Archive by Author

What are the Best Ways to Drive Adoption and Reduce the Risk of Resistance to Change?

25 Jul

orange and and brown chess pieces

By Sharon Ford, Technology Education Specialist at Perkins Coie

There are many interesting changes in the Knowledge Management (KM) area including AI and machine learning, chatbots, automation and more.  Many of these initiatives involve technology changes, but they also result in process changes including how people work, and they may evoke emotions including concerns about job security.  Regardless of the type of change, one thing you need to keep in mind is organizations don’t change; people do. If individuals need to change, then there needs to be a focus on people when initiatives are implemented and that is where change management comes in.

Whether a change being implemented is defined as a KM change or any other change, I encourage you to evaluate every project you are implementing with a change management lens.  How can you do that? While this is not an official change management model, I’m going to leverage something you probably learned back in grade school – the Five Ws. The Five Ws (sometimes referred to as Five Ws and How) are questions to be answered for basic information gathering or problem solving.  They are often mentioned in journalism and research, and they comprise a formula for getting the complete story on a topic.

The 5W example can be applied to provide a change management lens for your projects including:

1) What’s the Why?

2) Who’s your Sponsor?

3) Who is impacted?  And, what is the impact?

4) How will you engage stakeholders? And, where can they find more information?

5) When and how will you measure adoption?

Below is a brief overview of each.

What’s the Why?

The Why or the Vision should identify how this change makes your organization competitive and should explain the WIIFM (what’s in it for me) for different stakeholder groups.  It should include why the change is happening and the risk of not changing. Whenever possible, tell the why in a story to allow people to connect to the vision not only with their heads but also with their hearts.

Who’s Your Sponsor?

Prosci has conducted multiple studies on successful change efforts and found the most important factor for success is sponsorship.  A Sponsor should remain active and visible throughout the life of the project, not just identify the need for change then announce it and walk away.  Often, the Sponsor comes from the organization that is causing a change, but a project will be more successful if leaders from the impacted areas are engaged and show visible support for the effort.  Part of the change management activities should include providing a roadmap for the Sponsor(s), so they know the activities and the commitment required.

Who is Impacted?  And, What is the Impact?

People typically identify stakeholders by role, but you should also consider other aspects, for example, their typical workflow, their current frustrations, and their usage of a mobile device.  These and other factors influence the level of impact. Personas, which are often used for marketing purposes, can also be created as part of stakeholder identification for a project to capture the different needs and expectations of various stakeholder groups.

How Will You Engage Your Stakeholders?

A quick and easy answer is to engage them early and often.  You may have heard of the “Rule of 7,” a marketing principle that states prospects need to come across an offer at least seven times before they really notice it and start to act.  That is a good rule for stakeholder engagement as well. Also, ensure the communications for a project incorporate the listening side (e.g., meetings, surveys, an email address or a project page where people can provide input, ask questions and get more information).  Remember the perception of a change can differ by stakeholder group, even by individual, so to help reduce resistance, you need to listen to concerns and feedback. You should also consider creating a Change Agent Network for your project. Change Agents are early adopters who receive training and advance details on the initiative, so they can proactively engage others, assist with adoption and help to reduce resistance.

A term that is gaining some traction is change engagement instead of change management.  Wouldn’t you rather be engaged than managed?

When and How Will You Measure Adoption?

Remember the quote from Peter Drucker, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.”  Understanding adoption behavior is helpful in identifying whether a change is providing value.  Identifying adoption metrics has its own subset of the Five W’s. You need to think through what to measure, when to measure, how to measure and who should measure.  When you are identifying and tracking metrics, think of adoption as a phase reported over time rather than a single event.

Keep in mind that people know how to do their jobs the current way.  Even if the current way is cumbersome and inefficient, it’s comfortable.  Thinking through the Five W’s can help you focus your change management lens and guide people through their concerns and resistance.

It is also important to note that people often fear change because they fear failure or criticism.  Building a culture where people are willing to risk failure in order to change and grow is also a major factor in successfully implementing change – perhaps a topic for future blog.

Advertisements

2019 ILTACON – Session Highlights for Knowledge Management Professionals

18 Jul

ILTACON2019

By Deborah S. Panella, Director of Research & Knowledge Services at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP

If you haven’t already figured out why ILTACON 2019 is so important to Knowledge Management professionals, check out the below! There are a number of reasons you should register and join all your ILTA colleagues in Orlando.

