After talking it over with a few of my brethren (I admit there was wine involved), we've decided that the first step is to kill the myth of the "Department". Except in increasingly rare circumstances, today's in house counsel is ingrained to say yes whenever they can. The main value we bring is in helping the business accomplish it's goals within the legal framework our industries operate in. As the leader of my in house team, anyone with the 'Department' mentality wouldn't get past the hiring process, much less last long on my team. Yet, I'm still hounded by the myth at every conference and with almost every interaction with counsel and lay person alike. It's hard to get to the next step when everyone seems fixated on killing the dead horse that is the previous step.
So for all CLE presenters, fellow in housers, and anyone else listening - I have a very simple request. Let's kill the myth of the Department of No once and for all and start the having the real conversation of what to do at the strategy table now that you're there.