Joy London reports on Baker & McKenzie's KM Report Card
In this month's Managing Partner issue, Jason Marty, Global Director of KM at Baker & McKenzie, discusses his firm's unmet and miscalculated KM goals. Marty admits that some of Bakers' KM goals were either too ambitious or too limited.
Marty admits candidly: "we had not fully demonstrated to the firm that our investment in KM at the global level was yielding positive results. Simply put, our lawyers did not, on the whole, feel that their work was being directly supported by our knowledge initiatives."
The current editorial (Volume 8, Issue 1) of the magazine starts with the statement that "Support staff and non-fee-earning activities in the firm – business development and knowledge management, for instance – are increasingly respected, but rarely embraced as core to business success" due to the very focused nature of the billable hour. To have Jason Marty commenting that their lawyers don't see the value in KM is a great reminder that KM has to support the business, or else.
The KM class I taught at Northwestern fits into a larger program that encourages the students to look at multiple viewpoints of problems. For KM, they have a 3-legged stool with people, information and environment holding up the seat of knowledge integration and sustainability. In the larger article that Joy quotes, Jason Marty's assessment is that they spent too much time on the technical / informational aspects of KM without looking at the environment and the people that knowledge management was being built to support.
I happened to come across this during the KM Chicago meeting last night, and we realized that we have not had speakers from law firms talk about their KM efforts. If any of my readers know Chicago-area legal knowledge management people, we'd love to have them talk at a future meeting of KM Chicago.