Time to break up with your career?

Lisa Leong has taken some surprising turns in a career that has seen her pioneer the new territory of client centred innovation.

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Lisa Leong made the decision many years ago to break up with her career.

For her, life started as a lawyer for lending firm Herbert Smith Freehills.

But after a successful corporate career, Leong decided it was time to break-up with the law.

“I ended up working as a lawyer in London, in early 2000, It was amazing, I was flying around to New York and Europe rolling out digital MTV Europe, but then the bubble burst. I started working on mergers and acquisitions sitting in airless rooms, thinking to myself – money isn’t everything, where’s the passion?”

Lisa volunteered her way into her own interview show on UK Hospital radio, and found herself loving it and took the plunge to change careers.

“I found out that Liberty Radio one of the largest AM stations in London had a program director who had a weekend breakfast show, so one Saturday morning, it was dark and raining, because it was London I took the train from my house, and ended up at the doorstep of Liberty Radio station”.

“I had my little transistor radio and I was listening and I could hear the program director on the air, and I stood at the door, and when he took his first break I decided to press the doorbell.”

“A lot of client centred innovation is, at the beginning, having a wonderful conversation with someone, you know that’s radio, it’s about listening, it’s about caring about the person and wanting to know how is it going in their life, so that’s the empathy piece.”

“It’s also a lot about experimenting so bringing that scientific mindset of having a hypothesis, testing it rigorously and learning about why something didn’t work or why it was successful. It’s the perfect mindset for bringing innovation together with business and law.”

Lisa tells us how she has found success helping organisations innovate and confront change in a healthy way.

These days, Leong is part of a team that was recently awarded the 2017 worldwide Association of Corporate Counsel Value Champion for the work done in the Telstra Legal Innovation Forum, and eliminating 40,000 hours of low value non-strategic work through technology and process solutions.

“Tristan my now business partner and I facilitated and designed an environment where the Telstra lawyers could freely experiment and test some of the ideas as to how to minimise the sort of work they didn’t really want to do so they could have more time to do higher value work.”

“We worked really hard as a cohort and after a year the result we got was that they saved 40,000 hours in unproductive work. And they are amazing numbers, but the feedback was that people were writing in to say thank you so much for the work that you’ve done, because it’s meant that I’ve been able to go home and rather than log in again and I can spend more time with my family.”

Listen to the entire interview at The Constant Investor or on iTunes.

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