The Future of Search #ILTAG31 #ILTACON

Session Description:

What does the future hold for search in law firms? How far will legal knowledge management push the search envelope beyond documents, matters and expertise? Further than you think! Let’s explore the future of search, including integrating search-enabled applications, broadening the search scope available to the mobile professional, incorporating artificial intelligence, enhanced visualization and the use of predictive analytics, and the use of machine-generated metadata  to improve search results. See how search can fulfill its promise of making your lawyers more effective and firm-client relationships more collaborative.

Takeaways:
Identify possible search functions
Visualize the future of search in your law firm
Learn how you can prepare for the future of search
Hear Case Studies from two law firms to improve search

Speakers:

  • Doug Freeman, Knowledge Systems Manager, White & Case
  • Peter Wallqvist, VP of Strategy, iManage/RAVN
  • Todd J. Friedlich, Senior Manager of KM Technology and Innovation, Ropes & Gray
  • Glenn LaForce, VP of Knowledge Management, Aderant

[These are my notes from the International Legal Technology Association’s 2017 Conference. I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, so they may contain the occasional typographical or grammatical error. Please excuse those. To the extent I’ve made any editorial comments, I’ve shown those in brackets.]

NOTES:

  • Drive User Adoption.
    • Maximize points of contact — Don’t put search under a separate tab. Instead, put a search box on every page of the intranet, on the laptop, on their desktop, on their Citrix desktop
    • Reduce user “click” – Enable type ahead so users don’t have to type too much
    • Understand Adoption Stats — look at content usage (are the lawyers looking for legal documents or specific tools?). Plus tie in other data sources. For example, combine financial stats with your user stats to see if there is a correlation between high users and profitability.
    • User adoption — is the “document” the primary container of knowledge? Lawyers and professionals don’t think only in “documents”. There are other containers of knowledge that are natural for users. So deconstruct documents into their constituent parts, such as clauses. Focus first on the business problem they are trying to solve in their search.
  • Provide an Intuitive Search Experience.
    • On the web, search seems intuitive. Unfortunately, it is too often a completely different experience inside the enterprise.
    • To improve the search experience, move from keyword counts to contextual understanding to determine relevance. Google did this by using hyperlinks to validate relevance. Because you may not have hyperlinks within the firm, you will need to bring other internal and external data to bear. (White & Case uses internal and external (from vendors) data to help determine relevance.)
    • Make it easier to find your content by increasing the refinement options beyond those provided by the system that is the source of your data. Ropes & Gray merges data from a variety of sources to provide more ways to refine/filter their search results.
    • Leverage search intent to provide customized refinement options/weighted results. For example, increase the weight of rankings based on the identity of the searcher.
  • Provide a More Complete Set of Information.
    • How to bring in more external sources to augment search results? Earlier, the only way was to use federated search. Then some external vendors (e.g., Practical Law Company) allowed firms to index PLC content, which drove much higher levels of PLC use. Now some external data sources are allowing firms to index on premises subsets of their vendor content (e.g., treatises).
    • When bringing in vendor data, also bring in snippets that allow the user to preview the content.
    • These techniques really drive higher levels of usage of vendor content.
  • Lowering the Cost of Custom Search-Based Applications.
    • A search platform is in the unique position of being a universal portal/repository of information. It can show data from disparate systems in a single interface.
    • New search systems should have a flexible API to enable creative uses of their search tool.
    • Repurpose existing system: For example, can you repurpose the custom macros or javascript you have already developed?
    • As vendors provide more flexible APIs, it will be possible to combine/recombine those APIs without a developer
    • Ropes & Gray is prototyping tools for non-developers/power users:
      • Data Dictionary and Custom Aggregation Tool to allow joining of data by end/power users
      • RAD tools such as SharePoint/ Nintext so power users can create workflow-enabled, dynamic forms to power search.
    • The more you can lowering these barriers, the more you lower the cost of development by enabling work by non-developers.
  • Trends for the Next Five Years.
    • Chat bots — for example, Do Not Pay is a chat bot for fighting tickets. It guides the user through a process online. Can we extend this to other operations? It allows the computer to figure out what you are looking for and then deliver it to you. It allows you to “go on a journey” just like you do when you speak with a person.
    • Cloud — if you have applications in the cloud, how can you access and index them efficiently in your on prem system? But going beyond this, should search be a cloud service? (Where the document is on prem but its text is “represented” and indexed/searched in the cloud.)
      • Search will have to “follow the data” where it lives. Then we will need appropriate policies/governance so clients are confident about security and confidentiality.
      • One day, clients may ask to search their documents on your system by using your index.
    • Time and Billing — use AI to determine key characteristics of time records, then use those results to enrich search. In the next five years, there will be a convergence between AI and search.
  • Security and Rights Management.
    • This has been a perennial challenge for search.
    • A proper enterprise search engine should respect your security rules. But the humans in charge need to specify those security rules for the search engine.
    • GDPR is an incredibly onerous data protection law that is coming into force in Europe. Now it is a criminal offense to expose data that should not be accessible. On the other hand, a properly-implemented search engine that respects security rules should help address this problem.
    • When a firm is required to lock content down on a need-to-know basis, you can still derive value from search because sometimes the metadata exposed by the search engine is as important (or more important) that the underlying hidden document.
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What Uber Can Teach Us About Feedback #ILTAG21 #ILTACON

