Kamal Habachi: Leading Innovation in the Legal Sector

Kamal Habachi: Innovation in the Legal Sector | HB Law Firm | Enterprise Wired

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In the business world, some companies emerge and fall with time, just like empires. However, few of them last for ages and their great leadership is the secret behind their sustainability. Great leaders can encourage employees to fulfill their potential, help others see and believe in a vision, and lead innovation in the company. Having an astute leader at the helm is something that all investors, consumers, and employees want. Kamal Habachi (Executive Partner, HB Law Firm) is one of those most admired leaders, who is redefining leadership in business. His extraordinary captaincy has boosted the growth of the company and created a successful business model in the law industry. 

Bright Educational Framework

Kamal has expertise in mergers and acquisitions, corporate law, banking, and financial law, contract law, stock exchange law, and legal and tax auditing. He holds a Doctorate in Business Law from Perpignan University, a DEA (M.Phil.) in Business Law, a Graduate Diploma in Comparative Law from the same University, and a Degree in Applied Business Law (Hassan II University of Casablanca). Being a professor of Law at the University and many business schools, he can speak English, Arabic, French, and Spanish fluently. Kamal’s professional and personal experiences have contributed to shaping his personality as a lawyer and the person he is today. 

Wearing Multiples Hats

Having ten years of working experience as a legal and tax consultant, Kamal started working at the Bar of Casablanca in 2010. More than Twenty years ago, he participated in assignments, including privatization, reorganization, subsidiary formation, merger & acquisition, joint venture, due diligence, and stock market listing.

Furthermore, he has piloted several projects, including business and industrial unit disposal, as well as the launching of real estate and tourist projects, etc. Kamal has been associated with setting up several national and international projects and contracts, etc. Particularly, he has been part of developing a logistics platform, a common purchase platform, franchising agreements, and other distribution contracts at the national level. 

Apart from his private practice, pro-bono work is one of the most crucial experiences Kamal had that is attributed to his current leadership role. Over the years, he has worked with international human rights organizations and associations. One of the prominent experiences was being an association headquartered in Spain, with activities in Tanger. Kamal got a chance to assist and research on International Public Law regarding migration. It was an opportunity to step up and experience the crisis at the first-hand level that illegal migrants face with different stakeholders like public administrations and other actors.  

There are a few core principles Kamal follows as part of his leadership philosophy:  

  1. Initiative: The ability to make decisions and take proactive steps to ensure that they are implemented and achieved in line with the goals of the organization. 
  2. Adaptability: Everyone is facing complex situations at work and in business that require the capacity to be flexible enough to manage the changes that arrive in an ever-volatile environment.
  3. Problem-solving: Kamal believes that being able to handle challenges in an objective way and with an all-round perspective is important. It comes from considering all different aspects of the situation, helping to find solutions that solve the problem and lead to profitability.

Eminence of Effective Communication 

Listening is the best leadership style Kamal follows to resonate with his team and stakeholders. It makes him understand their needs and adapt himself to what is required. At the same time, he can have a long-term evaluation and perspective in terms of the impact on the team, stakeholders, and the business in general. According to Kamal, “Effective communication is indeed essential in leadership and profitable for business.” Henceforth, he has maintained open lines of communication within the organization by being approachable; focusing less on hierarchical structure and more on transparency and horizontal interactions with coworkers. Due to this, the team has a timely and efficient way of operating while being accountable for the productive execution of tasks. 

To ensure both innovation and stability in the organization, Kamal has an open-minded approach towards the upcoming technologies. He gives an example of legal tech in the legal profession to evaluate how legal processes could be used about the systems already at work in the business. Moreover, learning from other professionals who have experience in certain aspects helps to prevent the risk of being innovative. Therefore, it is through open-minded learning and selective implementation of new technologies that Kamal ensures there is a balance between innovation and stability in the organization. 

Collaborative Environment within the Organization 

Kamal mentioned one of the incidents where his team was involved in critical decision-making. During one of the project discussions in a team meeting to finalize the project, the assigned individual was absent and Kamal decided with his team not to wait and waste time. He divided the whole work among other team members and finished the projects through the collaborative efforts of everyone. 

Consistent training of team members to stay up-to-date with the current knowledge and best practices of the law helps the organization foster growth and professional development. Seminars, conferences, team building programs, and small things like sharing meals encourage team spirit which leads to the growth of coworkers. Moreover, the organization provides a collaborative environment that promotes knowledge sharing and skills development.  

Culture of Adaptability and Innovation

HB Law firm arranges team building boot camps to integrate with new foreign team members. It helps to improve the coworking and collaboration culture in the organization. Despite cultural barriers, new foreign members feel welcome which motivates others to work in harmony and bring positive results efficiently and effectively. By respecting the ideas, opinions, and inputs of all workers, Kamal encourages a culture of adaptability and innovation within the organization. It allows every team member to learn from each other’s experiences which is beneficial to conduct strategic decisions and manage tasks, performances, etc. 

