Intuition and Bold Risk-Taking for Breakthrough Innovation and Growth #KMWorld

KMWlogo_Stacked_Session Title and Description: 

Maia Marken explores different ways of thinking, from professional poker and chess players to provoke, challenge, and inspire business leaders. In discussion with professional poker player Alec Torelli, she looks at the interplay between analytics and intuition in decision making in today’s workplace. They talk about a high-stakes game that ended in a surprise that all the math experts would not have expected because Torelli relied on his intuition. In a world full of data-driven decision making, is intuition dead? They explore this idea and its applications to business decision making. Marken and chess grandmaster Sam Shankland then explore the concept of bold risk-taking through a discussion of the 1972 chess championship between Boris Spassky and Bobby Fischer, who took the entire chess world by storm when he opened with a new move, C4, despite a lifetime of having successfully played E4 as his opening move. While this move caught Spassky by surprise and demonstrated Fischer willingness to play in Spassky’s turf, it also was an objectively smart move, as Fischer went on to win the match. This and other case studies share lessons from chess and business on bold risk-taking.

Speakers:

  • Alec Torelli, Professional Poker Player
  • Sam Shankland, Professional Chess Player
  • Maia Marken, Chief of Staff, Worldwide Services Strategy, Cisco

[These are my notes from the KMWorld 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:

  • Sam Shankland: Bold Risk-Taking.
    • By his own admission, Shankland (an Olympics-level chess player) is a risk-taker in chess and in life.
    • Bold Risk-Taking can be a brilliant move — provided that your bold risk is an intelligent risk. Shankland described how Bobby Fischer abandoned his favorite opening move (C4 move), which his opponent, Spassky, expected, and used instead Spassky’s favorite opening move (E4). This was an intelligent risk because it had the benefit of surprise and completely threw his competitor of his game.
    • Use your intuition to choose which risks to take AND the right moment in which to take the chosen risk.
    • How does this apply to your work? Maia Marken says that her team challenges each other’s thinking by asking if a suggested action is your C4 move (the favorite, usual thing) or your E4 move (a bold risk for you).
  • Alec Torelli: Intuition
    • Torelli is a professional poker player and coach.
    • The relationship between logic and intuition at the poker table:
      • [You can find a video of these on YouTube on Torelli’s channel.]
      • You need to use logic AND intuition in harmony — don’t rely on just one or the other.
      • Intuition informs your assumptions, which you then test through logic.
    • To strengthen intuition, pay attention to the clues that the other humans in the game are providing. Learn to interpret those clues (based on rigorous pattern recognition). In 1502, Da Vinci intuited that a suspension bridge could be built. To support his insight, he did the math to demonstrate the necessary calculations. He then proposed this to the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire whose engineers were unanimous that this bridge could not be built. It wasn’t until 2001 that an engineering team was able to build Da Vinci’s bridge — in Norway.
  • How to get more skillful in taking risks?.
    • Practice makes it better, reflection makes it perfect. You can understand the theory of risk-taking but until you practice over and over, you won’t master the skill. And a critical part of that practice is reflection: examining what happened and why — when you lose AND when you win.
    • Separate yourself from the outcome — just focus on the process. This means removing the emotion related to the outcome and objectively make the best decision you can make with the information you have in the moment.
  • How to improve your judgment?
    • Check your ego at the door. After all, even the best professional poker players in the world lose 30% of the time. Therefore, never assume you are infallible. Instead, use every opportunity to improve.
    • Be open to learning.
    • Have someone in your life who calls you on your BS. (Torelli says his wife is invaluable for this!)
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Making a Digital Workplace Work #KMWorld

KMWlogo_Stacked_Session Description:

For 11 years, the global Intranet and Digital Workplace Awards have uncovered and shared remarkable solutions. This year is no exception! See the best of this year’s winners from the U.S., Europe, and beyond. They range from small ideas to entire platforms, giving something for everyone to take away. Ismail discusses the challenges of developing a rigorous and robust, efficient and effective digital workplace environment in a multi-cultural, decentralized organization and what means and methods can be used to create a viable digital workplace. A variety of different tools are recognized, such as the intranet, internal and external collaboration platforms, and enterprise search.

