Association of Corporate Counsel announces five-year strategic plan

The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC), a global bar association that promotes the common professional and business interests of in-house counsel who work for corporations, associations and other private-sector organizations, recently announced key initiatives of its newly adopted Strategic Plan.

The FY2013-2018 Plan charts the direction for ACC's growth and continued success over the next five years and will serve as the blueprint for achieving ACC's mission and solidifying its vision. Through clearly defined goals, attainable actions and ongoing assessment and accountability, ACC has made a commitment to advancing the strategy each year and clearly communicating objectives to its membership, leadership and staff, as well as to the legal and business communities.

The Strategic Plan, developed to help ACC serve its 29,000 members around the world, provides a basis for growth and new opportunities for the in-house bar. ACC members will benefit from the increased focus on meeting the needs of the association's diverse membership. Specifically, ACC's Strategic Plan revolves around three themes designed to maximize member value: combine and focus resources to streamline the exchange of information; optimize services and experiences to retain and engage members; and position ACC for continued relevance and impact as the voice of the in-house bar.

Specific approaches and activities will be implemented over the next five years for pursuing the strategic themes, which include:

* Providing easy access to relevant, high-quality and timely resources.

* Enhance advocacy leadership on issues that affect the in-house bar.

* Creating opportunities for chapters and committees to share resources and best practices to more efficiently serve members' needs.

* Creating meaningful connections between members that contribute to their professional success.

* Strengthening the position and capabilities of in-house counsel as business professionals.

* Pursuing strategic alliances to deliver services to members that represent their interests.

* Developing targeted offerings to increase participation and engagement among all members.

* Evolving internationally to solidify and maintain ACC's market leadership.

* Understanding, monitoring and acting upon the needs of the next generation of in-house counsel.

"While this Strategic Plan does not represent radical change in direction or focus, it does clarify how ACC will build upon its strong global foundation to advance its mission," explained Jonathan Oviatt, ACC Board chair and chief legal officer and secretary, Mayo Clinic.

"This plan will enable us to continue providing small law department members with the resources they have come to enjoy, while enhancing our current offerings to Large Law CLOs to ensure they have access to resources and tools unique to their roles. The next five years will be focused on continued growth and to providing our global membership in law departments of all sizes with the valuable resources, educational opportunities and meaningful in-house connections they are seeking."

Upon the arrival of Veta T. Richardson as ACC's newly appointed president in July 2011, a comprehensive review of the organization was conducted to assess member satisfaction and identify new opportunities. ACC Board members, Senior Staff, volunteer leaders and members around the world provided input, resulting in a plan that addressed specific member needs.

More than 4,100 members weighed in on an online strategic plan survey, 55 members participated in focus groups held at ACC's 2011 Annual Meeting in Denver and 16 members were interviewed for their thoughts on ACC's mission, vision and current strategy.

"We received unprecedented feedback during this planning process and ACC's market-leading position and high levels of member satisfaction set the stage for exciting new opportunities to evolve the organization as a global bar association, the directional path ACC chartered more than a decade ago," noted Richardson.

"ACC strives to be an organization that not only fulfills our members' needs, but that anticipates and exceeds them. I am very appreciative of the many members who weighed in with their views because their extraordinary levels of participation and engagement are what have enabled ACC to chart a path for serving them well into the future."

With guidance from the Strategic Planning Advisory Committee, co-chaired by ACC Board members Thomas Sabatino, Executive vice president, general counsel & corporate secretary, Walgreen Co., and William Sailer, senior vice president, legal counsel, QUALCOMM Inc., the Strategic Plan was prepared using a value-focused process, which helped to identify what mattered most to ACC members and provided a clear framework of the value drivers that underlie the decision to join, and remain, a member of ACC.

Key findings from member feedback, which served as the foundation for ACC's Strategic plan, included:

* Strong member support of ACC's current mission and vision and likelihood to recommend ACC.

* ACC's mission attainment results from three value drivers: prominent market leadership, member satisfaction and organizational stability.

* ACC is effectively meeting member needs in all key areas and is most effective in those areas that are most important to members.

* Members' perceptions of ACC's effectiveness in key areas are aligned with their perceptions of importance.

* Education and professional development are highly valued by members.

* Member diversity highlights the importance of varied resources and educational opportunities.

* CLOs can signiȚcantly impact ACC's success and are interested in offerings that are catered to their needs.

Additional information about ACC's FY2013-2018 Strategic Plan is available online at

Published: Wed, Apr 4, 2012