Thanks to excited utterances for the link to an interesting essay by Patrick Lambe, Principal Consultant of Straits Knowledge, What Does KM Mean for Law Firms? (PDF). He describes the major problem with KM implementation:
Law firm cultures tend to be 'star' or expert cultures. The main source of income is the performers time, spent in deploying knowledge in the service of clients, not internal efficiencies. Its hard for lawyers to see the intrinsic value of many of the practices that knowledge managers try to enforceat least, when placed against the need to get a clients work done and put the billable hours in. Its also an exclusivist profession: it reaps value from being able to deploy specialist knowledge that is not generally accessible. The KM mantra that says indiscriminate knowledge sharing is good, just doesnt make sense to this culture.
One answer is cultural change. It doesn't come easily.
The solution may be to build a new type of law firm from the ground up. More on this later. [Netlawblog]