Speakers:

  • James Robertson, Founder, Step Two
  • Carlos Pelayo, Director, Lead IT Business Partner for Communications and Public Affairs, Shire
  • David M. Feldman, Associate Director Collaboration, Shire
  • Brian Duke, Senior Manager, Intranet Solutions, Thermo Fisher Scientific

[These are my notes from the KMWorld 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:

  • Fisher Scientific.  [Here is a link to their slides, including screenshots]
    • Following the example of consumer apps, they put their Yammer feed front and center on their intranet page. They did not shove it over on the side or hide it behind a link.
    • They are using Microsoft Flow to automatically post content to designated feeds.
    • They use tyGraph to collect and display their Yammer usage metrics
    • Of the 38K activated Yammer accounts, 31K were active on the intranet in the last month.
  • Shire. Governance First Intranet [Here is a link to their slides, including screenshots]
    • They found it really helpful to start with governance, rather than touching on it at the end of the intranet project
    • This project came out of an acquisition — Shire acquired a much larger organization. They grew from 7K to 23K employees.
    • They started by looking at the problems in the various legacy systems.
    • They wanted to reuse as much of the content as possible from the legacy systems.
    • As much as possible, they want to configure rather than customize
    • They gave people the freedom to do what they wanted — but within predetermined guardrails.
    • They used Microsoft Office 365
    • They created a consistent look and feel across all devices by using custom-branded webparts.
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Employee Experience — the Heart of the Digital Workplace #KMWorld

KMWlogo_Stacked_Session Description:

The idea of the “customer experience” is a powerful one, and it’s a strategic consideration for most big organizations. As a result, we’ve seen a huge degree of customer-centric digital transformation. Within the enterprise, the concept of the “employee experience” is equally powerful. Going beyond basic usability and UX, it takes a holistic view of how solutions are designed and delivered. This practical session outlines how digital workplace professionals and projects can use the employee experience as a strategic driver for change. Real-world examples of great employee experiences from around the globe are shared.

Speaker: James Robertson (Founder, Step Two)

[These are my notes from the KMWorld 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:

  • James Robertson Slides
  • Horrifying Employee Engagement Statistics.
    • In the US, only 32% of employees say they are engaged
    • In the rest of the world, only 13% of employees say they are engaged
  • A digital workplace”. “A digital workplace consists of the set of tools you already have.” The problem is that it isn’t good. What’s a great digital workplace?
    • a holistic set of tools, platforms, and environments that enable work
  • Visa’s Digital Workplace.
    • delivers high functionality and a rich user experience
    • they provide a great mobile experience — they go beyond responsive design to provide a dedicated mobile app.
  • Coles Supermarket Chain in Australia.
    • Their intranet = “My Coles”
    • They wanted to provide high functionality for (previously underserved) employees in the field that is comparable to the functionality previously available only to office-based employees.
    • They provided a mobile app that could be used on personal devices on an opt-in basis. They have high rates of adoption.
  • Swisscom.
    • They provide 3 home pages
      • one is all about news — all the time
      • one is all about tasks — all the time
        • it is tailored to the individual user and their function
        • it includes the one piece of content EVERYONE wants: the cafeteria menu
      • one is “about us”
    • Through this approach, they demonstrate that they are interested in providing the materials that the employees care about most to do their jobs.
  • Telstra.
    • Their goal was to make their intranet so effective that they would be able to reduce the number of support calls
    • Their employees cannot be paid without submitting their time sheets. So they provide a visual display on the HR page of their intranet which shows the individual employee’s current level of time submission
  • What about allowing staff the ability to personalize their intranet pages?  In theory, this is a wonderful approach because it treats employees as engaged adults. However, research shows that only 5-10% of staff ever take advantage of the option and actually customize their pages.
  • A truly delightful employee experience is also effective for the business. The Mando Agency is a professional services firm that cannot bill its clients unless its own staff submits their time sheets. To manage this challenge, Mando installed an internet-operated beer fridge that was programmed to unlock on Fridays, but ONLY once everyone in the firm had submitted their time tickets. The firm provided a dashboard showing everyone how close they were to achieving an unlocked fridge AND which people were blocking progress by their delinquency in submitting their time. This gamification and extreme transparency work. In the five years since they installed the fridge, the employees have failed to open it only once.
  • How to provide a good Employee experience?.
    • Learn about how the employee works and what they need.
    • Have a deliberate digital approach that allows you to do all of the following three things simultaneously, but at different paces:
      • Projects: make sure you have at least one project for every budgetary period in order to make continuous improvements to the digital workplace
      • Strategy: this should enable the “big leap” that takes 3-5 years –it shows the trajectory of the combined effect of these projects
      • Vision: these big ideas about the future
    • Take ownership of your employee experience
      • don’t give this away to vendors, don’t let the vendors dictate what your employee experience should be
      • your needs are different from those of your vendors so if you are going to meet the unique needs of your employees you need to exert some control over the vendor offerings.
    • Establish Governance
      • Step Two provides an Intranet Operating Model
      • Governance is merely a means to an end
    • Take every (small) opportunity to improve your digital workplace and employee experience
      • but beware that every change has an inherent cost — it is disruptive, it asks for different processes or behaviors, etc.
      • Step Two provides a 6×2 methodology to help choose which changes are feasible and worth doing.
  • Dream Big, but iterate often!
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Transforming Portals into Digital Workspaces #KMWorld

