Anna Lozynski is a woman on a mission. Scrolling through her LinkedIn and website, I can’t fathom there’s enough hours in the day to manage all that she does. When I get the chance to talk with her, Anna is in the midst of a commute from one event to another (make the most of every moment, right!).
For the past seven years, Anna has been the Executive General Counsel (a.k.a. Head of Legal) at L’Oréal for Australia and New Zealand. She has an esteemed career in the legal industry, working internationally for the likes of General Motors and in a top tier law firm.
In 2018, Anna added to her name ‘Published Author’ when she released her first e-book, Legally Innovative: How to Maximise Your Legal W.O.W (Ways of Working).
It’s no secret the legal industry is steeped in tradition and rooted structures, and so in her own words, Anna is on a mission to do law differently.
“There is a feeling in the broader legal community about innovation and there is so much fear and scepticism, and I’m trying to bring to it some more of the heart-felt optimism,” Anna says.
“I felt compelled to put pen to paper and talk about the importance of a progressive mindset. Like any industry that has very slow processes it has to be disrupted. It’s just a question of time and how relevant you are going to be when it occurs.”
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Leading her team at L’Oréal, one of Anna’s core priorities was making sure the team maximised the use of technology and to make it a user-friendly experience.
“Our focus is on embracing innovation and digitisation to ensure that we are servicing the business with their legal needs in a cutting-edge way.
“As a service provider, what’s really important to me is a seamless experience for routine tasks. So, if they [the wider L’Oréal team] can get the work done they need from us, 24/7 from their devices, then that’s more than we can offer as humans.”
Simple, right? We think so. But, it begs the bigger question that if it appears so clear from the outside, why is there still resistance from inside?
“Fear,” Anna says.
“Particularly in the legal industry, there’s not much discussion around fear. In day-to-day discussions, you wouldn’t have lawyers label their reservations as fears. They would describe them as risks.”
“If you’re honest with yourself, like with anything new you do in life, a reason why you’re perhaps not embracing innovation and change is fear.”
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Talking to Anna, it becomes clear that fear as a blockage to innovation transcends industry and also interferes with our personal lives.
The very next question on my mind is how do we change that? How do we even know if we’re constantly resisting?
“I see having an innovative mindset as a daily attitude or practice. You’re not going to wake up and change your mindset, but if you see it as a daily practice, like yoga or meditation then, overtime, you will see its greatness.” Anna explains.
“It’s the decisions you make daily that really count towards the end game and end result. Every time you catch yourself in that negative, risk-averse, potential fear-based mindset you’ve got to do the self-work and ask yourself ‘why’.”
Don’t be led to believe that all of this has come without her own challenges or roadblocks. During the writing of her e-book, Anna had to reconcile that as soon as she put her ideas into a public space, that were vulnerable to public critique (and people did!).
“I didn’t appreciate the level of emotion I’d feel when at the point of giving the green light to put yourself out there in this way,” she says.
“I’m one of few General Counsel globally to publish a book. I felt so intuitively compelled to get the message out there, I wasn’t necessarily thinking about all those things when I was writing. If I was thinking about all the things that could wrong, then I would never have started. I had to trust that, to sound a little “woo woo” if this was part of my life’s purpose, then all would fall into place.”
I asked Anna the classic question: how did you do it all? She’d squeeze in writing at nights, on planes and over the weekend. But, when I was talking to Anna, she skipped over all that ‘juggle’. Instead, she spoke honestly that sometimes she got in the way of herself.
“I had to choose progress over perfection. I knew I had to stop editing the content because it was getting frustrating for my graphic designer to keep changing structure and paragraphs.
“I knew I was thwarting progress by constant re-editing in terms of getting it out into the world. I’m not going for a Booker Prize, it just needed to be clear, tell an understandable story, be on brand, but not be perfect.”
Since I spoke with Anna, I checked her website she had three more free publications available and is guest lecturing at Monash University (with her e-book as compulsory reading).
She’s a woman on a mission. And, from what we can see, it’s not just law that will feel the Anna Lozynski impact.
Anna Lozynski is a Premium member with Business Chicks and if you’re interested in talking more about her work, you should definitely connect with her! You can get your hands on a copy of Legally Innovative, here.