One aspect of innovation in law that is often overlooked is the change management piece. Not only do we need to come up with the ideas about how we can do law differently, we also need to manage the implementation of those changes.

After my interview with Sheldon Renkema back in episode 15, Sheldon put me in touch with Katrina Gowans. He told me that Katrina had some Impressive insights into the implementation of a full scale legal function transformation strategy, so of course I invited her to be on the show to tell us all about it.

Katrina is the National Legal Transformation Lead for Origin Energy, an energy company, with diverse operations spanning the energy supply chain from large scale gas exploration all the way through to selling electricity, gas and solar to Australian homes.

Katrina describes her role as helping the Origin Legal team manage change. In this episode, Katrina talks to us about:

  • how she approached change management around the implementation of a new matter management and document management system across a team of 40 people;
  • document management and committing to a knowledge-based way of working; and
  • her transition from practising lawyer to legal operations professional, including how she upskilled and what she’d do differently with the benefit of hindsight.

Here’s the highlights:

2:04 Skip intro

3:45 We’d invested in the technology and saw the value in investing in a person to manage the change of that technology

4:03 You can throw as much money as you like at technology, but you should be thinking about how you’re managing the change through your team

5:07 My role was to talk to the team and explain that the technology was just the platform to change the way we work

6:55 Key challenges with implementation of new systems – pitching the training at the right level, getting the bandwidth among a busy team

8:47 Making transformation part of a team’s KPIs

11:11 Document management and committing to a knowledge-based way of working

15:15 Experimenting with technology

17:35 Upskilling – the career change from lawyer to legal operations professional

22:24 Who is the right person for a legal operations role?

26:06 The importance of having a team vision


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