ILTACON is the organization’s premier event for peer-driven educational programming, with advanced content offered in a variety of formats to suit every learning style. The exhibit hall is packed with business partners ready to show you their products and services in a friendly and low pressure environment. And numerous networking opportunities are provided so that you can meet and talk to speakers, other attendees and exhibitors throughout the week, including several times carved out specifically to gather with KM colleagues.

New this year, Filament is helping ILTA design three collaboration sessions, each with an expert facilitator, to deliver an interactive and action-oriented experience.  Sunday’s theme is “engage and plan,” Tuesday’s is “understand and ideate,” and Thursday’s will be “decide and activate.”  This winning combination ensures that you will bring actionable knowledge back to your employer in the form of case studies, best practices, insights and strategies, along with connections to people who share your goals and challenges.

Below is a small sampling of the many KM-specific educational sessions to consider, but there is clearly no shortage of relevant and timely related programming. For KM professionals, one key benefit of ILTACON is that you are certain to meet professionals with complementary skills and experiences that go beyond pure KM. Their perspectives will help you broaden your knowledge of the legal industry and the tools, technologies and practices used by related disciplines such as legal project management, marketing & business development, financial planning and analysis, learning and development, and litigation & practice support.  For that reason, we urge you to consider all sessions, not just the ones listed below.

KM Strategy, Leadership, and Professional Development – Including Ways to Foster and Embrace Innovation

KM Tech Tools: Document Assembly & Document Automation; Enterprise Search, Experience Management, Extranets, Intranets & Portals

Thank you to all the volunteers from the KM & Marketing CCT and ILTACON Team Coordinators who helped create this resource. We hope their hard work can be of value to many.

The Geography of Legal Innovation – Firms, People, Tech

14 Jun

Image by nugroho dwi hartawan from PixabayBy Gordon Vala-WebbBuilding Smarter Organizations

I was recently talking with Professor Dan Linna at Northwestern about his very provocative Legal Services Innovation Index. It is a “pilot project to create an index of legal-service delivery innovation” using “indicators of innovation on [260] law firm websites” (pulled using Google Advanced Search against those firms’ websites organised into categories and jurisdictions). It consists of both a catalogue of innovative offerings and an “Index” of innovation.

It made me wonder if this Index for firms matched two other possible indicators of innovation in the legal services / law practices industries across eight key jurisdictions (United States, United Kingdom, China, Germany, Netherlands, Australia, Brazil, and Canada):

Warnings

First, some apples-to-oranges caveats:

Apples and oranges on opposite ends of weigh scale Image by Tumisu from Pixabay
  • The time series don’t line up (the Innovation Index was done last year; Chin’s numbers are from February 2018; and my LinkedIn search was done just now)
  • The Innovation Index includes things like AFAs as an “innovation” (which may not map well to whether firms have an “Innovation” person or not)
  • LinkedIn’s “Law Practice” and “Legal Services” industries include people who are not with law firms; and, obviously, some people are almost certainly doing some innovation (maybe even a lot) without having it in their LinkedIn job title
  • Firms might have innovation people located in other jurisdictions (e.g. India) which wouldn’t be counted; and LinkedIn is not as widely used in certain jurisdictions (it is available, for example, in China – 50 million users – but is not as ubiquitous as in the US – 160 million).

However, I think the results are interesting – and possibly indicative of some intriguing patterns.

Firms are All Talk and No Action?

There is likely no surprise here for anyone seriously paying attention but there seems to be a mismatch between the Innovation Index – firms TALKING about innovative things on their website – and organisations having people to DO innovation. The correlation between the two (for the selected jurisdictions) is only 0.38.

A kinder explanation might be that, since the Innovation Index includes alternative fee arrangements (AFAs), the correlation would improve if we included job titles with “Pricing” or “AFA” or “Feedback” in them (click here for that LinkedIn list). I suspect the answer is a combination of both of these (look for my upcoming post on that).

High Correlation Between Titles and Tech Firms

Dart in center of target Image by Deedster from Pixabay

There is an extraordinary level of correlation – 0.93 (or near perfect!) – between the number of people with “innovation” in their titles in a jurisdiction and the number of legal tech firms in that country.

Of course correlation is never causation; I suspect that the causal arrow for both is coming from two sources:

  1. The growing willingness of clients to use their increasing legal-services purchasing power (pushing firms to make changes)
  2. The larger size and and greater operational sophistication of legal departments (whereby they become customers for the direct purchase of technology).

