Readers of the blog know that for the past few weeks, I have been crowd sourcing comments for my KM book that will be published by the ABA in early 2014. Thanks to all who have commented here and sent me emails with other comments.
Last week we talked about disappointment and failure. This week, a more rosy topic: the future of KM. I think that the future of KM is bright for at least two reasons (several more, really). First, KM is necessary because the “new normal” is here to stay. The global economic crisis has changed our industry and law firms are not likely going back to the good old days of “getting away with” inefficiency. One of the main goals of KM is to help lawyers be more efficient. Second, KM professionals are innovative and they are constantly looking for new ways to deliver that efficiency. Unlike the apocryphal story about the head of the Patent Office advising President McKinley in 1899 to close the Patent Office because “everything that could be invented has been invented,” I believe that there is plenty of innovation to come in the field of knowledge management.
However, let me play the devil’s advocate for a moment – just to get your commenting juices flowing. One could argue that most firms have mastered the fundamentals of KM and have done well enough with KM activities that they can check KM off their lists (“We have an intranet, we can find stuff. We’re good, thanks.”). Furthermore, advances in technology can handle the incremental benefits that could be gained beyond what has already been accomplished by “basic KM stuff.” There’s really no need to invest in KM anymore. And for those firms that have not gone down the KM path, don’t bother. Spend a few bucks on “knowledge management software” or a “KM system” and be done with it. You don’t need to over-think it, and you certainly don’t need to hire anyone to do KM.
So, what do you think? What is the future of KM? I would love to hear what you have to say.
Please either leave a comment to this post, or email me directly (patrickdidomenico at gmail dot com) with your thoughts. My intention is to include your comments in my book (although I cannot guarantee inclusion, as I do have an editor). You can submit your comments anonymously, if you like. But I would like to give credit where credit is due. If you submit a comment and I use it in the book, I will cite you appropriately (unless you don’t want me to).