Nick Cranfield is the Global Director of Legal Operations at Dyson.
Since joining Dyson in June 2017 he’s been responsible for building out a global Compliance and Ethics function. Amongst other things, this involved the development and launch of a new Code of Conduct.
Nick was also responsible for preparing Dyson for GDPR and took management responsibility for the privacy team.
In November 2019 he moved into a new role of Global Director Legal Operations to support Dyson’s Chief Legal Officer in managing the Dyson legal department and leading a transformation programme across Dyson’s legal teams.
Globally Dyson has about a hundred legal IP and compliance professionals working across its legal teams in 12 jurisdictions, servicing their internal clients in around 36 different jurisdictions.
Nick’s first challenge was setting about trying to improve the experience for the people working within Dyson’s legal function.
As an in-house function, unlike an external law firm, the services they provide to the business are free at the point of delivery, a bit like the NHS.
Effectively demand is completely unconstrained. That creates a lot of pressure for the people that work in legal. So Nick wanted to try and improve that experience.
His second key objective was to make sure his teams continued to deliver excellent legal services to the business.
One of the things Nick learned along the way was to align his legal operations strategy with the wider IT strategy. Using Microsoft 365 became a really fundamental part of that. By building within that native platform, it meant his development was already supported, and they were seen as ‘good corporate citizens’ because they were utilising the IT tools which the enterprise was asking them to use.
His advice to other in-house legal operations directors is to have the courage to start.
- Make the changes that you want.
- Start to do something you need.
- Every journey starts with that single step and don’t be afraid to take it.
“We’re not constructing a nuclear reactor. So if the portal goes wrong, if someone ends up at the wrong place or they don’t quite get the guidance they wanted, as long as you provide feedback loops that are working. As long as you’ve got a non-defensive approach to feedback and you can fix things quickly.”
Nick says that’s the big advantage of using Microsoft 365. It’s not difficult. It’s not technically complicated. So you can fail fast and move on.
Tune in to hear more of what Nick had to say.