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| 27 minutes read

CMO Series EP124 - Brianna Leung of Much Shelist on How a Law Firm Strategy is Made

Marketers and Business Development professionals are crucial to the success of a law firm's strategy, yet for many, the way firms create their strategy remains a mystery. 

On this episode of the CMO Series Podcast, Alistair Bone welcomes Brie Leung, Chief Strategy Officer at Much Shelist, to help demystify the strategic planning process and discuss the role of a Chief Strategy Officer in designing and executing an effective law firm strategy.

Brie and Ali discuss:

  • How a law firm strategy happens and the steps to creating one
  • How Brie came to her role as Chief Strategy Officer, and the moment she realized she was able to add real value to a firm
  • The ‘design process’ and why Brie refers to it in that way
  • The definition of an effective strategy
  • How to start implementing a strategic plan
  • The process of keeping to the plan in the medium to long term
  • How to tell if you are successful with a strategic plan
  • Advice for those trying to improve the way their firm designs and executes a strategy



Ali: So welcome to the Passle CMO series podcast where we discuss all things marketing and business development in the world of professional services. Now, marketers and business development professionals are crucial to a law firm's strategy. Yet, for many, the way firms set their strategic direction remains rather a mystery. However, today, I'm excited to be joined on the CMO Series by the wonderful Brie Leung, who's the Chief Strategy Officer at Much Shelist to discuss the role of Chief Strategy Officer and the process for setting and executing an effective strategy for the firm. So this is a first for us, which is very exciting, Brie, welcome.

Brie: Thank you. Thank you. I'm so happy to be here.

Ali: Yeah, absolutely thrilled. I know we've been waiting to get this one in the diary for a little while. So, absolutely thrilled that you can be here and excited to do this. And yeah, it sounds like you've been very busy with work and obviously, you know, Halloween's just been and it sounds like that's your favorite time of the year as well. 

Brie: Right now, here we are in November. Happy we're doing this.

Ali: Exactly, excited to get into it. So, I guess kind of to start us off, I would love it if you could please give us a little bit of a sort of summary, and you know, how does that law firm strategy happen?

Brie: I love this opening question Ali. So the first thing that comes to mind is blood, sweat and tears. But really, I think you know, not to oversimplify, but law firm strategy starts when frankly the people leading the firm decide that they need one that they need a strategy. Typically, what I've seen is that that discovery happens when there is either a perceived threat to the status quo or there's a real ambition for growth, and sometimes it's one and the same sort of that old adage of, if we're not growing, we're dying. But once the leaders then decide a strategy is needed, then you'll see decisions get made about what kind of strategy is it specifically an M&A strategy or strategy around long term organic growth or something about competitive positioning, for example. And then they also need to decide how is the firm gonna navigate the process of building that strategy? Are they gonna hire a consultant or will they handle it all in house? Is there gonna be a special committee, et cetera, et cetera? And in my experience, the strategic planning process frankly, looks pretty much the same regardless of who's facilitating it. In a nutshell, it begins with a discovery process that typically includes market research firm, financial and client analysis, stakeholder engagement. And then from there, a strategic vision or an overall direction is formed and a committee designs a plan that achieves that vision within a certain time period. And then that plan gets rolled out to the firm through a lot of communication and buy in building and all of the things that you would expect. So that's really, you know, in the most simplistic way I can describe it how a law firm strategy happens. It really starts with the people in charge deciding that the firm needs a plan for change.

Ali: No, thank you very much. I mean, blood sweat and tears is no better summary of it. I guess in the reality, but no, that's a really lovely opening for us to get a nice overview and as we go through, it's gonna be so good to kind of just del delve deeper into it. And kind of with that in mind, I know you were talking about the different approaches people might have, it might be that they bring in a consultant, they go in house. You know, when you start to think about yourself, how did you come to be in that role as a Chief Strategy Officer? And when did you realize that this was something that you could really add value to it for.