Session Description:

Contemporaneous customer feedback has become an integral component of the economic model for many service industries. From restaurants to ride shares, a wide array of companies leverage this feedback to improve their offerings, connecting them more meaningfully to what their customers value most. Why has law not implemented a similar feedback loop between firms and clients? Are there structural impediments to real time feedback? How might we go about constructing a system where such feedback is encouraged and used to improve legal services? Come hear a law department leader, an AmLaw executive, and an itinerant futurist share their thoughts on the availability of feedback in law today, the type of contemporaneous information we should be collecting, how it presents opportunities to firms and clients alike, and how organizations like ILTA can play a pivotal role in fostering the collaboration needed to develop a meaningful feedback system.

Takeaways:

  • Understand the benefits of meaningful feedback for firms and clients
  • Generate ideas regarding the type of feedback valuable to improving the services firms offer
  • Identify how organizations such as ILTA can be pivotal in creating feedback standards

Speakers:

  • John Alber, ILTA Futurist
  • Michael Haven, Senior Director, AGC, and Head of Legal Operations at Gap Inc.
  • Jeffrey C. Schwartz, Head of Legal Operations Innovation at Hinshaw & Culbertson

[These are my notes from the International Legal Technology Association’s 2017 Conference. I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, so they may contain the occasional typographical or grammatical error. Please excuse those. To the extent I’ve made any editorial comments, I’ve shown those in brackets.]

NOTES:

  • Make sure you are requesting feedback for the right reasons. Initially, some firms undertook client feedback programs because they heard it “made the client relationship stickier.” This is not the best motivation. The better motivation is to elicit information that helps you provide better client service.
  • Make sure you are asking for the right kind of feedback.  It is tempting to ask for qualitative feedback: How responsive do you find us? How well do you think we understand the critical area of law? Rather, ask for quantitative feedback regarding efficiency. Clients invariably are more interested in the feedback that has a clear positive impact on service delivery.
  • Think about how clients prefer to evaluate. Some clients are developing internal tools to measure the service of their various external lawyers. Ask early what they are tracking, what is important to them.
  • Frequency. Don’t wait until the end of a matter before requesting feedback. Clients would prefer at least quarterly check-ins.
    • At Uber, every single touch with a customer gets rated.
    • No firm represented in the audience seeks feedback after every client interaction. There were very few in the audience who did it more frequently than annually.
    • As tempting as it might be to ramp up to requesting evaluations after every interaction, keep in mind that this may be more than the client wants or can handle. Ask for the client’s preference.
  • Granularity.
    • How granular should the feedback request be?
    • You need to calibrate this depending on (1) what’s important to the client and (2) the quality of service delivery.
    • The net effect of fairly granular and regular feedback it that it causes greater accountability and engagement on the part of the lawyers.
  • Metrics.
    • There are data science consequences and human behavior consequences to the type of metrics you track. So check the science as you are designing your system.
    • See the comments above about qualitative and quantitative metrics — and what clients care about.
  • Barriers.
    • Unlike your interaction with an Uber driver, this is an ongoing relationship rather than a transactional relationship. Therefore, if you give your lawyer a bad rating, it can be uncomfortable to work with that lawyer again. Does this lead to grade inflation. (Think about grade inflation for personal assistants in law firms.)
    • How do you create enough anonymity that allows people to provide bad feedback.
    • We need to learn how to have the “courageous conversation” in a professional, constructive way. A key to this is to make obvious that you are invested in the relationship and really want it to work well.
    • Increasing the frequency of feedback helps focus on small problems early rather than huge deferred problems. These small conversations are understood as “tweaking” a good relationship rather than upending it.
  • What if every member of the team was rated? Bryan Cave had experience with a client feedback system that was connected with a bonus structure.
  • Where to begin in your firm?
    • Michael Haven — Start by talking to your client. They probably already have an operations group that is measuring various things about your firm. So ask them at the beginning of an engagement what is important for them.
    • John Alber — Mine Your Own Data:
      • Begin by asking how sticky a client relationship is.
      • Then, ask why.
      • Then, discern the data that appear to correlate with high and low stickiness.
      • Then present these data to your firm in a way that intrigues them.
    • Jeffrey Schwartz — Increase transparency within the firm: Give the firm data that helps the lawyers ask productive questions about existing client relationships.
      • are we noticing a difference in the rate of bill payments?
      • are we noticing an increase/decrease in demand?
    • Collaborate with the Marketing group of your firm. They are voracious producers/consumers of data.
    • Pay attention to patterns of behavior in your document management system. What does this indicate about efficiency? About approaches by specific client teams?
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Pablos Holman Keynote: Innovate or Die Trying #ILTAKEY1 #ILTACON

