What is your professional background and how did you become involved in the world of commerce and contracting?
I am an executive leader and general counsel that passionately embraces the seismic shift in how businesses evolve into the digital age, and how that translates into legal and commercial teams. My professional experience in the financial services and health sectors has exposed me to the myriad of commercial contracting relationships had across different businesses – all however with the same underlying themes and challenges. Wearing hats as a legal adviser as well as that of a non-executive director, I have become involved in designing procurement practices and frameworks to ensure value can be derived from vendor relationships, beyond the black and white terms of a contract and in a sustainable fashion for both parties.
What are two personal achievements and contributions through your career.
Leading in Technology and Innovation and Entrepreneurship
As a vocal advocate for continuous improvement, I have used my capacity as a leader within my organisation to champion how we solve tensions and problems with our business processes and practices by adopting appropriate tools. These tensions cause not only inefficiencies and frustrations for employees within the organisation but also impact on the end outcome in services for example that we deliver to our customers. The Legal and Commercial Affairs team have under my guidance worked closely with the business to deliver enterprise-wide contract management and procurement tools. We started with a contract life-cycle management system in 2018, then followed that with implementing an automated procurement and vendor management system to enable contract owners across the business to derive greater value from negotiated arrangements. Both tools support the decentralised procurement and contract management model adopted in the business, so the Legal team are the key enablers and educators on how to negotiate with and manage vendor relationships having regard also to the relevant legal and commercial risks. My team and I are currently now also looking at how we can implement similar technology in our investment teams to support their practices and strengthen operational governance.
The delivery of the above-mentioned technology solutions to enterprise-wide challenges could only have been achieved with a strong innovation mindset which is what underpins the drive to challenge existing practices for improvement. I lead my team with the mantra that we do not accept existing practices as the best outcome and empower individuals to embrace an entrepreneurial attitude to solving business problems. It is with this mindset that my team have been able to operate beyond the usual remit of lawyers, and deliver valuable improvements and value to the organisation.
Covid-19 has illustrated the critical importance of helping women to realise their professional aspirations - what role have you played or are you currently playing within your organization to support women in their roles?
Having myself had the fortune of experiencing the support and mentorship of other senior women, I believe we all have a strong role to play to support other women in their roles to achieve their leadership aspirations. I make a conscious effort in my capacity as a business leader to adopt a growth mindset and to embrace diversity in every form when hiring members of my team and just as importantly, how I continue to lead and nurture that diversity. Very practical actions include ensuring I support women in the law by briefing women lawyers when I require external legal support, and challenging the female/male partner ratios when engaging external law firms. Having these conversations means I can exert the influence I have as a client, to encourage other organisations to take active steps in supporting women in senior leadership positions. I have over the years continuously mentored and supported young women both within and external to my organisation who are in the early stages of their careers. Through these relationships, I decided to document some of my reflections and learnings by way of my career website – www.jordenlam.com – so as to offer a resource for women looking for guidance on commonly experienced challenges in their career journey. It is this strong and continuous desire to support women that inspires me to regularly write about my experiences and thoughts.