Brie: Yeah. So I actually, I was a consultant and that is how I came into this when I first met Much. I was working as a principal consultant for a company called Growth Play. I imagine many of the listeners here are familiar with Growth Play and Deb Knupp, who's one of the founders of that company. She's a good friend and mentor. She brought me in to work with her on Much's five-year strategic growth plan back in 2017. So that's how I got introduced to the firm. I was already doing this kind of work. But on the outside for many firms and then a few years later, Much brought me in-house and I was really excited about the idea because, really for the first time, I was going to get to not only work with the firm to design their next five-year strategic plan again, but this way, I could also really see it all the way through implementation and that's something that a consultant rarely gets to do. You know, we tend to as consultants, come in, design, facilitate, help them launch it, and then it's just sort of a check-in. So how are things going and you sort of have no control over, you know, what really happens. And it always feels just a little bit, you know, unfinished. So that's how I got to know Much. My background is in marketing, business development and strategic growth and both outside of legal, and certainly inside of legal. So I've always enjoyed that strategic plan-building process. I like facilitating groups to solve problems and design for the future and do research and thinking innovatively. So that's really part of my wiring and there really aren't many of us Chief Strategy Officers in law firms around. I think it's a relatively new position. And I think we're, those of us in the position are really still kind of defining it as we go. But I'm really proud of Much for seeing the potential in having an in-house CSO who can drive strategic value and progress really daily. And we're a smaller firm. We only have about 100 lawyers or so. And given that size, I feel like my work and that value you're asking about, how did I know I could add real value? Given that size and the work that I'm doing day in and day out, I really do see it making a meaningful difference for the people who work here. So that's really fulfilling for me.

Ali: Yeah, I can imagine. I know we're gonna kind of get into this and go a little bit deeper, but just a few of those threads that you're talking on now. I mean, it would be interesting to understand a bit more on your thoughts. You mentioned that, you know, that CSO role is not something that's actually that common. I know from when we've spoken previously, you know, you've now got your CMO Alison who's doing a fantastic job and how much you enjoy working with her. I guess kind of a question for you around that. It's just do you see more Chief Strategy Officers coming to the forefront within law firms? Because it really does give you the opportunity to sit in the cockpit and drive everything forward with, you know, the firms, you know, managing committee, or do you think that actually that still lays on the CMO, I mean, it would be interesting to kind of understand your thoughts there.

Brie: Yeah, I think that it's a great question and it's interesting to see how this kind of evolves. I do think there are a number of CMOs and CMBDOs out there who very much serve in the role of Chief Strategy Officer while also running the marketing or business development operations of the firm. They are very closely tied, how we're defining Chief Strategy Officer anyways and how I think a number of CMOs who have that seat at the table are able to, you know, make things happen and create real value on the strategic side. But I also think that there are probably just as many CMOs, CMBDOs, Directors of Marketing out there who feel like they have a lot to offer in the strategic space and don't get that entree into the room if you will where marketing is still heavily based on marketing, the job function of marketing is still heavily based on marketing, communications and awards and accolades and things like that, events and while those are all incredibly important and take absolute talent and focus to do and to do well. I think a lot of firms and sort of, you know, the proverbial boardroom, doesn't see that same person who leads that as being the same person who would lead the firm's strategic growth. And I think that's a miss. I think that there's a real opportunity for those who are focused on, you know, how will the firm grow our competitive presence. Where can we be, you know, best serving our clients out there? A lot of times it's the marketers in the firm who understand best the client perspective. And that is, I think we're gonna talk about this, that is really where it all needs to start.

Ali: Yeah, I couldn't agree with you more and I do think it is something that is a real miss because it's, you know, sort of hand and glove on in terms of having that marketing element in turn with the strategy and actually being able to drive everything forward. So with that in mind, it'd be great to kind of start to del delve a little bit deeper into the strategy. And a couple of times there, you, you've described the process arriving at strategy as that real design process. For you, what does that design look like? And, and why do you refer to it that way?

Brie: Yeah, so I refer to it. Mostly I use the word design because we use a version of design thinking here to build our strategic growth plan. Are you familiar with design thinking, Ali?

Ali: I'm not if I'm honest. So I'm looking forward to hearing about it.

