Alternative Takeaways with Anita Drew, Group Legal – Head of Digital, IT and Commercial at Prudential
Here are three takeaways from Anita Drew, Group Legal – Head of Digital, IT and Commercial at Prudential talking about communicating with internal clients in the post-Covid digital environment.
Technology is king
One area that has been discussed at great length across all our Hangouts is technology and the impact that is has had during lockdown. Anita discussed this at great length and explained what systems this could mean for your legal function.
“As has become so clear during lockdown, unless you have the right technology you really can’t do your job to the best of your ability. You must have a fit-for-purpose IT infrastructure and then the right applications on top of that to continue operating via the cloud. For the legal function, that might mean your e-billing system, your contract management system, or your e-signature system. If you were relying on paper-based signing, for example, then switching to an e-signature platform has been essential to keep going, to getting your contracts and your forms signed in a timely manner.”
Lockdown has highlighted the need for the right technology to ensure that legal teams can work from remote environments in the most efficient way.
Focus on relationships
As we adjust to the ‘new normal’ Anita highlighted that lawyers need to make sure that they continue to provide the client with all the information they need. Communication is as critical as it’s ever been, if not more so.
“Lawyers are generally good at dealing with crises. It’s in our DNA. And that’s been crucial to keeping our clients clearly informed about what the risks are, what they need to do.”
Anita explained that there are many ways we can embrace communicating during this new era of remote working.
“Maintaining our usual relationship management slots has also been very important. So whether through a formal catch-up, instant messaging, video calls, or something else. Mix and match the informal and the formal. Reach out to people. They may feel a bit constrained in this environment to reach out to you, so you have to do some of the work for them.”
Keep the communication channels open
After Anita covered the importance of client communication she discussed how keeping your internal team fully briefed and in the loop is just as important.
“It’s important to try and keep the sense of the cohort. Previously you had your office to give people that physical and emotional sense of belonging to a bigger team. Obviously, that’s not been possible for the past few months. We organised some meetings at the townhall to bring people together and recreate that environment. It’s also been important to share information, update people about what’s happening, what are our reactions to the markets. We’ve done a big transaction while lockdown has been in place, and we’ve been able to maintain that sense of being one organisation through those important communication channels.”
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