a New Future
KIKELOMO LAWAL had heard these per- ceptions about her own staff. She is general counsel and vice president for compliance and
regulations for Interac Association and Acxsys Corporation (the debit network for all of Canada).
While her Legal, Compliance and Regulation (LCR)
Department had been well regarded overall, Lawal said,
going to legal was frequently seen by staff in the business
units as a step that slowed down the process.
Lawal was determined to change that perception—
as well as some of the habits of her staff, which is made
up of 15 lawyers, law clerks, compliance personnel and
regulations writers. It was time to rebrand her depart-
ment. But she knew she needed a unique approach to
grab everyone’s attention.
After getting buy-in from her CEO, Mark O’Connell,
Lawal developed several one-pagers about what her
department does and when staff should seek legal’s
involvement. She also drafted 13 guiding principles
for her own staff. After discussing and tweaking the
documents with her department, they hosted a compa-ny-wide open house one afternoon.
While staff mingled and nibbled on snacks, a graphic
designer stood off to the side live-drawing a mind map
based on Lawal’s documents and a visual presentation of
the guiding principles.
“It was a constructive way to communicate information but in a digestible way,” Lawal said. Staff gathered
around the artist to watch her draw, and when they had
questions about the concepts, LCR staff was there to
answer and engage in discussions.
“The drawing was something a lot of people had never seen so they were very much interested and drawn
in by that,” Lawal said. “Even those who might not
have come at the outset heard what was going on and
stopped by.” She estimates at least 80 percent of the 200
staff attended the open house.
From Risk-Averse to Risk-Informed
With the rebranding, Lawal aimed to change the perception of lawyers from risk-averse to risk-informed.
“I wanted the staff members to shift their thinking so
they would focus on the value of having people who will
think several steps ahead, not just those who will get
you to your immediate goal. You want those with their
How a unique rebranding
approach improved teamwork