The CMS Academy provides a range of opportunities for CMS people to learn and practise the so-called ‘soft skills’ that are vital to a lawyer’s work. It will reach the wider CMS population through digital and online channels as it continues to respond to COVID-19 restrictions, growing climate change concerns linked to travel and a wider demand for access to the programme.
Over the last decade, it has enhanced the careers of hundreds of CMS lawyers and is reaching more participants than ever. Due to widespread enthusiasm for the Academy’s learning and development programmes, efforts to create digital content for online sessions was already in full flow well before the COVID-19 outbreak.
The CMS Academy delivers a wide range of training and coaching programmes, seminars and webinars on soft skills. This includes pitching, selling, communication, intercultural training, networking, influencing and impact training and resilience. The Academy has a distinct focus on the business of law, helping participants to perform better and develop more rewarding careers and lifestyles as well as improving the culture and fabric of CMS.
Matthias Lichtblau, CMS Executive Director, is convinced of the CMS Academy’s success, “Over the last decade, it has enhanced the careers of hundreds of CMS lawyers. Today, with CMS’s continuing expansion, it is reaching more participants than ever. Due to widespread enthusiasm for the Academy’s learning and development programmes, efforts to create digital content for online sessions was already in full flow well before the COVID-19 outbreak.”
Recent online sessions include promoting impact and influencing skills, presenting effectively in a virtual environment, managing difficult conversations and dealing with conflicts.
Providing online content that is as engaging or as productive as in-person events is paramount, according to Ulrike Staats, Senior Manager of Global HR / Learning & Development, “By doing it right, spending a lot of effort on facilitation and delivery, we can create something that comes close to physical programmes. We need to get this right so that when people have to work from home, they can collaborate in a trusted environment.”
Matthias Lichtblau believes that the CMS Academy plays an important role in cementing and deepening the connections between various CMS offices, “It provides common ground for all our lawyers throughout the world to generate broader and more international viewpoints. It delivers a sense of unity within the business so that we can grow together as one CMS.”
Participants tell me that the programme has provided them with fresh perspectives on themselves and their ways of working as well as a compelling vision for the future.
The CMS Academy is currently divided into three broad training programmes for junior and senior associates, recently promoted partners and more senior partners.
Ulrike Staats has seen particularly impressive results stemming from the Partner Peak Performance Programme, a personal coaching programme directed at senior figures in the firm. CMS was awarded the inaugural International PRISM Award by the International Coaching Federation and RELEVANT Management Consulting for this programme.
Ulrike Staats says the Partner Peak Performance Programme has been hugely transformational for many partners, “Participants tell me that the programme has provided them with fresh perspectives on themselves and their ways of working as well as a compelling vision for the future.”