Session Title and Description: Innovate or Die Trying: From the Mind of a World-Renowned Hacker

“If you’ve been to an ILTACON keynote presentation before, you know we’ve featured futurists. To start off our 40th ILTACON, we’re turning up the dial with a futurist, inventor and notorious hacker who has a unique view into breaking and building new technologies, which leads to new approaches to solving world problems. Pablos works on projects that assimilate new technologies and make wild ideas more practical. What are computers yet to accomplish? What advancements will legal technology experience? ILTA members are concerned with disruption by legal startups and the need for innovation. Pablos will help us think differently about how we could solve some of our legal technology challenges. Katie DeBord, Chief Innovation Officer at Bryan Cave, LLP will join Pablos at the end of his talk to ask him some questions — her own and those the audience posts in the mobile app during the session. Then we’ll open the floor for live audience questions.”

[These are my notes from the International Legal Technology Association’s 2017 Conference. I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, so they may contain the occasional typographical or grammatical error. Please excuse those. To the extent I’ve made any editorial comments, I’ve shown those in brackets.]

NOTES:

  • Today’s objective.  To help us start thinking like hackers. In Holman’s view, “no one ever invented a technology by following directions.” What it takes is not just thinking outside the box, but actually taking the box AND its contents apart to figure out how they work and how they might work differently or better.
  • Computers are the key. The key to prescience is to look around the environment to find functions/areas that do not yet leverage computers. Then, find a way to apply computing logic/power to that. This is a great way to come up with fabulous new interventions.
  • Malaria is a great opportunity for hackers. Malaria is one of the greatest causes of death of children. And it is entirely preventable. The prior methods for dealing with malaria (e.g., DDT) are neither scalable or sustainable. So he hired hackers to hack the mosquito/malaria system. They “bought some junk” on eBay and then six weeks later, they were able to track bugs and show that tracking on a computer. Next, they developed a laser that can identify the characteristics of each mosquito tracked. Finally, they use a lethal laser to kill the malaria-carrying mosquito. This is an example of using hacking mindset + computing power + imagination to tackle a wicked problem.
  • Imagination Constrained. Holman says that for years we were technology constrained. (Just think about the processing power of early computers.) Now we have tremendous processing power in smartphones. Yet we use these phones to play games, make rude noises, exchange photos, etc. In his words, “we used to be resource constrained. Now we are imagination constrained.”
  • The Nuclear Challenge. Current nuclear reactors were designed in the era of the sliderule. They are only 7% efficient. The rest of the uranium is waste and generates tons of nuclear waste that is simply being stockpiled until our children can figure out what to do with it. Holman and his team ran Monte Carlo simulations to figure out every possible reaction inside a nuclear reactor. Then they redesigned the reactor to be 100% efficient. Plus, the genius part is that they use all that stockpiled nuclear waste as the fuel.
  • Rapid Iteration. Software is eating the world today because of rapid iteration. The tech sector continuously A/B tests critical aspects of the software and then upgrades on the fly. This continuous deployment is far faster than the 18-month production cycles in old-school manufacturing.
  • It’s a New Era. Biological evolution allowed the human species to survive and win. The name of the game was basic survival. Now, however, if we do not have to worry about mere survival, what should we do? We need to use our brains, our imaginations, our technology to evolve to the next level — beyond Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (at least with respect to the lower parts of the pyramid, the quantity of life issues). But, is technology really helping us with the higher levels of they pyramid? Social, Self-Esteem, Self-Actualization? Technology is not solving the problems related to these higher levels, the quality of life issues.
  • Humans must make choices. We have to make better choices about how we use our tools. And we need to make better choices about how we interact with those tools. Robots do only what we train them to do. Unfortunately, humans are very bad role models.
  • “Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.”
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Key Trends in Consulting Industry Knowledge Management

Session Description:  This session examines the consulting industry, with a special focus on knowledge management practices in that industry. The speaker is Robert Armacost, Engagement Director at Iknow LLC.