KMWlogo_Stacked_Session Description:

Rebuilding aging portals is a daunting task. Years of accumulated knowledge and information are stored in portals that have become too big and too convoluted to function efficiently. The potential value of the information stored there is clear, but cleaning portals up and transforming them into a modern, flexible, and scalable digital workspace is no small feat. Our speakers discuss devising and executing a program to transform a dinosaur of a portal into an active hub of multilateral information exchange, describing how they did it and what they learned along the way. This includes the structured and patterned approach to redesign and rebuild the old portal in a systematic and predictable way; the role of internal social networks as tools for both communication and collaboration; the role of information items and contextual search as building blocks of information repositories; introducing the concepts of portal transformation to content owners who were initially resistant and functionally fixed; and selling the large information management project to C-level executives. Merck (known as MSD outside of the U.S. and Canada) is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop, and provide innovative products and services that save and improve lives around the world. Hear how it implemented a KM strategy for self-service that considered user experience-driven technology, as well as a change execution management methodology that included process, people, and content. Get tips and success factors on the case for change and the holistic solution for an IT self-service portal that included people, process, content, and technology components.

Speakers: 

  • Craig St. Clair, Principal Consultant, Enterprise Knowledge LLC
  • Cindy Larson, Director, Digital Channels and Platforms, Adient
  • Karen Romano, Associate Director, Knowledge Management, Merck
  • Charles Denecke, Director, Global Operations Management, Merck

[These are my notes from the KMWorld 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.]

 

SESSION SLIDES:

Romano & Denecke – B101_Romano.docx
Romano & Denecke – B101_Romano.pptx
St._Clair & Larson – B101_St_Clair.pdf
St._Clair & Larson – B101_St_Clair(1).pdf

 

NOTES:

Adient

  • Cindy Larson:  They started with an old-fashioned portal site that they had rebranded after a mergers & acquisitions event(without changing the underlying functionality). So they were ripe for an upgrade. Their executives wanted something different, something new, something that users would truly miss if it went down.
  • Major Workstreams:
    • Productivity
    • Engagement
    • Collaboration
  • Constraints. They had to work incrementally. And they could not take the portal offline while doing the upgrade. It had to be fully functional during the transition.
  • Employee Communications. They expanded their Yammer use. In addition to existing peer-to-peer use, they now started using it for top-down corporate communications. To help identify corporate communications, they created a corporate “avatar” for the internal communications stream.
  • Content handling. They separated the all-company facing content from team content. Then they adjusted search scopes to ensure that the users got to the intended target quickly.
  • New Info Infrastructure
    • enterprise metadata and content types
    • common search facets
    • a patterned approach for interface and repository design
  • Prioritization Plan. They focused on content and processes in the following order
    • End-user value and importance
    • Relative size and complexity
    • Readiness of individual content owners
  • Repeatable Process. They created a process for tackling the huge amount of legacy content they had
    • Engage with content owners
    • Guide content owners through a cleanup of their legacy content
    • Extend the enterprise metadata and content types — but just as much as necessary
    • Extend the standard information  and document repositories
    • Migrate refreshed content
    • Build out contextual landing and search result pages
    • Launch and announce the newly transformed functional area
  • Marketing
    • they use internal social media announcements (via yammer and blog posts)
    • they talk up the changes in town halls and other meetings
  • To learn more about the Adient Portal effort: See the white paper that Cindy Larson and Craig St. Clair wrote

Merck: Self-Service for IT Support

  • Massive Support Requirements. The Global Support Center has close to 200,000 interactions with internal and external customers each month.
  • How they create content. They record support calls, capture the knowledge, and then use that knowledge to fill holes in their knowledge base.
  • Plan for change.
    • Stakeholder analysis
      • what behaviors do they need to learn?
      • what behaviors do they need to stop?
      • what behaviors do they need to continue?
    • Sponsorship requests — they were explicit about their asks. This clarified things for their sponsors and increased success.
    • Incent behaviors
    • Promote benefits
    • Measure effectiveness
      • They compared the results for Tier 0 (online self-service), Tier 1 (Helpdesk), and Tier 2 (specialized help)
      • They were looking for an increase in Tier 1 and a corresponding decline in Tier 1 requests
      • They use net promoter score to assess customer satisfaction
  • Marketing Plan
    • Digital
    • Signage
    • Onsite events
    • Having business leaders speak about the new service portal. “People don’t love the HelpDesk but they love the portal.”
  • Lessons Learned and What’s Next.
    • Before you start:
      • be prepared to demonstrate the business value of the proposed KM activities
      • strong sponsorship is a key enabler of change.
    • Plan for change — change is the hardest part of the process, not the new technology
    • Do extensive end-user interviews and testing. Then listen to them carefully to discern user requirements.
    • Forget about perfection. Use an agile approach: improve and iterate.
    • What’s next: keep track of progress and share results with sponsors (to maintain their commitment) and with users (to maintain their engagement).
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John Seely Brown Keynote: Knowledge Sharing in our Exponential World #KMWorld

