When I was a child we occasionally were allowed to watch a TV game show called “What’s My Line?” The object of the game was for the panelists to guess the occupation of the contestant by asking a series of Yes/No questions. Wikipedia’s summary of the game includes the following observations:
The panel usually adopted some basic binary search strategies, often beginning with several common broad questions, such as whether the contestant dealt in a product or service …, whether the contestant worked for a profit-making or non-profit organization, and whether a contestant’s product was alive (in the animal sense), worn, or ingested. Because “no” answers were to be avoided, panelists would often phrase their questions in the negative so that a “yes” answer would be more probable, starting questions with “Is it something other than…” or “Can I rule out…”
This trip down memory lane caused me to wonder how on earth a law firm knowledge manager would fare if seated in the hot seat during What’s My Line? You can just imagine the questions, as well as the consternation our answers might elicit. So let’s turn this around slightly. What exactly IS it that we do for a living?
- Create an environment that fosters knowledge sharing.
- Assist our colleagues to find the people and information they need to know.
- Train the lawyers in our firm to practice effective personal knowledge management.
That’s how I’d sum up my job today; it’s my “elevator speech.” What’s your line?
If you have a little time, here is some video of Salvador Dali and A friend of Donald Duck on What’s My Line. Enjoy!
[Photo Credit: Dunechaser]