Geoffrey Odongo, an MBA student, has just completed defending his thesis titled Proactive Law as a source of Sustainable Competitive Advantage. Geoffrey, a Kenyan lawyer, decided to take on the topic with the aim of researching on how law can be used to raise the competitiveness of a company.
Focusing his case study on banks, Geoffreys main interest was to investigate whether the practice of proactive law extends to roles perceived to be significant in attaining sustainable competitive advantages among banks.
Proactive law seeks a new approach to legal issues in businesses and societies. Instead of perceiving law as a constraint that companies and people in general need to comply with, proactive law considers law as an instrument that can create success and foster sustainable relationships, which in the end carries the potential to increase value for companies, individuals, and societies in general.
His objectives were based on 3 elements of proactive law:
Managing legal risk
Strengthening relationships and
Initiatives in applying the law in order to avoid disputes and litigation
Being the first in his class to accomplish his thesis on record time, Geoffrey stated that his key learning point throughout his course was for lawyers to become effective in business they need to come out of their comfort zone and learn topics that are business-oriented such as strategy. This would enable them to be of great assistance to their clients.
He credits his success to his company that gave him the opportunity and the support to work hard for his MBA, his family for being his anchor and his colleagues and supervisor for rallying behind him.
He also urged his fellow class mates to forge forward and work hard by ensuring that they have a work plan that will guide them to success and that nothing comes easy but with prayers and the right support all is possible.
His research targeted managers and lawyers in 44 banks, sampling a size of 60% of the 44 Banks. His findings stated that 42.3% of respondents felt that lawyers, taking into consideration the strengthening of relationships, had a moderate effect on enhancing their bank competitiveness.