[These are my notes from a private gathering of senior knowledge management professionals from large law firms. The participants come from law firms around the world.]

  • Business pressure on consulting firms has never been greater
    • data and analytics have transformed the way client services are delivered
    • disruptive competitor models — independent consultants provide services at a fraction of the price of the major consulting firms
      • the biggest competitors sit in-house inside client companies
    • ever-increasing client expectations
  • Consulting firms are doubling down on these strategies
    • professional services firms are focusing on the basic client life cycle. Put the client at the center and then design
      • innovation and product management
      • relationship management
      • account management
      • opportunities and selling
      • service delivery — a key here is using project-based insights to create reusable assets
    • project-based innovation in consulting
      • use and validate an approach or insight. Then create a success story regarding that insight.
      • socialize that success story.
      • memorialize that success story.
      • embed that approach or insight in standardized processes and learning/development efforts.
    • How to make this work?
      • ensure the right motivation: align incentives, cultural norms, ways of working
      • treat knowledge as an asset to be invested in
      • treat the firm as a marketplace of ideas
    • Bain & Co has used the Net Promoter Score to predict customer value and then align investment
    • The new use of data and analytics helps large consulting firms make better-targeted investments in client service delivery
  • Digital enablement is transforming Consulting
    • this goes far beyond old-style digital tools: email, discussion boards, etc.
    • digital enablement refers to technology that is helping firms really differentiate how they work and deliver services
    • business drivers of digital enablement in consulting
      • more efficient and effective working
      • improved client experience — this helps attract and retain clients
      • new business models — monetizing knowledge assets, finding new uses for knowledge assets — they are moving from “services” to “digital assets.” McKinsey has invested heavily in digital assets that they monetize through McKinsey Solutions.
  • Other lessons:
    • People are key to success with these new approaches. So spend a lot of time thinking about how to motivate and support the right behaviors.
    • Confidentiality is key to enabling robust knowledge sharing. The right incentives and culture will promote collaboration and diminish hoarding. The firm’s compensation system has to support knowledge sharing in practical ways.

[Photo Credit: GovLoop]

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The Changing Ecosystem of Legal Services

Session Description:  The legal services ecosystem has changed radically since the turn of the century. This session explores those changes and suggests some responses.

[These are my notes from a private gathering of senior knowledge management professionals from large law firms. The meeting attendees come from law firms around the world. The participants in this session include a Big Law CKO, an in-house counsel, a legal services provider, and the founders of two AI companies.]

  • History of the legal profession: Legal services were largely unchanged from the 12th century to the 20th century. We worked much like the old guilds of craftsmen
  • Context Changes:
    • client businesses have grown in scale and complexity, resulting in bigger and more complex legal issues
    • client businesses have become truly global, so multi-jurisdictional issues abound
    • legal issues are more often multi-disciplinary: economics, engineering, accounting, data analysis
    • our privileged position as professionals has eroded
    • technology has changed the way we work, improving speed but not always improving productivity
    • clients have become buyers, so the nature of lawyer-client relationships have changed and costs are the focus
  • How the “legal species” has evolved in response
    • clients have law departments
    • traditional law firms: Big law, Mid law, etc.
    • some law firms now have “second label” firms to deliver legal services differently
    • law firms have spun off consulting shops
    • temporary staffing agencies augment traditional law firm staffing
  • The ecosystem now is more complex
    • in-sourcing = keeping the work inside the client’s law department
    • out-sourcing
    • multi-sourcing = parceling the work out to a variety of providers
    • procurement
    • project/process management
    • cooptition — where competitors work together
    • virtual firms and networks
    • systems thinking
  • What does the legal ecosystem include?
    • living elements
      • clients
      • law firms
      • law schools
      • alternative legal providers
    • non-living elements
      • increasing regulation
      • increasing concern for privacy
  • Trends in the legal ecosystem
    • the emergence of Legal Ops and procurement practices
    • advances in technology
    • law firm substitutes offer traditional and new legal services
    • VC investment in the legal sector
  • Learning from the Travel Industry
    • What drove the changes from one ecosystem to another?
      • automation
      • alternative service providers — lots of startup offering alternative services and alternative ways of doing things
      • enhanced technology
    • What has happened in the travel industry will happen in legal; the pie will be distributed differently
    • These changes are already happening in the legal industry
    • Assume that the changes will happen faster than you expect
    • Google has found ways to automate the resolution of legal issues internally. Fewer issues will be referred to internal and external counsel.
  • Practical Ways to Respond:
    • Gear up — invest in legal operation
      • find and hire experts in operations, information, and technology
      • give them a seat at the table
    • Standardize everything
      • legal playbooks, decision-making processes, customer interactions — all should be standardized
      • fewer decisions should require human interaction or expertise — only the difficult or complex issues
  • The In-House Perspective on these Issues:
    • Our standard office tools (MS Office) do not appropriately manage legal work inside a company or with external clients
    • Centralization and standardization are key:
      • We need a central platform to enable better legal processes
      • How do we work together when we all have proprietary systems with their own logic and processes
    • All information should follow the same data structure
    • Content should be semantically categorized

