Rees Morrison reports that clients get unhappy when their lawyers have internal meetings. According to some of the general counsel he works with, these meetings are seen as unnecessary additions to the bill. Meanwhile, their outside counsel know that these meetings have been a traditional means of sharing important matter information and, thereby, promoting efficiency. For the general counsel who are concerned about this issue, Rees goes on to provide some strategies they might employ to reduce the financial impact of internal meetings.
I would respectfully suggest that there may be a better, less contentious approach. If we can agree that general counsel and their outside lawyers understand that there is great value in knowledge sharing and that we are all invested in promoting this sharing, then we should work to find a more efficient and cost-effective means of knowledge sharing rather than making the sharing financially difficult for the outside lawyers. Instead of old-fashioned meetings, could we perhaps try … Enterprise 2.0?
The promise of Enterprise 2.0 is that it offers low-cost, light-weight ways of creating information streams so that participants can share their knowledge as and when needed. This has the added benefit of eliminating some unnecessary meetings and emails – especially those regarding status updates. Of course, there is no substitute for face-to-face meetings and sometimes meeting in person is the best and most efficient thing to do. But for those other times, we should consider taking advantage of current technology to maximize knowledge sharing while minimizing the financial impact on clients and firms alike.
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