Stephanie is speaking at Ark Group’s KM Legal Europe in January 2015. The conference is happening in Amsterdam on January 28-29 and promises to explore how law firms can lead and support the KM system by truly embedding knowledge sharing.

Stephanie will be speaking on the second day of the conference and will be
discussing how IT tools can help KM to fulfill its goals. This includes such things as how to select the right technology to support a KM strategy and lessons learned from both law firms and other organizations.

You can find out more about the conference and register here http://www.ark-group.com/mp_introduction.asp?ac=1651&nc=1&fc=167.

On Sunday July 14th, I have the opportunity to present, along with Connie Crosby and Steven Lastres at the American Association of Law Libraries Annual Meeting & Conference in Seattle, Washington. Our session is called, Surrounded by Geniuses: Knowledge Management Learning from Other Industries, hence the title for this blog post.

I am looking forward to the opportunity of sharing my KM experiences with the Law Librarians. Law Librarians are sometimes (and should be more often) involved in their firm’s knowledge management activities, it’s a good fit for them and the firms, and gives them an edge when it comes to documented knowledge in comparison to other organizations. However, sometimes that’s where the KM stops: at documented knowledge, and we all know there’s a lot more to KM than documented knowledge.

Tacit knowledge is a significant asset for any organizations, but in professional services firms and other knowledge-intensive entities tacit knowledge shouldn’t be ignored, although sadly, often is. It’s the sharing of tacit knowledge that can truly make a law firm (or any organization) a learning organization and make it stand out from its peers.

Some tacit knowledge is easily documented and stored in a lessons learned system or other such repository, but other tacit knowledge is more appropriately shared through mentoring, communities of practice, or other person-to-person.

It is important to have figured out a strategy for dealing with the knowledge in a law firm, although this really isn’t specific to law firms: it’s critical for any organization in this age to manage their knowledge effectively and efficiently, if they are going to thrive.

There a lot of similarities in this respect between law firms and other industries and organization types, but one significant difference that comes up time and again in my conversations with lawyers and partners at firms is the partnership model and the traditions that go with that model and associated hierarchy.

Knowledge thrives in a flatter organization model, where it can be shared without worrying about politics and hierarchy and power. I have heard, anecdotally that some organizations are tackling this challenge, while most seem to still be trying to figure it out.

Our presentation doesn’t address this difference, but it does illuminate the similarities and maybe by starting with the similarities and implementing KM initiatives in those areas it will provide motivation and incentive to address the differences.

Law Firm KM Ad

We are very excited about our first ever ad for Law Firm KM!

We put this together to officially announce the launch of our coaching service, and this should appear in the next issue of Peer to Peer magazine from ILTA.  It should be out any day now–keep your eyes out for it!

Thanks to Daniele Rossi for his help in creating the ad together.

We have completed our beta-testing and want to thank our participants, your feedback was very valuable and helped us refine the process and the strategy output documentation.

We with the publishing of this post we announce the launch of this Law Firm KM assessment service and look forward to working with you to create a strategy for KM at your law firm.

Please get in touch through the email addresses on the About page or through the comments on this blog.

Thanks,
Stephanie and Connie

What is Knowledge Management (KM)?
Connecting people to the knowledge they need to do their jobs, whether that knowledge is tacit (in people’s heads) or explicit (documented). The best practice approach is to balance people, process and technology where technology enables people and process, and they are all tied together with a strategy.

What is Law Firm KM?
We have developed an automated KM assessment checklist supplemented with optional coaching with experienced KM consultants to allow small and medium sized firms to plan and develop their own KM programs. The service starts with a one-day investment of your time in working through the checklists with us. The output is a list of responses with a detailed list of potential activities customized and prioritized for your firm.

KM checklist software
We have partnered with Next!Solutions to develop our automated checklists. This Internet-based system was originally developed for and has been successfully used in the transportation industry. We are adapting it for use in the legal industry.

This private web-based checklist tool is used to store only checklist responses for each organization. We will not be storing proprietary firm or confidential client data on this site. Aside from use of this checklist system, we are technology neutral. We will work with your existing systems to make recommendations.