It’s Valentine’s Day. Do you remember the pleasure of a new love — the excitement, the giddiness, the joy? So tell me, when was the last time you felt that way about your office technology? To be fair, it’s rare to have an elevated pulse when thinking about over-burdened workhorses, but that’s a shame. Do you take them for granted because they are merely functional or do you undervalue them because they are largely annoying??
What would it take for them to delight you?
These are the questions I’ve been asking myself as I consider the technology workhorses I’ve been using for years. And, they are questions I ask myself when planning new systems. While I’m not suggesting that we should always be defending the Maginot Line, paying attention to lessons learned isn’t about fighting the last battle all over again. Rather, it’s about ensuring that we don’t institutionalize mistakes because “we’ve always done it that way before.”
Most importantly, seeking to delight rather than merely deliver sets you apart from the crowd. And, it creates wonderfully loyal customers. It’s a great strategy for success.
[Photo Credit: Ron Doke]
I am currently working on project involving KM and the Law. I made a perhaps naive observation to a colleague (and attorney) that with regard to law, the law is KM. Few other disciplines could claim having a defintive rule book and course of action with regard to the exchange of knowledge. That said, there are a lot of assumptions about what KM is and what “the law” is that lead away from a useful engagement with establishing a meritocracy of ideas and logical interpretation. I will say this — lawyers seem to be best being thought of as lone wolves. They think that way and the culture reinforces that. Given that, good luck with KM. And I am an optimist.= Joe Raimondo =email@example.com
Colleagues at several firms have had notable success building a culture of
knowledge sharing within their law firms. It is a slow process and highly
dependent on the existing culture and work flow of the firm. And, it takes
support from the top and receptivity from the bottom of the org chart.
Lawyers are trained to be skeptical. That just makes knowledge management
efforts more challenging — and more rewarding when they are successful.
I didn't address your theme initially — I've been working on envisioning a lawyer's workstation out into the future — what drives it and guides it. Asking about technologies that support exchange of best practice — what approaches can be taken to automate the classificaiton and accessibility of organizational knowledge — lessons learned, best practices, common approaches, and the patterns of organization beahavior that are supported by the prevailing organizaitonal culture. I'll say — as an optimist — that there's a lot of room for growth in this area. I say this primarily based on the case of a large in-house legal funciton, not a firm. The future is getting increasingly interesting (semantically so, particulalrly.) For now, though, legal work looks — from a time-and-motion perspective — like a lot of thumb opera. That's not bad, but it can be better. Certainly anything that reduces the load on a legal executive that forces them to spend up to 10 percent of his or her time on developing largely a personal taxonomy (a process reptead throughout) means there is substantial room for improvement. That isn't just a content management or tagging issue — it involves the whole technology infrastructure supporting legal.
There is a lot of room for growth. There is a lot of low-hanging fruit.
Good luck with your project, Joe. And, please do write about it so that we
can follow along, as well as learn from your experience.
Nice post, Mary! This applies to so many levels of our life. It's also one the things I stress in workshops that I give: try to think in wishes. What would you wish for from your boss, your colleague, the IT department, etc. It helps you dream and stop accepting the status quo.
That's terrific advice, Samuel. Thank you!