In yesterday's post I discussed the value of thought experiments (in the right hands) and outlined a thought experiment that could help you break out of a rut in your law firm knowledge management program. Today, I'd like to propose another horizon-expanding thought experiment.
What if you could start your KM program from scratch and had the ability to create the perfect law firm KM program by cherry-picking the best elements from the KM programs of other law firms?
- Which elements would you choose?
- What changes would you make to adapt them to your environment?
- What changes would you make to improve their functionality?
- Which elements of your own KM program would you keep?
- How would you enhance them?
This is not intended as an exercise to feed the green-eyed monster that sits on your shoulder. Nor is it intended to send you into the depths of depression. The point of this exercise is to get you thinking critically about what a great KM program in your law firm could look like, drawing on the successes of your colleagues. This should help you with goal setting and priority setting. There's a wealth of knowledge management experience in your peer firms. This is a way to gather those riches and analyze them objectively, with a view to improving the offerings of your own law firm knowledge management effort.
If you don't get past the wish list phase of this thought experiment, you won't get much value from the exercise. You really need to push your analysis to be sure you understand what makes a law firm knowledge management program great and what would make that great program successful in your law firm. With that knowledge, you can move a substantial distance on the path to running a KM program that your colleagues in other law firms would love to steal.