KMWlogo_Stacked_Session Description: People & Tech — the Future of Knowledge Sharing

People are at the core of knowledge-sharing—the key to high functioning organizations. In John Seely Brown’s words, “We participate, therefore we are.” New and emerging technology can only enhance learning, sharing, and decision making to create successful organizations. Join our inspiring and knowledgeable speaker as he shares his view of the future of people and tech working together to share knowledge and create winning organizations.

Speaker: John Seely Brown, Director, Palo Alto Research Center

[These are my notes from the KMWorld 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:

  • We live in an Exponential World.  We are experiencing an exponential curve along which roughly every 18 months we have something new we have to think about. And that new thing forces us to change our view of our current best practices.
  • Whitewater Rafting. Whitewater rafting is a good metaphor for this age. In this period of rapid shifts (every 18 months), we are constantly creating tacit knowledge but do not have enough time to distill that knowledge and make it explicit. This means that we have to acquire new skills rapidly. However, the half-life of our skills is about five years. So we can never rest.
  • Scalable Learning. In this age of exponential change, we don’t merely need scalable learning. We need scalable UNLEARNING. This is the ability to forget our old tacit knowledge (and the associated beliefs) in order to replace it with newer, more correct knowledge and skills. The challenge is that we are caught in our own Competency Trap: sticking with what we know/do best — even in the face of obvious and unavoidable change.
  • Unlearning is hard. Unlearning depends on being able to find and expunge our own tacit knowledge and beliefs. The challenge is that sometimes we are completely unaware of those beliefs — we don’t realize we have them.
  • Start by Getting out of your Comfort Zone. Jack Hidary has a helpful protocol: every year, he takes a few days to learn something completely outside his area of expertise: (1) Attend a conference and sit and listen to every session. (2) On day 2, do not attend any conference session. Instead, sit by the coffee pots and listen to how subject matter experts talk about the subject. They will be “shamanistic,” using lots of jargon. Notice what they take for granted, notice what they miss. (As an outsider and novice, you will see things they do not see.) (3) On day 3, go outside and think about what you have heard and observed. Then determine what is actionable and worth pursuing. Using this approach, he attended an energy conference, did a quick deep dive into this area of expertise, realized we needed to switch to hybrids. He took action by convincing New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to convert some of its taxi fleet to hybrids. And he convinced President Obama to launch the Cash for Clunkers program.
  • Orchestrating Serendipity:
    • Choose serendipity environments
    • Develop Serendipity practices
    • Enhance Serendipity preparedness
  • Reverse Mentorship. Ths is a very practical and effective way to learn new skills
  • Institutional Innovations. How do we help our organizations think differently — not just use new tools?
    • Hackamonth — This is silo busting at Facebook. It’s a hackathon that lasts for 30 days to crack a problem. They do solve a lot of problems but, more importantly, they are building deeper communities of practice across the whole company.
    • Skadden Arps — they have implemented bi-directional learning opportunities by pairing young associates with senior partners. This work is facilitated: Peter Lesser (Skadden’s CEO) is the convener/moderator/translator.
  • New tools for empowering the edge.
    • cloud computing enables the edge to access all the power it needs without core approval
    • cloud enables nearly infinite scalability and reach, and enables new business models
    • social media amplifies engagement with external partners, customers and others in the core
    • bog data allows you to interpret weak signals
    • blockchain enables smart contracts with no overhead
  • Listening Tools. We also need tools that help us listen to each other better, interact with each other better.
  • Reality Mining. Sandy Pentland studies how to build great teams. He has learned that “patterns of communication are the most important predictor of a team’s success.” Just by listening to the intonation of the communications, the amount of information actually shared, the amount over-talk, Pentland’s group could separate the high-performing teams from the low-performing team.
  • Amplifying DevOps. DevOps creates a great deal of “digital dust.” Can we collect all these communications (across email, Slack, Jira, etc.) and mine them to improve our understanding? How would this then change the way we work?
  • What we Need for the Big Shift. The Big Shift calls for more than just scalable learning and unlearning. It calls for a new ontology  = a new way of being. This means blending in ourselves Homo Sapiens (man who thinks), Homo Faber (man who thinks) and Homo Ludens (man who plays). This playing isn’t just about recreation. It’s about “playing with” ideas and challenges in order to reach a breakthrough moment, an epiphany. Therefore, we need to learn how to do this type of play:
    • probing and pushing the boundaries
    • how to invent within a space of rules
    • deep tinkering
    • how we interrogate context is a form of “play” — like a detective who makes sense of the clues she reads in her environment.
  • Imagination is the Key. It is the way that we play, it is the way that we fuse or find an internal blend of knowing, making, and playing.
  • Our Symbiotic Relationship. When Big Blue defeated Gary Kasparov some thought it was the end of the ascendancy of humans. However, it also signaled an opportunity. Zack Stephens nd Steven Cramton were winners of the Freestyle Chess Tournament, which effectively is “a race with the machine” that is “a generative dance between us and the machine.” We need to look for opportunities for more generative dances.
  • What about IA? IA is Intelligent Augmentation. We can use intelligent augmentation to provide imagination (as the binding agent) with new properties.
    • Homo Faber + IA = digital assistants
    • Homo Ludens + IA = freestyle chess, Go masters
  • Networked Imagination: We need to create in each of us a product blend of human & machine. Then we need to figure out how to create distributed communities of practice that function as networked imagination.
  • CAUTION: “The real difficulty in changing any enterprise lies not in developing new ideas, but in escaping from the old ones. (John Maynard Keynes)
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Leadership Matters #ILTALead