[Photo Credit: Wikimedia]

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Be Agile Not Fragile #KMWorld

KMWlogo_Stacked_Session Description: To be agile in knowledge management, and to innovate, Garfield suggests the following principles: identify three key business objectives, focus more on helping people use processes effectively, improve decisions, actions, and learning, connect people to each other so they can help each other at the time of need, implement, improve, and iterate. To avoid being fragile, steer clear of these traps: maturity models, best practices, metrics for the sake of metrics, certification, tool rollout and adoption, personality tests, corporate speak and more! Sure to spark an interesting discussion so don’t miss this session.

Speaker: Stan Garfield, Knowledge Manager, Author Implementing a Successful KM Programme; Founder, SIKM Leaders Community

[These are my notes from the KMWorld 2016 Conference. I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, so they may contain the occasional typographical or grammatical error. Please excuse those. To the extent I’ve made any editorial comments, I’ve shown those in brackets.]

NOTES:

  • Fragile things typically are:
    • Large
    • Overly optimized — they are too smart for their own good; they are obsessed with standardization and efficiency
      • this works if everything goes according to plan
      • BUT things rarely go exactly according to plan — Randomness is the Rule (not the exception) — in the face of random errors or problems, the fragile system cannot cope with the variability
    • Brittle — they don’t have the innate ability to fend off stress
  • Fragilistas:  these are people who try to eliminate volatility.
    • Helicopter parents try to make life as safe as possible for their children but in the process they deprive their children of the ability to learn how to cope with variability and randomness.
  • How to avoid becoming a Fragilista? Avoid these behaviors
    • Maturity models and benchmarking: it’s good to learn from others but don’t try to conform to a rigid model.
      • Seth Godin: “Benchmarking against the universe actually encourages us to be mediocre, to be average, to just do what everyone else is doing.”
    • Best Practices suggest that the ideal has been achieved. Rather it’s better to look for (and then adapt for your context) “proven practices” that fit your environment.
    • Metrics for the sake of metrics — avoid tracking every random thing. Make sure there is a business reason for tracking something.
    • Certification — taking a one-week class in KM is not enough to be a KM expert. Focus on learning not on certification.
    • Tool Rollout and Adoption — don’t fixate on rolling out tools and then “driving” adoption. The better approach is to start with understanding the needs of the organization rather than finding a use for the tool you have purchased.
    • Personality Tests — each person is unique, not an oversimplified archetype. Why do we need this categorization? What is the practical use?
    • Corporate Speak — don’t use buzzwords, insider jargon, or corporate lingo. Refuse to use them —  use words and expressions that are widely understood if your intent is to communicate clearly.
    • Do as I say, not as I do — you must practice what you preach.  Your senior management must lead by example. (And the KM team must lead by example too.) People will closely observe the actions of leaders and mimic them. Therefore, model the desired behaviors.
    • Secrecy — don’t give lip service to transparency while continuing to operate in a closed manner. Communicate frequently, truthfully, and openly.
    • Mediocracy — man organizations have leaders have little (if any) talent and skill who nevertheless are dominant and highly influential. Leaders should serve their people and  treat them with respect.
  • Unfragile behaviors
    • people can’t find information
    • People are reluctant to ask for help in public
    • organizations want to push information out
  • How to Move from fragile to agile?
    • Make content easy to find
      • let users tag content to indicate “I reused this document” or “I found this document helpful”
      • figure out what documents are most important to your organization and force those to the top of the search results
    • Assist people when they ask for help
      • make it easy to figure out where to ask a question
      • train people to ask questions in community spaces
    • Use the power of pull
      • don’t force content on others
      • make your content/tool so attractive that people are eager to opt in
  • What would a “self-healing” KM system look like? (Question from Christian de Nef)
    • Simplicity
    • Mobility — easy to switch from one platform to another
    • Knowledge systems that do not rely on technology
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Innovation Through KM, Process, & Quality #KMWorld

KMWlogo_Stacked_Session Description: KM is but one of the legs that comprise the tripod of an innovation framework. The other two legs are efficient processes and a culture of quality. The need for this triumvirate is focus. Generally, to be successful, KM strategies must be planned and executed in steps. These steps require that KM be introduced through projects both to show progress as well as to limit the impact on an organization’s resources at one time. That’s where process comes into play. as specific processes must be targeted for improvement. The techniques of process improvement enable the focus needed to choose KM projects that are endorsed and supported by senior leadership. The final element of the innovation tripod—a culture of quality—means that the measurement of KM results is expected and conducted.

