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Legal & compliance = digital enablers

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There is a common wrong approach I am unfortunately watching much too often.

In the situation I am referring to, a team inside a pharma or medtech company is developing an innovative and highly valuable digital solution, everybody is happy, the launch campaigns are prepared, … but the final review & approval process results in complaints and additional change requests by legal and/or compliance, if not to a complete reject.

As a result, timelines/milestones cannot be met if not the whole project is jeopardized. It at least puts additional troubles and pressure on people. Everybody involved is disappointed, frustrated, and angry how legal/compliance can dare to reject such a beautiful and valuable tool. How can those compliance guys dare better judge than business if a solutions meets a market need?!

But I am sorry to say: your fault, no sympathy!


I am running a completely different approach since years already, making my life as well everybody’s included in my digital projects much easier and relaxed. And it is so obvious.

I include legal & compliance not at the end but as soon as possible within any new project. They are always(!) my very first stop. Even before I am talking to agencies which want to pitch for building the tool.

And I ask my legal & compliance colleagues what I need to do/ensure to make it happen. And they provide me with a kind of playground. A playground which is limited and might be fenced, but inside I have ‘freedom to operate’.

And just by changing the closed question “is this compliant” to an open question “what do I need to do to make it compliant”, I turn legal & compliance from a judges role to more being enablers.


As a smart side effect, this approach turns legal & compliance from being the ‘bad guys’ frequently having to say “no” into ‘good guys’ facilitating things happening. I dare to say that this might also make them more happy.

And there are actually worse things than having a happy legal & compliance at your side. 😉


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