Brie: Well, let me dive in a little bit. So design thinking. I imagine some of the listeners here or have some familiarity with it. It's an innovation process or a problem-solving process. But what makes it unique is that it's really anchored around human-centered design. And so when I talk about our strategic plan and we actually here call it a strategic growth plan. The reason I use the word design is because we really are designing this for people. And when I say people, I mean, people on our team, people within our client businesses and people within our community. So it's people sort of in the broadest definition, our stakeholders if you will. So by the following design thinking ideology, we really help ensure that the strategic plan we do create is meaningful and useful to the actual end users, to the people who will use and benefit from it. I'll talk a little bit more. So for example, in order to reframe our strategy around what those people need, we take this outside in approach. So rather than having what I've seen happen time and again, at different, not just law firms, but different businesses is you have this very small group of decision makers, people in leadership roles who sit around a table and kind of, you know, ideate and come up with a plan for the future rather than doing that. We go to this outside in approach, we spend a lot of time actively listening to our people again that the, the broader sense of people being team clients and community referral partners so on and so forth. In fact, for the plan that we just launched in June of this year, we spent, oh, it's probably five months just talking to people. We talked with clients, we talked with those partners of the community and referral partners. We interviewed over 100 of our team members. Which amounts to about 60% of our firm, which is pretty huge and surveyed even more than that. And of course, we, you know, we poured over industry trends and client forecasts and really did everything we could to understand what our clients and our employees need to do the work that they love. And that's where we started then using that and coming together. We selected the largest strategic planning committee our firms ever had, including we had attorneys at all levels, including associates. We had members of our professional leadership team, plus our entire management committee to come around for, you know, another 5 to 6 months um to define the vision that we would be following for the next five years. So we take all of that good information that we got from the sort of the discovery phase of talking to people understanding where they're headed, where we need to be headed to be in alignment with them. We get our committee together and then we hold a series of design sessions um where we're studying all of that and we start really brainstorming, right? So we start putting all the ideas we can think of on the table. So, I knew that the vision was going to really important to my vision was going to be that we were focusing on our future, would be focused on people's professional growth and their personal wellbeing. And so I challenged our strategic planning committee to envision a future that serves those two things, our people's professional growth and again, that includes our clients and our team and their personal wellbeing. And then working together as a committee came up with, I mean, reams, you know, dozens of ideas which then we narrowed down and ultimately ended up with this, you know, certainly ambitious but achievable list for our five-year plan. So it really is a design process that we follow. Once we have those ideas narrowed down, the next step is to prototype and to really kind of, you know, put some flesh on the bones if you will, where we create charters for each of our selected initiatives, we really try to flesh it out and say, OK, so let's say we're going to move forward with this, you know, idea, what does that look like? What will it take? Who would be involved? How soon could we do it? What kind of costs would be, you know, anticipated? How will we know we're successful and we get all of these charters built as, like I said, prototypes. And that really helps us on the committee understand, you know, get more clarity around prioritization and timing. In fact, we cut some initiatives out. After reading through the charters, we added a couple of new initiatives that didn't come into visibility until we had these others done. In the end, we had our plan and we were ready to implement it. So that was a long-winded answer. But that's why I use the word design a lot as you really do follow that design thinking methodology and try to reframe it all around the people who use and benefit from the strategy once it's designed.

Ali: It's fascinating. And that was certainly an education for me around design thinking and hopefully for others listening. But look, picking up on that one of the things I really like there is you're talking about that so much of it is centered around people. And at the end of the day, if we start to think about law firms, and professional services, it is a people business, a people game. And when you, it's fascinating how you kind of relate that back to, you know, you're talking about sort of the personal growth and personal wellbeing there, how that ultimately all filters back into, I guess the broader picture that you mentioned at the very start be that adapting or growing or competitive positioning those sorts of things. But all of that throughout, as you say, the theme is people. So if you haven't got you know, that strategic growth band that focuses around them, how are you ever gonna kind of execute it in any successful way.

Brie: Yeah, that's right. Even some of our initiatives that are really feel very technical in nature, you know, like a new process or a new system or something like that. It doesn't feel like people, like, really come into play and I couldn't challenge it and I can, I could show how it's actually, even though it's a very operational system we're talking about, it still comes down to people's success and well being again, whether those are our internal people or external stakeholders, it still comes down to the people. 

Ali: Yeah, I couldn't agree more. And so, so in your experience, what, what do you think defines an effective strategy?

