board!