CLOC’s extraordinary growth – and the plethora of firms and tech companies attending their latest conference – is a telling example of both these phenomena.

Is China a Legal Innovation Leader?

The Innovation Index gives Chinese firms a score of 666.3 – which is almost as high as the US firms (at 671.7). But, looking at the other data sets, there are only two people in China with “innovation” in their titles and only one legal tech firm.

One explanation of that high Index score came to me from Norm Letalik, an immensely experienced law firm leader, who reminded me of how competitive the Chinese legal market is. This pressure comes not just from lawyers but other forms of legal services providers:

“the exclusivity enjoyed by legal professionals [in China], and the precise scope of activities to which it applies, are becoming unclear; and the existing regulations may face the risk of being circumvented”

Source: Jing Li, “The Legal Profession of China in a Globalized World,” International Journal of the Legal Profession

As to the very few people who have “innovation” titles, LinkedIn has struggled to get traction there (as has every Western company). Perhaps it is also that firms in China are “post-innovative” – with everyone doing it but no one having the title? Or perhaps the function is called something else?

And, seemingly, Stanford Law’s CodeX Techindex is significantly underestimating tech firms outside of North America such as those in China (one?!) and in the UK (see following section).

The United – Legal Tech – Kingdom!?

UK firms get an Innovation Index more than three times the US’ (and China’s) with a score of 2,068! And they have the highest ratio of “innovation” titles to any jurisdiction’s population (i.e. 2.35 to US’ 1.1). That would make the country the United – Legal Tech – Kingdom!

The UK legal market was early into privatization deals, and with London’s financial markets, has seen a lot of multi-jurisdictional work with high fee structures. That gave – at least the big firms there – the size and margins to help with the early adoption of innovative approaches. Potentially that early innovation lift was enhanced by the UK legal services market becoming open to alternative business structures (which provided at least a psychologically impetus for innovation if not also actual market pressure).

It also seems anomalous that the UK is reported to have less than one-tenth the number of legal tech firms as compared to the US (35 to 460 respectively); again, it seems (like China) that their legal tech firms are being under counted in the Techindex.

US Legal Tech is HUGE

Whatever the real count of legal tech firms, there is no doubt that the number of legal tech firms in the US is huge – 460. Canada is next largest at 52 (with UK in third place trailing – as noted above – at 35 tech firms). Whether it is the sheer size of the US tech capital markets, their effectiveness, or something in the water – whatever it is, it is working to generate lots and lots of legal tech.

Canada and Australia – Punching Above Their Weight?

Kangaroo Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Canada and Australia are pretty small jurisdictions relative to the US; but in both cases they seem to be punching above their weight:

  • Both have more people with innovation titles than you would expect relative to the US population (Australia has three times the number; and Canada almost twice the number)
  • Canada more than matches the US in the number of expected (i.e. adjusted for relative population size) legal tech firms; Australia trails with just half the number expected – perhaps more under-counting of tech firms outside of North America?

Of course Australia has pioneered alternative business structures for legal service delivery (click here for more) so perhaps their innovation (relative) people lead is not surprising. What might explain Canada’s legal tech strength? Could the world’s first legal tech incubator – Ryerson’s Legal Innovation Zone – be part of the explanation?

Change Over Time?

The most interesting question might one that cannot be answered right now: Is the rate of innovation accelerating? (And, if so, are the rates different for different countries?) We simply don’t have the time-series data that we would need to do that analysis.

Final Questions

  • What is happening in China in legal tech? Are there implications here for the rest of the world?
  • Should Americans pay more attention to legal tech developments in the UK (and also Australia and Canada)?
  • Could running the LinkedIn job title searches every six months provide a simple but effective innovation “velocity” metric?
  • What would it take to encourage Prof. Linna to revisit his Innovation Index? And let us all help CodeX LegalTech to build a more complete list (anyone can submit a legal technology company for inclusion).

Note: To see the raw calculations in Excel just send me your email address.

Proposal Generation: Part of a Complete Marketing and Knowledge Management Solution

25 Apr

By Barry Solomon, Executive Vice President at Foundation Software Group 

When the marketing team is struggling under the weight of responding to RFP after RFP, it’s tempting to narrow your focus and look for a slimmed down, silver bullet application for generating pitches and proposals. However, firms that take the time to research their alternatives inevitably find they need a more robust solution that includes easy access to comprehensive experience, expertise, and client information.

