Joy London has been blogging some useful insights recently about knowledge management within law firms, including Managing Organizational Forgetting, which quotes a piece by John Howkins that reminds us we need to know what to forget as well as what to retain
“Ideas can come from anywhere—from anyone, at any time and in almost any shape. As they bubble up, or pop ‘out of the blue’, people make endless decisions about ideas to think about further, which to build on, which ones to talk about and which ones to forget.”
The rest of Joy’s blog is also worth a read for anyone interested in the particular challenges faced by law firms in managing the collective knowledge of partners and fee earners on the one hand and client and case-related knowlege on the other
I worked with the London firm Warner Cranston for several years helping them organise their online communication, and five of us here at Headshift led the project to build a new global Web site for Reed Smith, a global 50 firm who acquired Warner Cranston. We developed a solution we are proud of in design terms, based on a very neat technical platform that emphasised the linkages between people, practice areas, news and library items.It required a certain amount of classification discipline from those who manage its content, but it won awards and continues to do a job for Reed Smith at a price point far lower than they have been used to
We are itching to combine this experience with our more recent work around the use of informal social software to overcome some of the main barriers to knowledge sharing among professionals. So, if any of our friends in the legal sector are reading this, you might want to give us a call. Knowledge sharing within law firms requires a combination of skills and techniques that go way beyond what out of the box content management systems and ‘KM software’ can provide.