Not a day goes by without yet another stark reminder that leadership matters. And, that good leadership is not as common as one might wish. For this reason, I am so grateful that the International Legal Technology Association (ILTA) sets aside time and resources annually to develop leaders.

One of ILTA’s signature leadership programs is its Leadership NEW.0 conference. It is held every year in honor of the late Chief Warrant Officer 5 Sharon T. Swartworth, a beloved volunteer leader at ILTA. This conference brings together current and future leaders from law departments, law firms, and the US Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps.

At this year’s conference, we will be looking at a model of leadership that does not seem prevalent but should be: servant leadership. Originally articulated by Robert Greenleaf in 1970, the principles of servant leadership are a vivid contrast to some of the selfish power grabs and lack of integrity we see too often across organizations and society. For Greenleaf, a servant leader is driven by a desire to serve the greater good. That drive causes the leader to focus on the development, growth, and health of that leader’s team.

In his preface to the 25th anniversary edition of Greenleaf’s book, Steven Covey makes some strong assertions about what is wrong with traditional approaches to leadership and why we need servant leadership:

A low-trust culture that is characterized by high-control management, political posturing, protectionism, cynicism, and internal competition and adversarialism simply cannot compete with the speed, quality, and innovation of those organizations around the world that do empower people. It may be possible to buy someone’s hand and back, but not their heart, mind, and spirit. And in the competitive reality of today’s global marketplace, it will be only those organizations whose people not only willingly volunteer their tremendous creative talent, commitment, and loyalty, but whose organizations align their structures, systems, and management style to support the empowerment of their people that will survive and thrive as market leaders.
…the old rules of traditional, hierarchical, high-external-control, top-down management are being dismantled: they simply aren’t working any longer. They are being replaced by a new form of ‘control’ that the chaos theory proponents call the ‘strange attractors’ — a sense of vision the people are drawn to, and united in, that enables them to be driven by motivation inside them toward achieving a common purpose. This has changed the role of manager from one who drives results and motivation from the outside in, to one who is a servant-leader — one who seeks to draw out, inspire, and develop the best and highest within people from the inside out. The leader does this by engaging the entire team or organization in a process that creates a shared vision, which inspires each person to stretch and reach deeper within himself or herself, and to use everyone’s unique talents in whatever way is necessary to independently and interdependently achieve that shared vision. [emphasis added]

If you are in the Chicago area on Thursday, November 2, I invite you to join us for a day of learning how you can become the kind of leader who draws out, inspires, and develops the best and highest within people from the inside out.

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Better Productivity for a Fourth-Quarter Win

With the passing of each month, each season, each fiscal period, we have an opportunity to review, assess, plan, and improve. I’m writing this post on the last day of the third quarter. All we have left is the fourth quarter within which to reach our professional and personal goals for the year. Now, more than ever, our productivity matters.

