Published: Designing a Successful KM Strategy

Advance copies of our book, Designing a Successful KM Strategy are now available from our publisher, Information Today, Inc. It will officially be published in mid-January, so if you buy it before that, you get 40% of the regular price. I did a workshop based on the book at KM World, on Nov 4th, that was well received, as well as a couple of book signings–it was great to talk to everyone about the book and how it can help them regardless of whether they are just starting with KM or at a point where they are re-evaluating their strategy after implementing KM for a few years. Information Today has also made a chapter available for preview, you can access it here Nick (my co-author) also has some helpful links up over on his blog at I hope you enjoy it. Be sure to get in touch if you have any comments or questions.  

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Blog post on Law Firm KM

My latest blog post is on Law Firm KM, a joint venture I’m doing with Connie Crosby. The post is called, Surrounded by Geniuses, I hope you’ll go check it out.

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KM in Law Firms: compare and contrast

(this is a slightly longer version of an article that I published in the Knoco March 2013 newsletter, one of 5 flavours of KM that were discussed) In many law firms knowledge management starts in the IT department, and in a few cases, the library and like in many other organizations is focused on document management and technology. Also in common with other organizations law firms are dealing with pressure to reduce costs, be more efficient and effective for their clients, address issues of an aging workforce, and the technology demands of freshly minted lawyers who expect near instant access to knowledge. There are also differences in KM inside a law firm. While in many organizations KM focuses on not just access to information/knowledge but on learning from mistakes, e.g. after action reviews and lessons learned processes and databases, this seems almost totally absent in law firms. As I prepared to write this article, I wondered if I had just been missing something because of my limited exposure to KM in law firms. Maybe there really was a learning focus that I was missing out on; but in the research scan I did to supplement my experience, I didn’t find … Continue reading

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Agile and Knowledge Management, part 1

At our Knowledge Worker Toronto event on January 23, 2013 our speaker, Gil Broza, spoke about the human side of Agile. Now, Agile, for those of you who don’t regularly interact with software developers, which I imagine are many of you who read this blog, is about iterative and incremental design and development of software applications. Gil was speaking about lessons that could be learned from the experience of software developers in this area and transferred to other areas of the organization. That activity in itself is a knowledge management activity: knowledge transfer of lessons learned, but I digress. Gil spoke about 10 lessons that the rest of the organization could learn and apply: People are not resources Focus Nurture the joy of delivering value Take small, safe feedback-rich steps Mind the physical environment The social environment matters too Want high-performance teams? Be ready to invest Manage less, lead more Collaboration rocks Human conduct trumps “best practices” There was a discussion after the presentation and Q&A ended about how this talk fit in with Knowledge Workers/Knowledge Management, this is what I contributed to the discussion: these 10 lessons are about how knowledge workers like to work. In the KM consulting that I do, I … Continue reading

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Collaboration versus Command and Control

This post is about differing management styles and approaches to not just knowledge management but to business and ultimately life. Do we believe there is a limited “pie” and so we need to compete and create hierarchies to control it (whatever “it” is in our own particular case) or do we believe in working together to make the pie bigger and be content with our own slice of pie, however big or small that may be? As a small business person, I am not particularly interested in growing my business to be bigger than it is. I like doing consulting and giving focused, specialized service to my clients, I don’t need, nor do I want to grow my business to 25, 50, 100 or more people, I wouldn’t be able to do what I like to do in those scenarios. If a client or potential client wants services that I don’t offer, say development work for a particular software platform, I am perfectly willing to refer them to someone I know who specializes in that work rather than do it myself, or hire someone to work for me to do it for the client. In my KM practice I often … Continue reading

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What does collaboration mean to you? Does it mean doing what you’re told? How about finding someone else to do the work? Telling someone else what to do? I hope none of those are your definitions of collaboration, and I hope that your definition of collaboration looks nothing like any of those. Wikipedia defines collaboration the following way: “Collaboration is a recursive process where two or more people or organizations work together in an intersection of common goals — for example, an intellectual endeavor that is creative in nature—by sharing knowledge, learning and building consensus. Most collaboration requires leadership, although the form of leadership can be social within a decentralized and egalitarian group.” or at least it did the day I wrote this, April 5, 2010 at 9:14am EDT. I like this definition of collaboration, but it does not always mirror my experience of collaboration. I like this definition because it talks about working together for common goals; sharing, which is a big part of Knowledge Management; building consensus; and that leadership comes through a decentralized and egalitarian group. I really, really, like this last part. Leadership can come from anywhere and when I am working on a team that … Continue reading

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Canada 3.0, continuing the theme

I spent Monday and Tuesday of this week (June 8-9) at Canada 3.0, which was an amazing experience. Sitting in a room with 1000 people who want to see Canada move forward and be a leader in the digital media space was energizing and motivating and if you’ve spoken to me in the last few days you know that I can’t say enough good things about my experience there and that I want to get involved and help move this forward.

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Can you manage knowledge? (part 2)

I was at two more presentations/discussions this week, one talked about creating space in organizations for knowledge, the other was on followership, and really had nothing directly to do with knowledge at all, however both have made me think that I need to continue my writing on managing knowledge, not to mention the wonderful replies that I got to my original post. At the “Followership” event the other night we were given a copy of Barbara Kellerman’s book, “Followership” and were treated to her speaking about it, so I may have another post once I have actually finished the book. In the meantime, some more thoughts on managing knowledge.

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