5 ideas of low-cost ways to thank those who contribute towards your knowledge database or projects, and to encourage more participation.
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
- Create a wiki
- Create an online discussion board for new precedents/practice notes before publication
- Introduce everyone to Kaizen (continuous improvements by everyone)
- Create a knowledge map identifying all your experts so everyone knows who to talk to when
- Have a Knowledge Day or a Knowledge Fair and set up a stall, speak at meetings, hand out postcards and get everyone involved
- Read up on KM theory and take training courses and advice from experts, but …
- Look to your own business’s problems – no KM for its own sake, focus on the business problems which need solving.
- Understand what knowledge is critical to your organisation and focus your efforts on the knowledge which gives you a competitive advantage.
- Focus on breaking barriers to knowledge sharing – most lawyers gain intrinsic value from sharing their knowledge and will share if the barriers are removed.
- Measure the changes which result from key KM projects – balance quantitative, qualitative, leading and lagging measures in order to minimise the risk of gaming.
You know that you need to avoid knowledge loss when employees leave, but where to start?
- What knowledge could be lost? When was your last knowledge audit and what are the risks it’ll be lost?
- What are the consequences of losing that knowledge? What knowledge is critical? What can’t easily be replaced?
- What action can be taken to retain that knowledge amongst all employees? What tools and techniques will help knowledge sharing?
- What action can be taken once you know an employee is leaving? What tools and techniques work with leavers?
- 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.
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:
- After action reviews
- Interviews and exit interviews
- Alumni groups
- Job shadowing and mentoring
- Leavers’ “success books”
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:
- Learn about Knowledge Management in Law firms so you don’t get hoodwinked into buying stuff you don’t need.
- Identify a senior Knowledge team to research what would suit your firm.
- Start with a fast track mini strategy (see my textbook for Law Society and recent article for them).
- Be clear about your budget.
- Get help if it is taking up too much of your time – it’s often cheaper than wasting your own valuable chargeable time!
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:
- Randomised coffee trials
- Knowledge cafes
- Agony-aunt / ask-an-expert coffee mornings
- Talk rooms
- 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!)