If you have been at the game of life for any reasonable amount of time, you probably have developed some heuristics (rules of thumb) for success. Now is the time to put those proven rules into effect. If, however, you have not developed reliable productivity rules, may I offer you the following:

  1. Look back to move forward. They say you cannot get to where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been. In practical terms, if you do not understand the path you have taken, the choices you have made, the decisions that brought you to this place and time, then you are not in a good position to chart your course forward. Without this critical knowledge, you run the risk of repeating past mistakes and disappointments. You know that you have just one quarter left to accomplish your goal. So take the time for some strategic reflection and look at your trajectory thus far. What have you done this year to move closer to your goal? What has put you further back? What worked? What didn’t? What patterns emerge? What do you need to do about them? Your honest answers to these questions will point the best way forward for a successful fourth quarter.
  2. Focus on the 20 Percent.  This close to your year-end deadline, you really do not have any time to pursue options and angles that are fundamentally less productive. So it’s a great time to remind yourself of the Pareto Principle, which states that “roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.”  Then test the principle against your project list for the year. What is the actual return on investment thus far of each of your projects? According to the Pareto Principle, roughly 20% of your projects will be generating roughly 80% of your returns. And, roughly 80% of your projects will be generating only 20% of your returns. So find and fire your underperforming projects. Then focus on your hyper-performing 20% of projects that will yield 80% returns.  Remember, to achieve a fourth-quarter win you must maximize the returns on your effort for the year. This is how you claim true productivity. After all, success is not measured by how much you did but by how much value you added.
  3. Create habits for success. While we love the notion of the overnight success, most truly successful people attribute their good fortune to good habits, focus, and diligence. To understand better where you need good habits, follow the advice of Vince Lombardi: “Don’t succumb to excuses. Go back to the job of making the corrections and forming the habits that will make your goal possible.” Spend the time now to create the systems and practices that enable you and your team to operate more efficiently and effectively. And, while you’re at it, eliminate the systems and practices that make you less efficient or less effective. Taken together, this will maximize your chances of success this year AND set you up for success in 2018. It is never too early or too late to create habits for success.

Over the course of this week, I’ll be taking my own advice. I hope you do too. Let’s check in with each other at year-end to see how close we all came to a fourth-quarter win.

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ILTACON Video Killed the Radio Star

Video Killed the Radio Star

In 1978, Trevor Horn, Geoff Downes, and Bruce Woolley wrote a catchy earworm…ahem…jingle that focused on “promotion of technology while worrying about its effects” and “concerns about mixed attitudes towards 20th-century inventions and machines for the media arts.” (Wikipedia)

Doesn’t this sound remarkably contemporary?

The song’s video went on to become “the first music video shown on MTV in the United States at 12:01am on 1 August 1981, and the first video shown on MTV Classic in the United Kingdom on 1 March 2010.” (Wikipedia)

ILTACON Video

I really did intend to provide a recap of some ILTACON highlights as soon as I returned from Vegas. However, life intervened and I found myself on the road again. Therefore, I’ve decided to focus on some highlights that happened outside the formal ILTACON sessions but were captured by ILTACON TV. Thanks to the wonderful folks at ILTACON TV, I was able to have extended conversations with the conference’s keynote speakers: Pablos Holman, Brian Kuhn, and Shawnna Hoffman. All of the conversation ran overtime. However, we do have a bit of video to share with you now.

Below you’ll find my interviews of Pablos, Shawnna, and Brian. In addition, I’ve linked all the rest of my ILTACON blog posts so you have them in one place. Finally, I’m including a video of the infamous song that started this post. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear to be the original video but it certainly is enough to induce a bit of nostalgia among my more seasoned readers and, perhaps, introduce millennial readers to a classic.

Pablos Holman

 

 

IBM Watson Legal with Shawnna Hoffman and Brian Kuhn

 

A Roundup of my ILTACON 2017 blog posts

 

Video Killed the Radio Star (1979)

There you have it. And I bet you won’t be able to stop humming the song. <Sorry!>

While these ILTACON videos may not kill a radio star, they certainly have lots of interesting information for you to chew on over the long weekend. Hopefully, their lessons will endure nearly as well as the one cheesy song that started this post.

Have a great long weekend!

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KM Tools Lawyers Love #ILTAG128 #ILTACON

Session Description:

Knowledge management (KM) professionals often design and implement tools they are certain their lawyers will love, only to have them fall flat and quickly slip into oblivion. Sometimes KM and IT launch a tool expecting lawyer pushback or disinterest and are pleasantly surprised by immediate adoption. Let’s focus on the KM tools lawyers love as we learn about some of the KM tools practicing lawyers have found most helpful and easy to incorporate into their practices. Whether you are just starting out with KM, looking to refresh a long-standing KM initiative or operating with a tight budget and limited resources, come learn which projects will be the quickest, be the easiest and win big points with your lawyers.

