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LEADER UPHEAVAL: A Guide to Client-Centricity, Culture Creation, and Collaboration

This book provides an actionable roadmap for leaders to enhance client-centricity, shift mindsets, and create the right teaming climate so that a culture of collaboration, innovation, and inclusivity can thrive. Derived from over 280 interviews with senior executives in professional services and their clients—along with hands on experience leading hundreds of multidisciplinary teams on innovation journeys—Professor DeStefano reveals the path to successful collaboration and innovation efforts in professional services, including how to avoid the pitfalls that lead to failure.

“Leader Upheaval stands alone as the most informative, helpful, and comprehensive book available today for professional service providers undertaking transformative change initiatives.”—Bill Deckelman, EVP & General Counsel, DXC Technology


“This book makes an extraordinary contribution to the topic of innovation and collaboration in the delivery of professional services, starting with a review of the factors that compel change today, before delving into the leadership, cultural and procedural levers, as well as practical tools that leaders can use to make change happen.”—Horacio Gutierrez, Senior EVP and CLO, The Walt Disney Company


“In this book, DeStefano urges leaders to confront the single biggest obstacle for achieving collaboration, innovation, and culture change:  themselves.  Backed by years of interdisciplinary research and unparalleled experience teaching and practicing innovation, DeStefano guides readers through a step-by-step process for leading and managing change. The result is an imminently useful guide that belongs on the shelf of every professional service provider.”—David B. Wilkins, Professor of Law, Harvard Law School.

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LEGAL UPHEAVAL: A Guide to Creativity, Collaboration, and Innovation in Law

In today’s legal marketplace, clients are demanding services that require a new skill set and a new mindset from lawyers. Borne of DeStefano’s own work leading hundreds of multidisciplinary teams on innovation cycles, as well as conducting over 100 interviews of general counsels and law firm partners, Legal Upheaval provides a new understanding of the expectations of clients. In Legal Upheaval, Professor Michele DeStefano lays out the trifecta for success in a changed legal landscape: creativity, collaboration, and innovation.


In a conversational fashion, DeStefano takes us on a journey from why lawyers need to innovate to how they can do so. She unveils the Lawyer Skills Delta and maps out a methodology for filling the gaps in current legal skill sets: The 3 Rules of Engagement and The 3-4-5 Method of Innovation for Lawyers. Full of points of reflection, as well as concrete

directions, Legal Upheaval makes innovation accessible and is the playbook for lawyers looking to create stickier and more profitable client relationships.


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As a professor of law, Michele researches and writes about the growing intersections between law, business, and legal innovation. Her book

Leader Upheaval: A Guide to Client-Centricity, Culture-Creation, and Innovation leverages almost 300 interviews of senior professional service providers and their clients. Michele has also written The Leader Upheaval Handbook: Leading Teams on a Collaboration and Innovation Journey to go with it that is designed for any senior leader who wants to lead multi-disciplinary teams on a collaborative problem-solving journey. Other recent scholarship focuses on role of general counsels in Digital Transformation, the importance of innovation and design thinking training to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion in the corporate legal marketplace, and the changing role of the compliance officer and is based on interviews of over 70 general counsels and chief compliance officers of S&P 500 corporations (featured in Harvard Law School's The Practice). Additionally, she has written articles and chapters in books about innovation and entrepreneurship, collaboration and culture creation, compliance and ethics, litigation funding, the role of the general counsel and the court of public opinion, legal education, technology and law, the work product doctrine and the attorney client privilege. (Click here for a full list of articles).  Michele's prior books are Legal Upheaval: A Guide to Creativity, Collaboration, and Innovation in Law  and  New Suits: Appetite for Disruption in the Legal World (co-curated with Dr. Guenther Dobrauz) includes chapters by experts in law, innovation, and technology to provide a global perspective on the future of legal service delivery ecosystem. 


Her work has been published in leading law journals and featured in a range of media including Time Magazine, the Financial Times (UK), Forbes Women, ABA Journal, National Law Journal, American Lawyer, Harvard Law Today, The National Jurist, Legal Futures (UK), Inside Counsel Magazine, Harvard Law The Practice, and Bloomberg News.


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