In the latest in a series of LCLD regional events, Ellen Dwyer, Managing Partner of Crowell & Moring, welcomed a group of several dozen LCLD Fellows, Alumni, and Pathfinders to “Leveraging Leadership,” a special conversation with LCLD Member Kate Adams, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Honeywell Corporation. The event was held at Crowell's Washington office and was moderated by Robert Grey, President of LCLD.

The two executives engaged in a fascinating in-depth dialogue, bringing the perspectives of managing partner and corporate general counsel to a number of important issues, ranging from the value of LCLD programs to the pace of innovation driving the future of law—and what it all means to diverse attorneys.

“The profile of a successful law firm partner is going to change in significant ways because the old way of practicing is just not acceptable anymore,” said Dwyer. “Our clients are looking for strategic advice and business-savvy folks with different life experiences. Just being able to think and see the world in a different way is going to be even more important [in the future]. I’m quite optimistic, actually, that all this change will lead to greater opportunity for folks who are not ‘mainstream.’"

Picking up on that point, Adams described the opportunities created by disruptive changes such as the internet of things and the globalization of business, pointing out that more than 50 percent of Honeywell’s employees, and more than half its revenue, comes from outside the United States.

“That is creating, as we speak, opportunities for different kinds of talent to flourish. What I’m seeing is that the more flexible people, the people who are more creative, more accepting of change, more willing to embrace different ways of thinking and different cultural attributes, are the ones who are starting to succeed more easily in this new environment. I’m living in a world that’s changing extremely rapidly, and I think this will have an inevitable effect on what kinds of skills, ways of thinking, and capabilities will be valued in our economy in ten years.”

To produce more diversity within organizations, Dwyer described how the best initiatives build strong relationships between individuals.

“We all have influence in our organizations at different levels, but I think it really just starts as a very human interaction with another person and getting to know them, listening, understanding what they want to do, and then doing your part to help them get to that place.”

Both women agreed that the LCLD Fellows program contributes to their organizational success.

“There’s no better day for me than to have one of our Fellows or Pathfinders come home and talk about what a fabulous experience they had and all the people they met at an LCLD event," said Dwyer. "They’re energized and charged up, partly because it’s this amazing affinity group of people with similar experiences who can offer mutual support, pushing and pulling each other. It’s personal within that community, and it’s certainly personal for me.”

LCLD wishes to thank the staffs of both organizations—including Monica Parham of Crowell & Moring and Lisa Parlato LeDonne of Honeywell—who organized this important regional Leadership forum.