Takeaways:

  • Develop a better understanding of the practicing lawyer’s priorities and concerns
  • Gain insight into how lawyers think about their practice and work with their clients and each other
  • Leave with a short list of winning projects to take on when starting out with KM, refreshing KM or performing KM on a tight budget
  • Establish a check list of things to consider when deciding which KM or legal IT projects to pursue and which to postpone or even ditch

Speakers: Patrick DiDomenicoPatrick DundasSally GonzalezMeredith Green

[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:

  • What is Knowledge Management?
    • KM 1.0 = Improving client service delivery (plus, in the UK: current awareness, professional development, sharing knowledge with clients)
    • KM 2.0 = Winning more business — experience management, knowing the client, business development activities
    • KM 3.0 = Improving processes
    • KM 4.0 = Leveraging AI
  • How do you measure success? A tool is successful if
    • it is used by the lawyers themselves — they don’t delegate its use to others
    • lawyers call you immediately when the tool is down
  • Tools that help GENERATE WORK PRODUCT.
    • Schulte’s Forms Project
      • Know-how: forms stored in iManage folders
      • WARNING: a forms project is extremely time-intensive and effort-intensive. So do not begin the project unless you know for sure that there will be sufficient use of the form. In addition, creating it is less useful if you can’t/won’t keep it up-to-date.
      • Whee there is a business need, these forms will help make the practice of law more efficient.
      • At Schulte, the put drafting instructions in footnotes. They use MS Word’s commenting function to explain the reason why certain language is being used.
    • McGuire Woods uses an external provider such as the Practical Law Company (PLC)
      • PLC provides forms and practice notes
      • For junior associates, this was a godsend — especially since the firm did not have a vast bank of current forms
    • Ogletree has model/form docs, augmented with Lexis Practice Adviser
      • they have homegrown “cream of the crop” model/form documents that their practice support lawyers maintain
      • these materials are collected and available in their Knowledge Resource Center in their intranet, in the document management system (DMS) AND via enterprise search.
      • they use Lexis Practice Adviser to fill in the gaps
  • Document Automation.
    • See the article by Patrick Dundas in the recent ILTA KM white paper
      • Documents drafted using the Schulte document assembly platform (HotDocs) results in substantial reductions in cost and effort
    • At Ogletree the have both internal-facing and client-facing document automation. They did a large-scale document automation process for a multinational client. It resulted in substantial savings of time and costs. And the work product was more consistent. The client was so delighted that they awarded a bonus for this work.
  • Finding what you need.
    • Ogletree uses Recommind. (They are transitioning to Handshake search.) Enterprise search was the most important tool they have implemented to help lawyers find what they need: content, people, matters.
    • McGuire Woods is just starting their KM program so enterprise search is a bit too ambitious for them right now. They have deployed Lexis Search Advantage (LSA) to help lawyers find content in the DMS and in the Lexis collection. They can also tag content with established tags or new tags you create yourself. In their experience, LSA is more intuitive than their DMS native search.
    • LSA does a great job of classifying content. At Ogletree, they have discovered that some of the LSA filters are better than the filters in their DMS.
  • Client/Matter Pages.
    • Lawyers love these types of pages because they give easy access to critical information.
    • These pages provide on demand, instant access to information that was previously buried in PDF reports generated by underlying systems like the time and billing system. Therefore, they do not have to step away from their work to ask someone to generate a special report for them. They can stay “in the flow” of their work.
  • Cara by Casetext. This tool is a great asset for litigators. It allows you to drag a brief into their web interface. Then the tool identifies what cases are relevant to that brief but were not cited by the brief. You can use it to check your own briefs; you can use it to identify the holes in an opponent’s brief.
  • Harvesting PTI. “Pardon the interruption” emails are commonplace in law firms. While they may surface in-the-moment assistance, the content is usually buried in private email threads.
    • In response, Schulte has set up a shared iManage folder to harvest these emails and permit later search and retrieval. As a result, it saves time and money, and causes fewer interruptions. Plus, it costs nothing to implement.
    • Ogletree also has an iManage folder. In addition, because it is stored in the DMS, it is retrievable via enterprise search. Therefore, the lawyers do not need to check the shared folder; all they have to do is run a search in the enterprise search system.
  • CRM Systems. Valuable client information is stored in the client relationship (CRM) system. However, while the Marketing Department might be able to manage the CRM interface, it may not be as easy for lawyers.
    • If you make the data stored in the CRM system accessible via the enterprise search system, then the lawyers can find it without having to tangle with the CRM interface.
  • Experience Management. There are some focused experience management tools.
    • An alternative approach is a simple grid in an MS Word document that details the breadth of legal experience/competencies across the lawyers of the firm.
    • You can also do this via a simple database. However, chances are that the lawyers won’t like the interface of that database.
    • With enterprise search, you can search time entries and matter profiles to infer experience
  • Document proofreading tools. Wordrake and EagleEye are very popular with attorneys.
  • What tools have been less successful in their experience?
    • Task Management System
      • lawyers like a resource that helps them organize themselves, but the lawyers are unwilling/unable to dedicate the time necessary to maintain the system.
      • Baker Donelson is using K2 to provide task management support
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You’ve Created an Innovative Product/Service – Now What? #ILTAG122 #ILTACON

Session Description: As more law firms experiment with innovation by delivering their services in new and interesting ways, many encounter logistical challenges. How do you price the products/services in a market bereft of competitors? How should you go about positioning and selling these innovations? How will you maintain and scale operations to keep the product/service updated? What’s the best way to deliver support for the new product or service? We will answer these questions and more as we present real-world examples of innovative products and services that have been attempted and actualized.