Speaker: Jim Lee, Sr. Vice-President, Knowledge Management Director, Fulton Financial Corporation

[These are my notes from the KMWorld 2016 Conference. I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, so they may contain the occasional typographical or grammatical error. Please excuse those. To the extent I’ve made any editorial comments, I’ve shown those in brackets.]

NOTES:

  • Who are KM’s best allies?  
    • Scientific Management — Frederick Taylor
    • Project Management — Henry Gantt
    • Quality Management — Walter Shewhart
  • This is how KM, Process, and Quality play together to move the business forward:
    • WHY — the business objective, outputs, outcomes of your process or activities
    • WHERE — quality management thinking and measurement do this — how can KM help?
    • WHAT — process improvement focuses us on this — how can KM help?
    • WHEN — the process map tells us when something is to be done
    • WHO — knowledge management uncovers who is best for a project or for a question
    • HOW — best practices are forms of knowledge embedded in the process
  • Real Innovation: it requires seamless cooperation among KM, process management, and quality management.
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Future-Proofing Organizations #KMWorld

KMWlogo_Stacked_Session Description:  As our world continues to change at a rapid pace and take unexpected turns, our organizations have to be prepared to deal with what’s coming next even if it is unanticipated. Our popular speaker shares his strategies for future-proofing your organization.

Speakers: Dave Snowden, Director, Cynefin Centre, Bangor University, Wales Cognitive Edge

[These are my notes from the KMWorld 2016 Conference. I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, so they may contain the occasional typographical or grammatical error. Please excuse those. To the extent I’ve made any editorial comments, I’ve shown those in brackets.]

NOTES:

  • What’s the Current State? 
    • We are suffering a modern malaise — too many years of struggling to fit the complexity of life into the simplified, engineering view of the world dictated by systems thinking.
    • We have used tools like Myers-Briggs that contrive to squash and flatten people so they fit into predefined boxes. Snowden ran a controlled experiment at IBM that established that astrology was a more reliable way of staff identification and team assignments than Myers-Brigg.
    • Techno-fetishism
      • The Nonaka Model launched thousands of failed KM initiatives.
      • The reduction of an artisan process to a simple methodology. The latest version of this is design thinking. You cannot master artisan processes in a two-day workshop.  It takes 2-3 years for the brain and body to co-evolve to the point that we can drive and talk at the same time. It takes 3-4 years for the brain and body to co-evolve sufficiently to apply expert knowledge. This is why apprenticeship is such an effective approach.
    • The false dichotomy of Order and Chaos. Despots throughout history have created or exploited chaos so that they can appear like heroes who promise (and occasionally deliver) order. We should adopt a more nuanced, less Manichean view of the world.
    • The Cult of Measurement. Six Sigma is a cult — its priests have different colored belts. Black belts do no real work because their job is to impose cult discipline.
      • PROBLEM: Whenever people are working for explicit rewards (e.g., measurements), this destroys intrinsic motivation.
    • The Intolerance of Deviance — HR departments create norms of how we should be. However, people are natural deviants. Yet we are forced to adhere to a particular view of how we should be.
    • The Obsession with the Strong Leader. This obsession ignores the fact that we work best with distributed leadership where different people contribute their unique talents and judgment.
    • The Anglo-Saxon Malaise: this is related to our over-emphasis on the individual. Yet we work best in communities.
    • The Tyranny of the Herds. The principle of democracy is that people should make individual decisions and those decisions collectively produce the wisdom of the crowds. However, if you permit opinion polls, then people start gaming the system and produce the tyranny of the herd. (He asserts that opinion polling should be banned during election season.)
      • Crowdsourcing is NOT the wisdom of the crowds.
    • The Naturalistic Fallacy — David Hume teaches that you should never derive an “ought” from an “is.” Just because you want it does not mean you should have it.
  • When to try novel solutions?
    • Start by asking: Where is the ecosystem? What stage is it at?
      • Snowden maps Geoffrey Moore’s Crossing the Chasm with S-Curve theory.
    • Dominant Predator Theory
      • During a period of dominance of a standard methodology, your best bet is to conform.
      • Once you see that the dominant predator, the standard methodology is not working so well anymore , then you have an opportunity to try something new because the old way is no longer reliable.
        • Six Sigma developed to try to wring efficiencies out of an old manufacturing system. Therefore, you should look for new manufacturing methods.
    • Past competency stops us from seeing future novelty.
      • We see only that which we are trained to see.
      • Drew, Vo & Wolfe published a study in 2013 that reported when 24 radiologists were asked to interpret a scan, 83% of them failed to notice the seriously enlarged picture of a gorilla inserted into the scan. Even those who looked directly at the gorilla did not realize they were looking at a very large picture of a gorilla. They saw only what they were trained to look for.
  • The Issues with Case-Based Evidence.
    • A fundamental obsession with Cases distorts our learning.
    • The Cobra Effect — when the British were in India, they decided there were too many cobras. So they announced an award for every cobra head turned in.  Then people set up cobra farms so they would have a supply of cobra heads.
    • The Butterfly Effect — a small thing can combine with other small things to create a big effect.
    • The Hawthorne Effect — if you do something new and pay attention to people, it will nearly always work the first time. However, you should not assume you can scale it. Until you really know WHY it worked, you should not replicate WHAT you did.
    • Cases are useful for explaining a situation. However, few cases have any predictive power. (Good science should have predictive power.)
      • if all you have is observations, you cannot scale
      • you need to be able to explain WHAT happened using reliable science
  • The Nature of the System Constrains how we can Act in It.
    • Start by understanding the nature of the current system
      • Ordered system — there are effective links in the system
        • checklists work
        • predictable, repeatable behavior
        • the whole = sum of the parts
      • Chaotic system — there are no effective links in the system — if you cannot contain the system, you have crisis; if you can contain the system, you have an opportunity for innovation.
      • Complex system — not a rigidly defined structure, it is ambiguous
        • variable links, permeable container
        • the whole is not the sum of the parts
        • use real-time feedback to moderate/modulate behaviors
    • The Law of Unintended Consequences — this is the only guaranteed feature of Complexity. If you know unintended consequences are inevitable, then you are ethically responsible for those consequences. Therefore, you should not make large, unmanageable interventions. Instead, make small safe-to-fail interventions in the present situation and then, once you have a body of evidence, announce the existence of these interventions.
      • This is in contrast to the usual corporate approach:  start by announcing a major initiative. In Snowden’s view, this inevitably dooms the initiative to failure.
      • The better approach is to set out on a journey rather than setting goals.
  • Distributed Ethnography.
    • Allow individuals to describe for themselves what is happening, rather than relying on experts. This empowers them and triggers novel solutions to tough problems.
    • Peer-to-peer knowledge flows are more effective than top-down mediated knowledge flows. Therefore, we need to engage people in the sensemaking.
  • New Theory of Change.
    • Discard the systems approach that starts by identifying a future perfect state and then tries to drag everyone into that future state. This appears in KM when we try to create the ideal future: a knowledge-sharing culture.
    • The better approach is to amplify what is working and diminish that which is not working. So, instead of striving for a distant goal, aim for the “adjacent possible.”
    • This translates into “nudging” the system into a better state rather than attempting to drag the system into that better state.
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Hacking the Old Way of Working #KMWorld

KMWlogo_Stacked_Session Title and Description: Hacking the Old Way of Working

During the past three years, the Port of Antwerp Authority designed a new process for generic knowledge work, supported with new kinds of tools. Our concept got awarded in Washington, which was a true confirmation, but it also started an important change project. The people factor (new skills, culture, communication) in change was underestimated. Hear about the dilemmas, disruption, tools, and trajectory and coping mechanisms.  It’s a process of thought and action combined in design, learning, experimentation and especially perseverance. Filled with tips and insights!

Speaker: Filip Callewaert, Head Information and Knowledge Management, Port of Antwerp Authority

[These are my notes from the KMWorld 2016 Conference. I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, so they may contain the occasional typographical or grammatical error. Please excuse those. To the extent I’ve made any editorial comments, I’ve shown those in brackets.]

NOTES:

  • Don’t focus on the Eggs!.  We tend to focus too much on the eggs — the eggs are the results, the outputs of knowledge work. However, there is insufficient ROI on storing and organizing eggs that will inevitable rot over time. Instead, we should focus on the messiness and complexity of knowledge work itself.
  • How to focus on the knowledge process? Currently, much knowledge work is done in the dark, in solitary work or in Therefore, the answer is to enable observable work — by “Working Out Loud.” This serves to “lower the sea level,” thereby making more of the previously hidden iceberg of knowledge work more visible.
  • Keep testing your current ways of working — some of this works and some of it doesn’t:
    • Meetings — why do we have so many? How to have better meetings?
    • Project Management — why do so many projects fail?
    • Business Process Management — why are your process manuals covered with dust?
    • Personal Task Management — Me, Myself and My Silo
    • Team Task Management — how to introduce yet another tool for this?
    • Time Management — how to stop your head from hurting because of multitasking
  • How his organization improves knowledge work.
    • They work in the open (by default), where the content is available for immediate feedback.
      • Adaptive Case Management / Dynamic Case Management / Intelligent Case Management  — this is a process to “manage” knowledge work.
        • whenever they have a business challenge/ problem, they open a case
        • when problems get too big — open a case
        • their main ambition is to close the case
        • the case is “the single spot for action” for solving the problem — everyone involved in the problem does their work inside the case site in their social platform
        • they use templates to help structure their case site
    • They have 100% engagement/contribution. Because the case space is WHERE they work, there are no lurkers. This solves the 90-9-1 problem endemic with many social tools.
    • The case is a “container” but that container is open — people are invited in to help solve the problem.
  • New ways of working require new skills, attitudes, and behaviors.
    • content curation
    • community facilitation, platform building
    • conversation facilitation, moderation
    • “classical” information management
    • knowledge work management
    • critical thinking
    • meta-management (social learning)
    • information design
    • way-showing (wayfinding)
    • design thinking
    • working out loud
    • “Tweeting” (give the essence of information in 140 characters of less
    • empathizing
  • Book Recommendation: When Thinking Matters in the Workplace: How Executives and Leaders of Knowledge Work Teams can Innovate with Case Management by Keith Swenson.
  • How to Succeed in this work.
    • get acquainted with the “new stuff” and how it impacts your work
    • remain an “eternal learner”
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KM in Reality: Tools & Techniques #KMWorld

KMWlogo_Stacked_Session Title and Description:  KM in Reality: Tools & Techniques

Our speakers look at using KM fundamentals, concepts, leadership, and processes to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of planning, problem- solving, decision making, collaboration, continuity, knowledge capture and sharing, innovation, and learning. From using knowledge repositories/ forums on SharePoint to maximize learning to the use of chat, online meetings, OneNote, etc., to enhance knowledge sharing, and after action reviews, they illustrate how to transform knowledge-intensive activities into knowledge processes with related goals and objectives supporting the organization’s mission and vision.

Speakers:

Shellie Glass, Chief Knowledge Officer, United States Southern Command
Peter Barcelo Jr., Knowledge Management Officer, United States Southern Command

[These are my notes from the KMWorld 2016 Conference. I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, so they may contain the occasional typographical or grammatical error. Please excuse those. To the extent I’ve made any editorial comments, I’ve shown those in brackets.]

NOTES:

  • The United States Southern Command (“SC”)
    • Website: http://www.southcom.mil/Pages/Default.aspx
    • Area of Responsibility:
      • Central (excluding Mexico) and South America, as well as the Caribbean.
      • They protect the southern approaches to the United State
      • They carry out humanitarian missions in their area of responsibility
      • They manage Guantanamo
      • Their commander’s mantra: “Fast, Flat and Agile.”
  • SC Knowledge Management Structure.
    • The KM Office reports to the SC Chief of Staff (a two-star Air Force general)
    • They have a KM Working Group — it involves each of the functional groups within SC.
  • KM Principles.
    • They use the 12 Army Knowledge Mangement Principles
      • built on a foundation of People and Culture
      • Then a layer of process
      • Then a layer of technology
      • Then multiple columns (like the Parthenon) — see first slide
      • All under the “roof” of a Culture of Collaboration
  • KM Hands-On Tools & Techniques.
    • Emphasized use of:
      • Chat — this proved to be very fast and effective during their Hurricane Matthew response. They used WhatsApp to good effect — it allowed them to connect with other government departments and NGOs working in Haiti.
      • SharePointCollaboration Site — SharePoint is the authorized vehicle for the DoD. It was the “landing area” for posting, finding, searching.
      • All partner access network (APAN) — see Hurricane Matthew Response site
      • Video teleconference (VTC)
      • Sharing, collaborating, transparency
      • continuous battle-rhythm
      • Senior Leader Engagement
    • Deemphasized (whenever possible) EMAIL = a single point of failure
      • they found that email traffic decreased significantly during the operation
  • Knowledge Processes.
    • Knowledge Management Institute Model
      • Acquire information/knowledge
      • Produce knowledge — collaborate, refine, create
      • Integrate knowledge — publishing, structuring, instructing, presenting
    • SECI Model
      • by Nonaka & Takeuchi
      • Socialization — collaboration / share knowledge
      • Eternalization — capture knowledge / write reports
      • Combination — build knowledge / transfer best practices
      • Internationalization — learning by doing
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