Brie: Yeah. Well, so I think it's, you know, a couple of things I mentioned, I would say that outside in really making sure that we're not getting tunnel vision and just focused on the perspectives of those few around the table. So getting a diverse set of perspectives and inputs from people inside the firm, people outside the firm. Secondly, I would say it needs to be ambitious but still be achievable, right? So if it's not ambitious enough, it won't excite or inspire. But if it's not achievable, it will actually be, you know, even more detrimental because people will feel like, OK, well, you know, like, what are they thinking? That's completely unrealistic. So it's got to inspire but not overwhelm. And then the third thing that I don't really talk about, but I think it's just as important in terms of having an effective strategy is that the strategy itself needs to be agile the world changes, right? The market changes as we learned during our last five year plan, global pandemics happen, and we didn't have a pillar in our plan about what to do in a global pandemic, right? So your strategy has to be able to flex. So the way I do that and have done that with our current plan is we set, you know, we've got the vision and then we set pillars and I intentionally use the word pillar, I mean, they really are just buckets or categories, but I intentionally use the word pillar because to me pillar, it it symbolizes something very concrete, right? Something that's it's stable and it's gonna weather any storm at the end of the day, no matter what happens, these are the four things in our plan, we have four pillars. These are the four things that we are all about in terms of hitting our vision, the initiatives and the priorities that sort of fall within those pillars though, those can adapt, right? Those can flex, those can adapt to new or unexpected conditions. So if we have one pillar that's all around client service and something you know, drastically changes that would make the initiatives within our client service pillar need to transform. That's OK. But we're still focusing concretely on client service as part of our strategic plan. So I think it's those three things outside in, ambitious, well achievable and agile. 

Ali: No, I really like that and it's really sort of starts to set up everything for actually my following question. You always started answering it there, which I thought was wonderful because that agility element I was just thinking about in terms of even the previous answer that you were given around how you had set up the prototype, you had a couple of initiatives and you're like, actually, oh we're gonna pull one or two of these because they're not gonna be achievable or whatever. So already, it was kind of filtering into to a lot of what you've been talking about, which I just love. But, you know, as we say, as you sort of been saying there, you know, setting that direction is one thing and you started to allude to it in terms of actually executing on that strategy is a whole different ball game. I know you've mentioned a couple of bits there, but is there anything else that's worth mentioning on how you actually start with implementing that strategic plan?

Brie: Yeah, the design process, even though it takes a better part of a year, here anyway, it is the easy part when compared to implementation. So and then you know, that's why so many beautifully documented and bound strategic plans just sit on a shelf, collecting dust, right? I mean, you hear it over and over again, so we've just spent maybe a full year perfecting this plan. Now, you know, you've birthed the baby, you need everyone to love it and adopt it as their own and that's a whole lot harder. So I think I think there are two extremely important pieces to starting the implementation process. The first is active and visible sponsorship from the executive level of the firm. So this means firm leaders, the most influential people and sometimes sometimes the most influential people are not necessarily at the highest level, but firm leaders of the most influence need to be invested. Like they have to be able to recite the vision, they need the elevator pitch and be able to deliver it, you know, at a moment's notice, what is the plan? Why are we doing it? Where are we going? And then they have to get other people excited and on board and they have to walk the talk, they can't just be a mouthpiece for it. They have to demonstrate the change, by being the change. Then the second thing I would say, most important is frequent and targeted communications. And I know every marketing person listening to this podcast will probably be, you know, nodding their head and saying, Amen sister. So after we rolled out the new plan. This latest one, we rolled it out in our annual meeting um that we have in June and in a town hall firm-wide, but we didn't stop there. We then had deeper dive discussions with various groups, practice group leaders, for example, our associates, our professional staff and really work to connect the dots between what's in the plan, why the person I'm talking to should care about the plan and how that person will be a part of it. So you can't just leave it up for people to, you know, look at a beautiful diagram and go, oh I totally get it. That means a lot to me. And this is exactly, you know how I'm going to be part of it, you can't force them or expect them to make that leap. So you really need to spell it out for people and spell it out in two way dialogue, then once the plan is out in the wild and people are starting to understand it, then you have to show the winds and the progress early on. So it's another form of frequent targeted communications. You can't just do a big reveal of the new plan and then go radio silent for six months. So each time something new is announced or a change is rolled out, we always tie it back to the plan. So it's, you know, Hey, we're making this change about XYZ this as you might recall is part of our strategic plan. So we continue to bring it back then every few months, I send a progress report. So I'm getting ready to send a progress report out to the firm right now saying here's what's happening with the strategic plan initiatives. And as a reminder, here's how you can get involved. I think that, you know, my role from going, you know, through design and sort of the launch and now into implementation has transitioned a bit. So it went from facilitating the design of the plan now to being sort of the centralized kind of operations leader of the plan.

And so now I kind of see my charge as equal parts strategic plan champion, progress tracker, communicator and head nudge. So you just, you can never let up, you have to stay positive and you have to be on a constant roadshow for the plan because this is not the thing that the attorneys are thinking about or that the legal assistants are thinking about every day. But it is the thing I'm thinking about every day. 

