FACILITATING STAKEHOLDERS TO REACH CONSENSUS
STATE GOVERNMENT SECTOR
Over a period of a decade, report after report had identified that our client could achieve better value from their spend on external legal services through better coordination. Each business unit in the de-centralised organisation had developed its own solution, thus a number of panels were in place across the sector. Individually, the existing solutions were working well, and as no previous initiative to coordinate spend and drive better value for money had enjoyed sufficient stakeholder support to trigger a change, there was no movement in the status quo.
We developed a plan to engage with General Counsel within each of the business units and, on a collaborative basis, developed a framework to evaluate alternative solutions. We undertook benchmarking of peer organisations and captured the lessons learned in transitioning from a series of individual solutions to a single coordinated model.
External legal services relationships are based on a high degree of trust between General Counsel and the providers. Any procurement solution needed to enjoy the full support of General Counsel, thus the approach we adopted was consultative, participative and non-prescriptive. Over two workshops, we built a relationship with General Counsel and won their support for adopting a whole-of-organisation solution. The lesson learnt is that numbers do not always speak for themselves. Winning stakeholder support is not about slide decks; it is about building credibility and gaining influence.
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