You are doing a great job helping fee earners work smarter not harder, making the firm more efficient and more profitable, but do the fee earners understand what you do and why? Does the firm appreciate the benefits your work brings? If not, you need to spend a bit of time creating more of a buzz about KM. You may worry that time spent on marketing KM internally is time wasted, but if it improves usage and collaboration and helps build a knowledge-sharing culture, it must be worthwhile.
These are my top 4 ideas to create a buzz about KM in your firm.
1. Persuade a sceptic
Just as reformed smokers are the most zealous anti-smokers, reformed KM-sceptics can be your greatest champions. Find a KM sceptic, find out some of their challenges and bug-bears and see if you can help them. If you can help them with one of their key difficulties or make their life easier, you will hopefully convert them and gain a vocal champion.
2. A campaign to pick some low-hanging fruit
Investigate some of the smaller, simple problems that fee earners experience, that you know your KM solutions can help with. Choose a number of those which will be easy to solve and plan a campaign of fixing those problems during a short period of time, to create some water-cooler chat about how helpful you/your KM staff are.
3. Leverage your existing solutions
No doubt you already do some great work and have some well-thought through solutions, but do all your fee earners understand everything that you offer and all of your solutions? Think about all the fantastic things your word-processing package can do. How many of them do you actually use? You probably had some training when you first started using it, but how much of it do you remember? It is probably the same for your fee earners using your intranet/knowledge-store/precedent database. Plan some additional training, preferably desk-based one-to-ones, and create a buzz about the scope of your systems without spending additional money on new IT.
4. Market yourself
You wouldn’t expect your firm not market itself, so why don’t you market KM internally? Think about trying some of the following, perhaps advertising your successes from 1. and 2. above:-
- A monthly/quarterly lunchtime meeting to explain what is happening within KM in your firm, or a networking mixer-event.
- A regular e-newsletter highlighting your current KM activity.
- A regular KM impact report for the Executive Board, providing a brief summary of the benefits of KM in terms of economic and social results.
- Submit KM success stories for inclusion in any existing internal marketing.
- Have a “big theme” workshop (internal or for clients) on KM.
Don’t forget that your firm’s marketing team can probably help you with the skills needed to create your buzz and if you increase take-up of your existing KM solutions, you will be improving the efficiency and profitability of your firm.
If you need help with implementing any of your KM solutions, The Knowledge Business can help. We offer consultancy, training and implementation help in KM to the legal sector. Contact Hélène Russell of The Knowledge Business on 07548 912 779 or visit www.theknowledgebusiness.co.uk.
Alternatively, if you prefer to “DIY”, a copy of the Law Society’s “Knowledge Management Handbook” is available here.
Do you want an occasional (approx monthly) email with updates about my latest blog post and open training events? Sign up here.