That’s exactly what happened when I was CMO at Sidley Austin LLP. What started as a search for a proposal generation solution, resulted in the seeds of Foundation Software Group’s Firm Intelligence platform. Why? Because we found that what we needed as much or more than the proposal generation itself was easy access to all the experience and knowledge we had amassed at Sidley to materially differentiate our firm between the cover page and summary.

It also turns out that the data that sets your pitches, proposals, and awards and rankings submissions apart has a significant overlap with the information the Knowledge Management team is interested in compiling, indexing, and leveraging.

While KM might use this data to feed strategic decision making, locate firm expertise, manage experiences, find relevant matters to support pricing analysis, or make enterprise search more efficient and effective, Marketing can also leverage the data to help integrate lateral hires, identify cross selling opportunities, and drive client development efforts, in addition to generating those proposals.

View the recent ILTA webinar entitled, The Latest in Pitch Generation, where I talk about how and why taking a holistic approach to knowledge management and business development solutions can ultimately result in not only better proposals, but also improve the business and practice of law at your firm as well.

Building Better Bridges: 12 Ways Knowledge Management and Library Teams Can Leverage Marketing and Business Development

19 Mar

orange and white bridgeBy Rachel Shields Williams, Senior Manager, Experience Management, at Sidley Austin

When people think of the marketing department in a law firm, they often think of events and client gifts. But in reality, it’s a team of people who often have MBAs, master’s degrees in communications, and similar advanced degrees working to move the firm’s strategic plans forward—and they’re often an untapped resource for the knowledge management (KM) and library services teams.

Gone are the days that the marketing department planned your parties and ordered conference swag. These functions still happen, but they’re driven by data and measured against targets. Now marketing staff also coach the firm’s lawyers on how to win and develop business in a systematic and repeatable fashion, help shape firm priorities with data-based decisions and insights, and lead major changes in how lawyers communicate—customer relationship management (CRM), anyone?

But how can they help KM professionals? In many ways, depending on the skill sets in your marketing team. Below are just a few suggestions of how you can take advantage of the skill set and expertise within your marketing departments.

1. Skills Coaching and Training Opportunities

Practicing lawyers get conflicted out of training all the time, and the marketing team is often tasked with filling those seats. So, if you’re looking to polish your persuasion skills or other professional skills, talk to marketing. They’re the subject-matter experts on communicating and building relationships and are often aware of firm resources that you can leverage to build your next pitch for a new idea.  Consider asking marketing to help you craft better elevator pitches and perfect your presentations.

2. Practice Group Strategy and Priorities

The marketing team has a front-row seat for a practice’s priorities. Here’s a sampling of what they know:

  • what industries they’re pitching and winning business from;
  • what questions clients are asking;
  • what trends they’re seeing from competitors;
  • whether the practice is focused on developing new business or on raising its image in a market;
  • where they decided to focus the budget this year, whether it’s attending a conference or traveling to visit clients; and
  • much more.

Reach out to marketing to get a better understanding of what the priorities are at the personal and practice level so that you can tailor research or select and promote resources more effectively.

3. Strategy

Not only does the marketing team help execute the practice’s or the firm’s business development strategies, but it also crafts those strategies. Today’s marketing department is skilled at facilitating strategic plans at the firm, practice, and individual level. Your firm’s marketers can share these best practices and help your department design tactics that are measurable and actionable. You can set the right priorities for your department, and are more likely to get purchase approval if you can show how a big project or resource fits into the practice or firm strategy.

4. Relationships

Marketing typically works very closely with lawyers on a variety of projects near and dear to them. Given this close working relationship, the marketing team is well positioned to share subtler details about the lawyers it’s interacted with. For example, marketers often know whether a lawyer prefers morning meetings or likes to leave by 4 pm to have dinner with their family. Marketing also plays the role of a listening ear when collaborating with and coaching lawyers, and those conversations give marketing teams valuable perception of lawyers’ needs and wants as well. Knowing how and when to reach out to a partner may expedite the approval or adoption process for new tools and services.

