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LawNet Annual Conference 2017 - Facing the New Normal: Uncertainty

LawNet Annual Conference 2017 - Facing the New Normal: Uncertainty

Let us take you to the Oxfordshire countryside where this year‘s LawNet Annual Conference was held on November, 10th 2017. We talked to Helen Hamilton-Shaw, Member Engagement & Strategy Director at LawNet. Read our review with highlights, critical questions, and feedback from attendees.

Today, with so many surprises in politics, both at home and globally, with changing attitudes and expectations in the workplace and among the client base, it can sometimes feel as if the only guarantee is that we can’t predict what might happen in the future. Ambiguity and uncertainty abound, and that can make us all a little uncomfortable. Often the only thing we know for certain is that change is inevitable.

This year’s LawNet conference, called ‘Fresh Thinking: Developing a Mindset for Success’, encouraged delegates to challenge existing norms in order to future-proof their firms. More than 240 people attended including over 180 leaders from LawNet member firms, a number of delegates from across the Eurojuris network as well as selected partners and friends of the LawNet community.

The Conference took place at the Heythrop Park Resort, which dates back to 1710. At this timeless English country estate, which is set in 440 acres of stunning Oxfordshire countryside, participants explored issues of leadership, shifting client expectations, strategy development and emotional literacy to help firms develop real resilience in their businesses. After all, new ways of thinking can invigorate organisations, break down resistance to change and allow new ideas to flourish.

The agenda included four key sessions, each tackling a different topic:

The first keynote was delivered by Keith Coats, a futurist and leadership expert who has worked with businesses around the world in many sectors. Keith’s excellent presentation on developing a future-focused ‘thinking toolkit’ encouraged delegates to look at opportunities and challenges in a different way.

Next on the agenda was a panel session discussing changing client expectations and what law firms must do to match up to ever-higher standards in a world where our buying experience is characterised by our interactions with outfits like Amazon. All agreed that the client experience will become even more important in the future and that being client-centric is more than just a buzzword.

The third session was delivered by Dr. Brian Marien, who has worked with leading organisations such as Google, Grant Thornton and Clifford Chance on psychological well-being and personal and team performance. Brian delivered a fantastic presentation that was the highlight of the day for many delegates as he shared his thoughts on emotional literacy and the power of effective interpersonal communication.

Then to close, Professor Veronica Hope-Hailey, an expert on employee engagement, shared the learning arising from her research on trust and leadership. In a thought-provoking session, she illustrated why it’s so important to cultivate trust at multiple levels in organisations, explored the key drivers of trustworthiness in leaders and looked at a framework of trustworthy leadership that everyone could take back to their own firms.

Beyond doubt, LawNet delivered a challenging and inspiring day. ‘We were delighted with how the day went and the positive feedback we received from attendees,’ Helen Hamilton-Shaw says.

Interestingly, delegates were asked what their key take away from the event was and if they could provide feedback. Here are some of their answers:

‘The need to be more curious and keep asking ourselves questions and don't rule out the ridiculous ideas.’

‘Improving emotional literacy to help colleagues understand how mood impacts on cognition and relationships.’

‘Fantastic, inspirational speakers that get the thinking juices going and give us a much-needed shake out of our comfort zones. As always, an inspiring conference as valuable for the amazing speakers as for the networking with friends and colleagues.’



Conference Highlights Video:

Short Video with Delegates Summing Up the Conference:

LawNet Limited:




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