Our Corporate Big Thinkers Dinner in Los Angeles on Tuesday was a smash Walt Disney, Fox Entertainment,  Qualcomm, The California Department of Justice, CSC, and CB Richard Ellis.

While our exchange of ideas was far reaching and diverse, here are the top takeaways:

  1. eDiscovery  professionals continue to be promoted up into information governance roles which leverage their technical, management and leadership experience. These professionals are especially valued for their  proven ability to connect and work with numerous internal stakeholders and move new chaotic projects forward.  AKA – Figure It Out. Jennifer Schwartz and I have been seeing this trend of internal promotions and advancement for 2 plus years and think it is accelerating.  Over 50 corporations and law firms have established such roles and positions recently including: Boeing, Hyatt, Boehringer, Motorola, Bank of America, BlackRock, UBS, NBC Universal, Mastercard, Kirkland & Ellis, Aon, McKesson, Shearman & Sterling, White & Case, CME Group, and Vedder Price.  Bottom line: We expect a dramatic increase in demand for legalist and legal technologists with strong eDiscovery experience and business savvy.

  1. Everyone at dinner was challenged by doing more with the same or less.  But, what if legal leaders could save money and make money at the same time with the same data and tools.  Evolving best practices for eDiscovery executives are moving in that direction. The concept of saving money  and making money with the same tools and data is very compelling. Especially for  corporate counsel. What a great way to advocate for new technology budgets and headcount. A game changer and career accelerator for those that figure this out and pull it off. And of course that goes double for outside counsel – that can build such a practice. David Stanton of Pillsbury is calling it the rise of  “Business Analytics”

We finished our round-table dinner with a new question:

“What are you reading that’s influencing you right now?”

Here are the top 5 books from that list:

Liz Atlee- Assistant General Counsel, Global Litigation- CB Richard Ellis,  The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives by Leonard Mlodinow.

Laurie Carpenter- Director, Records & Information Management, Walt Disney

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brene Brown

Tammy Brandt- Director, Chief M&A and Alliance Counsel, CSC-

10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story by Dan Harris

David Wallack – NightOwl-recommended Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business by Dan Meyer

Tim Slattery- Business Technology Partner- Walt Disney, The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being In Charge Isn’t What It Used to Be by Moises Naim

as well as:

How Too Many Rules at Work Keep You from Getting Things Done | Yves Morieux | TED Talks

Craig Nesbitt- Executive Director, E-Discovery & Legal Operations- Fox, The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work

David Cowen – Expect to Win: 10 Proven Strategies for Thriving in the Workplace by Carla Harris

Our 2015 Corporate Dinner series will finish up in San Francisco this Thursday with leaders from: Google, Apple, Applied Materials, Gilead, Nissan, Genentech, Nvidia, and Wells Fargo.