December 2020

How In-House Counsel Can Assess Risks and Red Team Global Organizational Threats

ACC Docket

Product liability and mass torts partner Michael Zogby, associate Kaitlyn Stone, and senior attorney at Novo Nordisk Christine Lozier, coauthored an article for ACC Docket titled, “How In-House Counsel Can Assess Risks and Red Team Global Organizational Threats.” The article explores how businesses may adapt red teaming in an international setting.

Red teaming finds weaknesses and identifies threats through a process by which independent and culturally sensitive alternative thinking is encouraged from a variety of perspectives to challenge assumptions. The end goal is to reduce risks and identify and maximize opportunities.

The authors adapt the strategy to the international setting and explore challenges unique to cross-border businesses implementing red lining. They outline three adjustments that should be made to maximize productivity across geographic lines: assemble a team across borders where everyone can effectively communicate with each other, make sure different cultures are represented on the team, and set clear goals for each meeting.

In the article, the authors propose three exercises for businesses to explore when seeking to anticipate and avoid business crises: signposts of change, stakeholder mapping, and premortem analysis.

The authors also noted additional complexities for managing an international crisis, including remaining mindful of the possibility of future litigation and the tensions that may exist between U.S. discovery requirements and foreign data privacy laws.

The authors conclude, “While not all catastrophes may be avoided, striving to identify problems before they arise and taking action early will best position a company to prepare for and respond to a crisis with global implications.”

For more information on red teaming and crisis management, view Zogby and Stone’s article series for Corporate Counsel titled “Crisis Management: From Anticipation to Action.” In the three-part series, Zogby and Stone partnered with in-house leaders to outline pragmatic strategies for in-house counsel and business partners to address corporate threats spanning the entire timeline of catastrophes — from anticipating and avoiding crises, to successfully managing real-time business emergencies, to partnering inside and outside the organization and maximizing your organization’s ability to learn and grow from a crisis event.

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