Four methods at McDonald’s to integrate its global legal department

A profile of Gloria Santona, McDonald’s general counsel, includes a number of methods by which she creates a unified culture among the approximately 140 lawyers dispersed across 19 or 20 locations all over the world. One is that “the entire legal team participates in a global legal conference.” Another is that at the conference “we do a lot of activities that involve assigned seating so that whether they are in the meeting room, dinner, or the general session, they are rotating people …” Third, the law department uses a corporate intranet to connect the spread-out team. The article mentions a final, emollient touch: the department “takes the time to acknowledge personal landmarks like the birth of a coworker’s child or a promotion, as well as to highlight a couple of employees monthly.”

Many posts have drawn on McDonald’s for management sustenance, although not quite billions and billions posted (See my post of July 10, 2007: punning references to McDonald’s posts.). Some digest the law department’s capabilities (See my post of Jan. 16, 2006: its document assembly software; Jan. 17, 2006: its use of data from a corporate mainframe; April 6, 2007: its transformation of workers’ compensation; April 23, 2007: its sabbatical program; and June 15, 2008: about 147 attorneys and half were internationally based.).

The remainder comment on the company’s general counsel (See my post of Jan. 17, 2006 #1: reporting lines and responsibilities of Gloria Santona, its general counsel; Aug. 8, 2006: its European general counsel; June 24, 2007: Santona’s rise through the ranks; Aug. 4, 2007: former general counsel, Jeffrey Kriendler, ran Boston Markets; Aug. 6, 2008: Santona and her career path, Hispanic background, and emphasis on diversity; and March 25, 2009: Santona serves on board of Aon.).

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