5 questions to improve your experts database

  1. Is it an “experts database” or just an address book? Which do you need?
  2. Are you clear about the categories of knowledge/experts you need to find?
  3. How are you ensuring high quality and avoiding inaccurate or out-of-date info?
  4. Have you personalised it to suit your organisation?
  5. How do you measure its success (or failure)? How will you ensure continuous improvement?

Read more here from Knowledge4Lawyers


June 5, 2017 at 3:26 pm Leave a comment

… thank contributors to your knowledge base

5 ideas of low-cost ways to thank those who contribute towards your knowledge database or projects, and to encourage more participation.

Continue Reading January 21, 2016 at 3:41 pm 2 comments

… to harness the wisdom of the crowds

We often talk in KM about how to try to gather in the best knowledge from different sources. It can be a tricky one because we all know how much gets lost in trying to distill knowledge into something suitable for an online database.

These are a few ideas to harness the wisdom of the many

  1. Create a wiki
  2. Create an online discussion board for new precedents/practice notes before publication
  3. Introduce everyone to Kaizen (continuous improvements by everyone)
  4. Create a knowledge map identifying all your experts so everyone knows who to talk to when
  5. Have a Knowledge Day or a Knowledge Fair and set up a stall, speak at meetings, hand out postcards and get everyone involved

October 7, 2015 at 9:29 am Leave a comment

start in KM if you are a law firm leader

  1. Read up on KM theory and take training courses and advice from experts, but …
  2. Look to your own business’s problems – no KM for its own sake, focus on the business problems which need solving.
  3. Understand what knowledge is critical to your organisation and focus your efforts on the knowledge which gives you a competitive advantage.
  4. Focus on breaking barriers to knowledge sharing – most lawyers gain intrinsic value from sharing their knowledge and will share if the barriers are removed.
  5. Measure the changes which result from key KM projects – balance quantitative, qualitative, leading and lagging measures in order to minimise the risk of gaming.

To learn more about the basics of KM for law firms, join Helene Russell, author of the Law Society’s “KM Handbook”, in London on 2nd October for “KM: The Works”, a day’s training in KM and strategy.

August 24, 2015 at 12:19 pm Leave a comment

…questions to ask to avoid knowledge loss

You know that you need to avoid knowledge loss when employees leave, but where to start?

  1. What knowledge could be lost? When was your last knowledge audit and what are the risks it’ll be lost?
  2. What are the consequences of losing that knowledge? What knowledge is critical? What can’t easily be replaced?
  3. What action can be taken to retain that knowledge amongst all employees? What tools and techniques will help knowledge sharing?
  4. What action can be taken once you know an employee is leaving? What tools and techniques work with leavers?
  5. How much will these actions cost and how will you measure their ROI?


For personalised help with knowledge-retention plans and KM strategies, visit TheKnowledgeBusiness.

August 20, 2015 at 11:07 am Leave a comment

… improve knowledge retention

Knowledge retention involves the capturing knowledge within an organisation so that it can be used later and  mitigate the loss of knowledge which inevitably follows when key employees leave.

Here are 5 ideas to mitigate that loss:

  1. After action reviews
  2. Interviews and exit interviews
  3. Alumni groups
  4. Job shadowing and mentoring
  5. Leavers’ “success books”


Learn more about knowledge sharing and retention in “KM Handbook”, published by the Law Society, or arrange your own in-house training day with TheKnowledgeBusiness.

August 14, 2015 at 11:03 am Leave a comment

to drive your law firm forward

I’m always reminding lawyers that they’re in the knowledge business – they sell solutions to clients based on their knowledge. Anyone can look up the law, but experienced lawyers know what to do with the information they receive.

If law firms are going to survive the current perfect storm of pressures, they need to look to their knowledge systems for better ways of working.

5 ideas to improve your knowledge systems when you are new to KM:

  1. Learn about Knowledge Management in Law firms so you don’t get hoodwinked into buying stuff you don’t need.
  2. Identify a senior Knowledge team to research what would suit your firm.
  3. Start with a fast track mini strategy (see my textbook for Law Society and recent article for them).
  4. Be clear about your budget.
  5. Get help if it is taking up too much of your time – it’s often cheaper than wasting your own valuable chargeable time!

February 13, 2015 at 10:38 am Leave a comment

… inject more conversation into your KM plans

I’m a big fan of conversation as a means to share knowledge. It works *much* better for sharing complex knowledge than written documents.

Here are a few ideas to inject a little more conversation into your KM strategy:

  1. Randomised coffee trials
  2. Knowledge cafes
  3. Agony-aunt / ask-an-expert coffee mornings
  4. Talk rooms
  5. Knowledge fairs

And if you are unsure about the ROI of conversation, have a look at this



(If you are unsure about how any of these could work for your firm, e-mail me or arrange a time for a conversation!)


October 3, 2014 at 4:38 pm Leave a comment

improve your post event learning

  1. Keep it simple and focus on the four key questions – What was meant to happen? What actually happened? Why did it happen? How can we improve next time?
  2. Be wary of simply documenting the lessons – a lesson documented is not a lesson learned.
  3. Aim for a face-to-face meeting with an atmosphere of candid learning – leave status at the door and accept that no one has all the information, everyone has something useful to contribute.
  4. Hold meetings while memories are fresh, sub-divide a long project into chunks if necessary.
  5. Draw lessons from both successful and unsuccessful projects.

For personal advice and help, visit TheKnowledgeBusiness, or if you prefer to DIY, get your own copy of “Knowledge Management Handbook” from Law Society Publishing here.

February 26, 2014 at 11:31 am 1 comment

… be more human in your work twitter account

Twitter can be a great networking and conversation tool, with the potential to make clients, prospects, suppliers and thought leaders feel “closer” to your organisation.

But many lawyers I meet struggle with the idea of bringing their human-side into their work twitter account. They think it is risky and worry about being seen as less “professional”.

These are some simple ideas for the risk-averse to get a little more conversational in their work twitter feed, without feeling uncomfortable

  1. Retweet someone else’s interesting (non-libellous and non-controversial) content with a short, one or two word, comment about why it is worth reading. Follow reputable news sources relevant to your target followers and retweet news articles which would be of interest to them.
  2. Always send a personal thank you if someone retweets your material. If you want to engage with them, you can always add a relevant comment or ask how their day is going.
  3. If you are preparing for an event, such as an open seminar, can you offer a behind-the-scenes glimpse of preparations, or share  your (non-proprietary, non-confidential) research as you prepare your talk?
  4. If your firm sponsors charity bike-rides, local arts events or similar, include the human stories behind that and retweet the relevant tweets of other people involved.
  5. If anything interesting is happening locally, which is relevant to your local clients, retweet details of that even if you aren’t involved in sponsoring it.

Concentrate on quality content that is of value to your target followers.

For personal advice and help, visit TheKnowledgeBusiness, or if you prefer to DIY, get your own copy of “Knowledge Management Handbook” from Law Society Publishing here.

June 21, 2013 at 8:52 am 3 comments

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