David Krasnostein, the General Counsel of Australia’s National Australia Bank, went in-houses first as the lead lawyer for Telstra. An article explained that back then, about 1995, he attended Insead to take a “national executive business course for a couple of months.” The course widened his understanding of business (See my post of May 14, 2005 on executive training courses for high potentials.).
When he returned to Australia, he was made head of strategic planning and corporate planning. That assignment further broadened Krasnstein’s understanding of the business (See my post of Aug. 3, 2005 about the GC of Merrill Lynch and her broader experience.).
All general counsel should invest time in learning about their company’s business and more general business practices.