Avoid Depression

A friend at another firm e-mailed me today thanking me for my earlier post, What’s Your KM Priority?   In her e-mail she said,

To me KM has to be `strategic’ to avoid being depressing.

On this gray, rainy day in New York City, I know exactly what she means.  The purpose of strategy is to ensure that your daily activity is not an exercise in futility but, rather, amounts to something meaningful.  So, how do we make our law firm knowledge management strategic?  Focus your KM activities around a central goal worth pursuing.  The catch is that your ultimate success depends on the nature of that strategic goal.  Here are some typical goals:

  1. Promoting yourself within your firm.
  2. Promoting your group or department within the firm.
  3. Promoting particular groups (other than your own) within the firm.
  4. Promoting the firm and its clients.

As you move from stage one through to stage four you move out of short-term, limited goals to long-term goals with greater impact.  If self-promotion (or promotion of your immediate group) is your primary goal, Condolences.  Your chances of achieving something of lasting good are circumscribed.  I will admit that the pressure to focus on a stage one strategy is great given the anxieties caused by the current economic situation.  However, the fact is that the more you are able to have a direct impact on the well-being of the firm and the quality of the service it provides to its clients, the more likely you are to achieve job security and job satisfaction.

Is your KM effort depressing or strategic?

[Photo Credit:  Thomas Hawk]

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