By Jonathan Morgan, Partner and Head of Regulation Practice
As we write this edition of CANVAS, we face an unprecedented time of change, the full impact of which will not be fully understood for many years. No sector will be left untouched by Covid-19, but there are reasons to look forward to positive learnings as well as the very apparent negative results of the pandemic.
Although we are all racing to keep up with the present, government, business and society is increasingly looking towards the future, with both hope and trepidation. Innovation in leadership, technology, community and purpose are high on everyone’s agendas, in the hope that we not only learn to cope, but also to learn from these challenging times. We need to identify and support leaders who can identify and shape that change.
It is relevant therefore to note here that while the interviews for this edition took place before lock-down, the themes of leadership and the impact of technology were ever-present in our conversations for this edition of CANVAS.
We were delighted to speak to Jo Hill, Executive Director of Strategy and Risk at The Pensions Regulator. Jo discusses how regulators are demonstrating a very real desire to evolve, change and learn through the use and understanding of technology and data. Through greater collaboration and by taking some risks, she believes that regulators can achieve successful outcomes for consumers through the use of experimentation. However, it is people who are at the heart of this shift, and their needs have to be more clearly emphasised to ensure the best talent is identified and facilitated.
We are also delighted to talk to Tracy Vegro, who has just joined the Solicitors Regulation Authority as Executive Director of Strategy and Innovation, moving from her previous role as Director of Strategy and Resources at the Financial Reporting Council. Tracy discusses the importance of collaboration amongst regulators, proposing that it is more necessary than ever to inspire and drive forward innovation in a national and international context. She also looks ahead to her new role and the opportunities and challenges for regulation with accelerating technological innovation within an emerging Lawtech sector.
Crises provide ‘emperor’s new clothes’ moments for leaders. There is nowhere to hide (even over a video call) when colleagues and stakeholders are looking for reassurance, vision and direction. We share views in our Leadership Landscape feature on what is required from leaders during times of uncertainty. Maintaining objectivity is absolutely essential from leaders in regulation at the moment, but so is an assertive and nurturing approach towards their teams. As we emerge (and we will) there will come the chance for the best leaders to demonstrate their true potential. We also hear from Mike McManamon, a partner in our leadership services practice as he considers the leadership skills for regulators that are in greatest demand now and those most likely to be required as we look to the months ahead.
Finally, we welcome Jim Zaniello, from Vetted Solutions – one of the partner firms in our Panorama global community, based in Washington DC – for our Team insight feature. Jim shares his personal and professional insights into leadership, AI and innovation, and the unprecedented shifting political sands.
We do hope you enjoy this edition and welcome any feedback you may have.