To maintain a positive and peaceful environment within the organization, Kamal Habachi prefers to respond to conflicts immediately instead of ignoring them. He believes that a quick response to every conflict helps to make the situation calm and find the solutions to clear the way for a productive environment. Furthermore, accountability is another way to respond to conflict resolution. All coworkers are accountable to each other for their work and productivity, thereby enabling collaboration more than competition which helps to prevent conflict and promote a working culture of respect for all employees in a multicultural environment.

Bringing the Team Spirit Together 

While working in the earlier mid-size firm, Kamal encountered a technical problem with a computer that required time to fix. After realizing that the issue would take more time than required, Kamal coordinated with his coworker to get the work done. He made sure that it wouldn’t affect productivity due to insufficient resources.

This is how he turned a challenging situation into an opportunity for growth and development. While working as a senior manager in the legal department of a reputable firm, Kamal figured out that some team members always disagree with the junior manager. He intervened in a verbal discussion to change the culture and created an environment of mutual respect. He brought the team together and shared the importance of their individual qualities and skills. 

Explaining to everyone the significance of achieving goals together and bringing personal and professional development created a positive environment within the organization. While organizing an international leadership conference and bringing together different stakeholders in business, Kamal encountered the challenge of getting the team aligned and committed to the process until the end. Despite having limited resources, team members, having been briefed on the conference’s significance, each made individual contributions to help achieve the shared goal.

Right People in the Right Roles

HB Law Firm ensures consistent high performance and goal attainment by having the right people in the right roles and motivating all the workers with pay equivalent to their efforts. The organization offers yearly bonuses and fosters a way of collaboration and teamwork where each employee is accountable for the work, to the team, and business at large. 

Once Kamal Habachi had supervised an employee who lacked essential legal skills for the role and was underperforming in major assignments given. Kamal put him on a training program to mentor and coach him in the relevant knowledge and skills essential for him. Because of the attitude and approach with the right motivation including a raise in the salary, the employee became the most performing one and bought into the vision of the company successfully. Every employee needs the right motivation and the opportunity to show skills and develop professionally. 

Strong Ethical Foundation through Awareness

In the ever-globalizing world, many organizations are facing challenges that are testing their ethical leadership and enabling them to make certain decisions that can leave a major impact on the organization. Kamal Habachi maintains a strong ethical foundation through awareness. On a personal basis, he is aware of the values that drive his choices and everyday decisions including his family and the overall community he lives in. It helps him to have an objective perspective of every decision and make it in line with the values of the organization and its long-term impact on governance and profitability. 

While working as a junior employee, Kamal faced a situation where an employee was being emotionally and verbally abused by senior management. It created a dilemma for Kamal to intervene in the situation or not. However, he chose to address it by maintaining his integrity, and as a result, he lost his job. Kamal’s vision for the organization is based on the values held by him and the strategic goals that inform overall activities. He says, “Through transparency and open knowledge sharing, every team member should be aware of the vision that is laid out for all in a simple and easy-to-understand way.” 

Staying Relevant in the Current Trend

Kamal Habachi is an avid reader. He stays up to date with trends by reading legal and business articles, journals, books, and other materials written by experts in the same field. Furthermore, other disciplines enable him to expand his knowledge base and have best practices. Training, networking, and participation in different events are the growth opportunities that help him to stay relevant in an ever-changing business landscape. 

Various experiences in his professional journey have influenced Kamal’s leadership approach. He had worked on certain projects with colleagues from diverse backgrounds with whom he experienced conflict. Through this, he recognized the value of the platinum rule approach which states, “treat people how they want to be treated” instead of necessarily following the golden rule approach of “treating people how you want to be treated”. Both of these are good leadership principles based on the situation.

Calculated Risks without Fear of Failure

Business is a challenging landscape to navigate and it is a great exposure to growth as an individual and professional from the experience of founding to growing an entrepreneurial venture. The uncertainties, ambiguity, and constant volatility that amount to risk have allowed Kamal Habachi to realize his potential and maximize every opportunity for profitability through strategic personal, professional, and business development.

He advises young entrepreneurs to use their energy to take calculated risks without having fear of failure. They should learn from every experience and be ready to be mentored by those ahead in the race. Despite the outcome, success or failure, it is important to be courageous and keep going ahead. 

In this new business world, I believe the ability to be resilient is fundamental to success. As we have all experienced in recent years with COVID-19 and other tragedies that have shaped the way we operate in business and life in general, nothing is guaranteed. Therefore, be strategic and act while having eyes on the ground to the realities that would require being adaptable to be profitable in the long term.” 

Kamal Habachi

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