Profile - Gabrielle O'Brien, ILANZ Executive Manager
Our new Executive Manager, Gabrielle O’Brien introduces herself.
Sometimes, the best way to start a new job is to throw yourself into it and joining ILANZ 3 and half weeks before the annual conference has been effective in achieving that goal. It was great to meet many ILANZ members at the conference. For those who I didn’t get the chance to chat to, I was the one with the big smile and the slightly glazed expression behind the eyes!
I come to the ILANZ role with a background in human resources management, facilitation and mediation, coaching, organisation development and general management.
In one of my previous roles I had the opportunity to work with a number of lawyers and enjoyed not only the quick intelligence but the quick wit of many in the profession. My interactions with the in-house segment of the profession to date certainly hasn’t changed this perception.
Before moving into general management roles in two membership based organisations, I spent the first part of my career as an HR generalist both in government in New Zealand and in the private sector in the United Kingdom. There was many an occasion that I made the use of in-house legal resource to navigate my way through a tricky situation or to clarify what might or might not be a prudent course of action. My perspective then was of helpful, curious hardworking professionals – again a perception that has not changed.
An introduction is not completely without some work/life balance thrown in. When I am not immersing myself in my new job, I can be found running (very slowly) around the Wellington waterfront or enjoying the off road paths around Mt Victoria. This is essentially an elaborate ploy to justify the post run coffee with my running mates. Otherwise I am likely to be in the audience watching my 15 year old acting son or my dance mad 18 year old. My husband is a bit worried we are going to have two 35 year old creatives living at home whilst auditioning/washing dishes but my son informs him drama students make good lawyers so all may not be lost!
I join ILANZ at a time when the in-house legal profession is growing, the world of work is changing and innovation, flexibility and agility are becoming the norm rather than merely expectations. I look forward to working with you all as we navigate new paths whilst retaining the value of the tried and tested.