Speakers:

[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:

  • Background.  The firms of these speakers are at different stages of innovative product development.
  • First Things First.
    • Making the Business Case
      • Define the value to the firm
        • how does this move the needle for the firm?
        • Will it be a value-add, a revenue-generator?
        • Does the value warrant the level of effort the project is likely to require?
        • How do you balance benefit to the firm and benefit to a smaller group within the firm (e.g., a partner’s vanity project)
      • Include the client point of view — this may be uncomfortable because it likely will require changes in the way your firm has always delivered legal services.
  • Governance.
    • Define governance and the decision-making process
    • Identify key stakeholders who should be involved — be prepared to include a wider group of stakeholders than you would normally involve.
      • it is better to have them in the tent early than have them torpedo the project later
    • Determine Go/No Go
      • a strong business case is critical for buy-in
      • be prepared for naysayers — sometimes they signal their lack of support early in the project so be alert and address their concerns early
      • collaborate early and often
      • be willing to experiment, which means being willing to fail
        • sometimes this means “going rogue,” operating under the radar until you have useful project data to share with the fim
        • this requires having some buy-in from firm leadership to provide the latitude for action and resources
  • Adoption/Change Management
    • any time you create a product or service that will disrupt current products and services, you should expect significant pushback
    • develop a change plan prior to launch
    • identify and secure commitments from internal champions
    • consider engaging a third party change management consultant — especially if the disruption you are planning will have a major impact internally
  • Create strong internal marketing and communications
    • be transparent from the beginning
    • be sure to explain “what’s in for me” — from the perspective of everyone who is likely to be affected by the change
      • this is especially important if the product/service is likely to reduce billable hours
        • in this case, focus on the longer term benefits to the firm
        • bring evidence to the audience — market research and peer evidence (from other partners or even other firms)
    • attorneys are on the front line — they need to have enough information to market it to each other and to their clients
    • keys to success
      • know your audience
      • have a strong messaging/communication plan
      • focus on education
      • use multiple resources — videos, case studies, talking points, pricing, contact info for the dedicated sales team, etc.
        • create an internal, central place where attorneys can find all the resources they need in single place
    • Don’t rely solely on email — in many firms people are already inundated with email. Therefore, travel to your offices and schedule in-person meetings.
  • External Marketing and Communications.
    • use experience data to drive strategy — this means that you REALLY have to get to know your buyer and their sales cycle, and then align your marketing/sales plan to that cycle
    • create a realistic action plan
      • test the waters before a major launch — even asking clients for their thoughts on the planned product/service
      • don’t forget to use indirect marketing as well — put clients in touch with other clients who have experienced success with this product/services
    • Keep it simple
      • be direct but impactful — attorneys, especially, may need coaching to stick to the key powerful facts
      • appeal to your audience
    • Adjust and try again
  • Pricing.
    • Don’t start by telling your client what they need and what you are going to charge them!
    • Rather, start by ASKING what your client what the need and what their comfort level is with respect to pricing. It isn’t just about cheap, it might be about increased predictability/reliability in pricing.
    • Understand the worth of your product/service
      • what is the true value add — TO THE CLIENT
      • is it a revenue generator
      • is it a brand builder
    • Understand your client
      • consider customized pricing
      • understand how they are using internal legal or consulting alternative resources
    • What will the market bear?
      • what is your firm’s experience data on this?
      • what are other firms charging?
        • this information doesn’t usually come via online research
        • you can ask clients — they are usually willing to tell you
        • you can ask colleagues in other firms
  • Ownership: How to keep it going.
    • These projects can require substantial investment by the firm — consider having a partner lead the effort (on the
    • You can be a victim of your own success — you now have a product/service you have to maintain for your clients
      • keep the produce up-to-date regarding design, technology, process
      • technology products often require external support
      • keep content fresh
      • monitor the market on an ongoing basis
  • Evolving the Product.
    • Keep track of client satisfaction
      • you can use surveys, face-to-face feedback, third-party consultants
      • gather input that drives change
    • plan for resources to maintain and improve the product/service in planned phases
    • usage data
      • you may need to refine your collection/analysis as your product matures
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