Confronting Your Favorite Canadian

Our firm has several great Canadian partners, counsel and associates. However, our firm’s favorite Canadian is more popular than all those wonderful folks combined. What’s the name of our favorite Canadian?  Blackberry.

In a few short years, the Blackberry has become a critical business tool for most law firms as well as businesses in other industries. Despite its ubiquity, can anyone tell me of an instance where the Blackberry was used to advance law firm knowledge management efforts? Does it allow users access to KM systems? Is its display of your RSS feeds so attractive that lawyers are happy to read those feeds on their Blackberries? Does it provide the ability to use your social media tools (e.g., your internal wikis, blogs, etc.) remotely? What about your enterprise search engine — can you run a search via your Blackberry?

In fairness, the Blackberry is not a portable computer and, therefore,  we should not expect to replicate the functionality of our office desktops on our Blackberries. However, this fact does leave a question for law firm knowledge managers: if the most popular tool in the firm provides 24/7 access to lawyers, but handles only e-mail well, do we need to tailor our KM systems to work via e-mail? Or is this a gross distortion of good business process? Alternatively, if your KM systems aren’t accessible via Blackberry, are you, your KM systems and your team a luxury only available in the office? Does that make sense when your lawyers have to work around the clock and around the world?

If the Blackberry is going to be a fixture in our enterprises (at least in the short term), doesn’t it make sense to confront our favorite Canadian and figure out how the Blackberry can be used to advance knowledge management?

Happy Canada Day!

[Photo Credit:  michael40001]