Ali: And so you should be, but it's an exciting place to be in because it is something that is very, I suppose tangible when you get those wins that you talk about. And actually, I love those two points, you know, the whole active, you know, and visible sponsorship from from those at the top. But then that whole targeted and frequent comms is, is so important and actually it ties into what you just said there, which I, I know you mentioned it and you mentioned it when we previously spoke about like being that head nudge, which, but I imagine there's that thing that's always at the fore forefront of your mind. So you've got to be helping to drive that forward. But when you think about that, you know, do you think you could maybe just tell us a little bit more about that in terms of being the head nudge.

Brie: My honorary title head nudge. 

Ali: Yeah. Yeah, the official title of head nudge and they're a bit more around that, but also how you're keeping those busy lawyers engaged. You know, I guess one of those things that you say is sharing those wins, you know, how you're already like explaining how they fit into the picture. But yeah, I would love to understand any more than to mind.

Brie: Yeah. So the story, the back story is my boss who's the managing partner told everyone on our strategic planning committee that she was appointing me head nudge back when each of our committee members were responsible for building the charters out, right? So there's a lot of work that everybody was taking on individually. But, you know, it was, we all laughed at the time, but it was actually really, really helpful for her to say it out loud like that, and so this is a tip that I would share, is getting, getting that, you know, highest level executive sponsor to anoint you in front of everyone. Basically to permit you and expect you to bug people. Right. So she basically took ownership of my pestering of people and from that point, I didn't have to feel like I was just bugging people because of, you know, because on my own account or because I felt like I wanted to, she made it clear that I'm bugging people because it's really important. We get this done for the firm. So, that was just, I mean, it was simple but it, it actually ended up being really helpful and fortunately our people really have been engaged and I really haven't needed to nudge nearly as much as we thought I would. So that''s the good news. But you know, It's like it's like with anything in a law firm when you have busy lawyers involved in non billable initiatives, you just, you have to be mindful of their time, right? Don't waste it. Show that when you're asking for their time, it's being put to good use, be supportive with some of the administrative overheads. So if you've got somebody who's a great strategic thinker, put them at, you know,

use them at the highest and best. Right. If building a spreadsheet is not their highest and best, don't expect them to do it. Either I'll do it myself or I'll find somebody to do it, but I'm not gonna ask them to do tasks that as individuals. I mean, I might have another attorney who loves doing spreadsheets, but as individuals I'm gonna make sure I'm using their time  towards their highest and best use as it as it relates to the strategic plan. And then as you pointed out, showing them that their efforts are really leading to things that they can be proud of. So showing the wins, showing the successes, sharing the positive feedback and reactions so on and so forth.

Ali: Yeah, it makes a lot of a lot of sense. I mean, that's where people then start to really buy into it. Is that kind of feedback loop isn't it, understanding the time and effort in what that's ultimately achieved? But yeah, around the head nudge. I love that. I think we should all go away and anoint a head nudge for um anything that we actually achieved. And you know, you heard it here first for yourself, really very important. It's very, very important. Now coming kind of almost full circle from some of the stuff that you mentioned at the start, you know, when you're a consultant, you know, with GrowthPlay, you got to sort of see everything right through to the point of basically execution and then never really got to see anything seeing further. I mean, it would be really interesting to understand now that you've been through the cycle at Much, what for you or how can you potentially, I suppose, tell if you've been successful with that strategic plan? Is it something that's very much, is it there are anecdotal examples or is it something that's very objective in terms of numbers? It would be really interesting to understand that.

Brie: You know, in my opinion, one of the very hardest things to capture when working in law firm, strategic plans compared to corporate strategic plans are those quantitative objective metrics and KPIs, of course, the more you have them in your plan, the easier it is to show and prove success. I mean it makes it super easy, right? To be able to say, well, we said we were gonna grow by this percentage or we were going to increase this, you know, this component by X that it's just a lot harder, you know, I'm sure some firms have much, you know, more robust data systems than mid-size. But we just don't have a lot of that. And you know, lawyers by their very nature, I will say, are reluctant to put absolutes in writing. So even if we have access to the data, there is some reluctance I think to put out there, we're going to do, you know absolutely this by then. So there are a few things that we can readily mark as achieved or not achieved, you know, that are very much more sort of black and white, cut and dry. But we also do rely a lot more on anecdotal and qualitative evidence, right. So, for example, those same stakeholder interviews and surveys that we do when we're getting ready to design a new plan, we continue those um throughout the implementation of the plan, ours is a five-year plan. So we will annually um conduct further client interviews, further stakeholder interviews and surveys to just to sort of check the pulse on whether progress is being made in meaningful ways and people are perceiving it.

