Bjarne Tellman, Pearson GC and Chief Legal Officer, has just launched his book - "Building An Outstanding Legal Team". It is a must read for in-house lawyers, especially for recently appointed GCs or soon to be GCs/Heads of Legal. It is incredibly informative with a great deal of useful and practical information.
I agree with Bjarne, a good starting point is to understand what you have in terms of hardware. This means budget, structure, technology, the skill set, support and associations. Once you know what you have, you can determine the in-house team and support the business needs. The third step would be determine if there is a gap and if so, how can you bridge it and when.
As Bjarne states, change management should be part of any process that requires a change in hardware. I often quote Ross Gellar (yes - from Friends) “nobody likes change”. It's true. We all want improvements, but even an iPhone upgrade stresses us out because we know we have to learn a new operating system.
Change management must be part of the process, but take it step by step and Bjarne lays out the various steps incredibly well. Recommended reading.
LB: What's the general theme of your book? I wanted to create a model based on my experience and the experiences of people I know, that could apply to anyone, no matter the size of their team. It starts by tackling the 'hardware', the tangible aspects behind running a legal department. Managing your budget; structuring your outside partnerships; how to roll out technology; how to structure your team. Once you achieve some success on the hardware side, you have more credibility to tackle the 'software'. That includes culture – how do you identify untested assumptions your culture rests on? How do you blow those up and re-tool your culture?