Mark O’Conor, the SCL Chair, explains why he values the input from SCL Groups and encourages SCL members to be involved with them
The term ‘groupthink’ has slightly derogatory associations. It is a term of art used by social psychologists to help them explain a situation where members of a group are so wary of rocking the boat, or over confident of their collective abilities, that the resulting decision-making is poor.
In SCL terms though, group thinking is a boon. That is because our Groups have long been the creative hubs for the SCL. Whether regional or special interest, they inspire events that no one else would have thought of and bring people together, underpinning the wider strategy of the Society.
For example, at the end of last month the Privacy and Data Protection Group held a sell-out event on the GDPR (surprise!), while the week before the IT Disputes Group packed out Inner Temple Hall with a look at exclusion, termination and IP clauses in the context of contractual disputes.
I’ve spoken at SCL Group events in the past, but it is always good to remember that the Groups exist and ought to be your first port of call on the SCL website for your particular area of interest. Last month I Chaired our annual Group Chairs’ meeting and it gave us all a chance to set priorities for the year, co-ordinate and collaborate where possible and share experiences of what works on the ground.
Yet the meeting did also remind me that, unless the Groups evolve with the help of willing leaders, they will inevitably wither. The thirst for new blood and fresh ideas is unquenchable so this is a call to encourage every SCL member to be a part of an active Group and perhaps even join the Committee to help push things forward.
We are also looking to evolve the Groups in other ways: organising events has been their traditional raison d’etre but that does not always have to be the case. Webinars, white papers, consultation responses, roundtable meetings and contributing to the content on scl.org are all ways to share insight and knowledge with both Group members and the wider community. SCL HQ would be keen to support any such initiatives as an active Group, whatever those activities are, is one that is likely to thrive.