Ali: It makes a lot of sense. That makes a lot of sense. I think having to be able to keep, ultimately keeping yourself accountable throughout. It is probably the best that you can do rather than, as you say, letting it all drift. And again, it makes sense as to why you'd actually appoint a Chief Strategy Officer and have somebody who is anointed, you know, that sole focus of it because otherwise, these sort of things do sadly end up drifting. But thank you for sharing it is really, really useful. And then finally, I can't believe it, we're on to kind of the final part of this. As we always do as a sort of tradition um on the CMO Series, it would be great to understand what one piece of advice you would have for those who are trying to improve the way that their firm designs and therefore executes their strategy?

Brie: There is, you know, I think there are many nuggets that I've learned and many more that I'm sure I will learn. But the one I will go to is help the lawyers in your firm approach the process with a growth mindset. So help them do create an environment where they can have an open mind play to win and take risks. And that's a bigger ask than some might realize, you know, the legal profession is rooted in precedent, right. Law firms notoriously slow to innovate. They don't want to be first at anything. And so we really, you know, my advice is to again create the conditions, give people the encouragement and safety to come at your plan from a place from a place of possibility asking really what if and not just continuing to do things the way they've always been done. The minute I hear somebody says an idea and the minute I hear somebody else retort with, we tried that before and it didn't work. I immediately ask, when was that, when was that, that we tried that before? And honestly, more often than not, the response is, oh, it was over 10 years ago. Right. And so for me, 10 years ago is a really long time ago. It's like it, you know, we can try that again. But  for some, they think if it was ever tried before, then, you know, there's no statute of limitations on it. So really, really encourage that growth mindset that, that from a place of possibility and why versus, you know, no.

Ali:  Of course. A wonderful closing remark and piece of advice. I mean, essentially enable that growth mindset that's gonna disrupt status quo, which I really need. So as is tradition, we have a little bit of a quick fire round just to round things off. A little bit of fun. Just gonna rattle through those if that's OK with you?

Brie: Of course, let's hear it. 

Ali: Brilliant. So, first off, what's your favorite business and nonbusiness book? 

Brie: There are several, but so quick fire. So today I will choose Shanghai Girls by Lisa See as my favorite novel and When by Daniel Pink for my business book. Although my favorite title for a business book goes to David Meister's Strategy and The Fat Smoker. Check it out.

Ali: My favorite book title is Never Eat Alone and well worth a read.

Brie: It's a good one.

Ali: It is a very good one. What was your first job?

Brie: Okay. My very, very first job other than babysitting was sweeping up hair and managing the appointment book for the neighborhood hair salon, which was a total dream job for a teenager because I got free haircuts and blowouts anytime.

Ali: As you say, the absolute dream. So what makes you happy at work?

Brie: I like helping people connect dots. I know I said that a couple times but I really do. That's what you know, that's where I get my kicks, helping people connect those dots take risks. Think outside of the box makes me happy when somebody steps into my office and wants to bounce ideas around or stop and tell me about, you know, some accomplishment they've had or they just wanna kind of have somebody to hear them out about things that makes me happy.

Ali: I love that. I love that.  What are you listening to at the moment? It could be a podcast, Music, audiobook?

Brie: For music, my go to is Coffee House on Sirius XM and I am listening right now to Atomic Habits by James Clear. I also recommend that. 

Ali: Finally, what is your favorite place to visit and why?

Brie: Anywhere in Europe, I have always loved it and I was really fortunate to study abroad twice in France, once as an undergrad and again in business school. I'd say I'm a lifelong student of different cultures and languages and as you well know, Europe is rich with them. So that's a favorite spot.

Ali: Love that, love that. Well, thank you very much. Wonderful. Excellent. I thoroughly enjoyed that, Brie, it's been an absolute pleasure. I'm not gonna lie. Various people I've spoken to prior to this have been very excited for this to be released. So hopefully, for those listening, it hasn't disappointed. It certainly hasn't disappointed me. It's been absolutely fascinating, so much wonderful info so thanks so much for making the time for it.

Brie: Of course. And anyone who is listening, who wants to have more of a conversation about it. I would be happy to make myself available for that. 

Ali: That's incredibly kind. Thank you.



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