Bingham McCutchen LLP
Global Law Firm Puts Directors and Staff through Their Paces with Attainium’s Disaster Experience Tabletop Exercise
Attendees find value in increased awareness, team-building, and demonstration of firm’s leadership and skills
“We’re a 950-lawyer firm with offices in the U.S., London and Tokyo, and we’ve grown significantly over the past eight years,” said Hank Shafran, the firm’s director of communications. “We felt that our meeting of global directors and department heads would be a good venue for the Disaster Experience session. Our goal was to focus everyone’s attention on the importance of having a comprehensive organization-wide plan and to increase everyone’s familiarity with the potential business impacts of various types of disruptions."
“One thing that surfaced during the session,” said Lynn Carroll, chief human resources officer, “was that all the groups performed at a high level, which gave me a great deal of confidence in the firm’s management, and in the intellect and strategic thinking of senior management. It’s great to know the firm is in good hands when dealing with a worst-case-scenario, which also carries over to day-to-day management skills.”
“Everybody I spoke to found value in the session,” Shafran said. “At one time or another, we had thought about a lot of the issues that came up, but this session gave us the opportunity to really examine them in depth. We put people together with those they usually don’t work with, so it was also a great team-building exercise. Working with people I don’t know well gave me a greater appreciation of the skill sets in the group.”
“It was a tremendously rewarding team-building exercise,” said Stephen Pasco, director of facilities and operations. “The groups mixed people from different cities and different responsibilities, and people took roles they don’t normally hold. People exhibited skills they didn’t know they had; it showed how prepared or unprepared they were in various situations.” Pasco previously had attended another Attainium program and was “blown away by it” but said he “found it just as rewarding the second time around. It was dynamic… you never knew what the next slide was going to be and you had to think creatively and respond to the challenges presented. You just don’t know how many things can go wrong.
“Bob (Mellinger, Attainium’s CEO) does a great job of preparing the group for what they’re about to experience, so they go into it focused,” Pasco said. “He makes it clear that it’s going to be interactive and fast paced and require decision making on the fly, plus extensive communication. By the time it begins, everyone’s on the edge of their chair.”
“I really enjoyed it,” Carroll said, “and it’s given me food for thought for work and home. I’d highly recommend it on an ongoing basis… anticipating worse-case scenarios personally as well as professionally. Having the training was great, but it’s important to continue the momentum by doing something like this at least once or twice a year.”
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