5. Clients

We’re the keepers of client feedback, both formal and informal. Marketing professionals run formal client feedback programs, and from those insights, we help develop and execute key client programs, including retention and growth plans. Additionally, we gather informal information by holding debriefs with clients when we do and don’t win business to understand what worked and what didn’t; we also collect data as we work with them on award submissions and charitable events. Because of these collaborative activities, marketing builds relationships with all types of people within clients.  A KM department, for example, may be able to offer client-facing solutions if they are better aware of client needs.

6. Communication

When you’re rolling out a new technology or an upgrade to a system, talk to your marketing department. By the nature of our jobs, we stay up-to-date on the best way to raise awareness, we create targeted and meaningful messaging that drives behavior, and we know how to communicate these changes effectively. Do you need an FAQ, a step-by-step guide, or an email campaign? Do you know who is best to deliver the messaging? Do you need different messages for different users? Or perhaps this is a major incentive that needs branding and collateral. Call your marketing department and leverage the subject-matter experts.

7. Digital Marketing

Are you trying to raise your department’s profile in the industry or write a blog post? Talk to your digital communication team for the best tips on writing content for a blog vs. posting on LinkedIn vs. trying to write an article for a third-party publication. They’re also a great resource for tips on crafting your LinkedIn profile so it positions you as a leader in your space.

8. Promotion

Are you designing cutting-edge solutions that are solving clients’ problems? Talk to marketing about how to promote this work in your firm so you can replicate it for other clients. And make sure your marketing team shares the potential benefits of your work with prospective clients via pitches, RFPs, rankings and awards, and other communications. KM and Library professionals bring valuable skills and resources to the firm, and many clients are unaware of the cost savings, efficiencies and other benefits they provide.

9. Surveys

The marketing department sends a lot of surveys to internal and external clients on a variety of topics, including feedback on educational programs, client satisfaction, content, and the like. They’re skilled in how to ask and design questions that solicit meaningful and actionable feedback from respondents.

10. Laterals

Marketing is the welcoming committee for new laterals. We help integrate them and their clients into the firm and their new practices. We also play matchmaker with other lawyers across the firm to help grow the bottom line. During this time, we get great insight into their old firm and how it did things, what they miss, and why they decided to make the switch.

11. Expertise Identification

Marketing often keeps or creates representative deal lists, lawyer biographies, and is responsible for CRM systems.  When KM or Library needs to find an internal expert, Marketing may be able to suggest people best suited to evaluate a new library database, profile a deal or document for a KM repository, or just explain a particular legal concept in a pinch.

12. Branding

Branding is key to promoting new ideas. So, when you want to use the firm logo or branding, check in with marketing. They know the latest legal advertising rules and firm policies around when, where, and how you can promote the firm or how others can promote their relationships with the firm. Internally, they can help design custom logos, signature lines or tag lines to brand your department or products.

BONUS – Change Management

When marketing teams succeed, they’re winning the hearts and minds of people, getting them to do something that they would not have done in the normal course of things. And what is change management but a battle to convince the hearts and minds of lawyers to do something different? It could be a new way of communicating with clients, implementing new programs like client feedback, or embracing a new technology like CRM systems. So, collaborating with your marketing team on new releases could lead to faster implementation and adoption.

These are just a few recommendations of new ways that you can work with your marketing departments. Just remember that we’re all on the same team, so we should take advantage of each other’s special skill sets.

We also encourage you to read the fantastic blog entitled 12 Ways Marketing & Business Development Can Leverage Library & Knowledge Management Teams.”

Knowledge Management Round-Up: Reliving (and Re-loving!) 2018

27 Dec

blackboard business chalkboard concept

By Gwyn McAlpine, Director of Knowledge Management Services, Perkins Coie LLP

Once is chance, twice is a coincidence, and the third time is a pattern.  If that is true, then this 3rd annual KM Round-Up post marks a pattern, now a year-end ritual to complement your holiday madness.  You can read 2016’s “chance” here and 2017’s “coincidence” there.  But the gist of it is that we assume your professional and/or personal life got in the way and you missed some of ILTA’s excellent programming related to knowledge management.  Based on the amount of traffic the round-up posts get, you’re not alone.  Below is a list, loosely organized into categories, of KM-related programming.  Because KM professionals have varied interests, I tend to embrace a broad range of content for this post, including things like innovation and data analytics, but leaving out some other areas that may not as commonly fall to KM, such as pricing and security, even though many of us are best buddies with our pricing and security colleagues.

Pour yourself a glass of eggnog and join in as we reflect on 2018.  Some observations:

  • If all this programming were a single word cloud, the word “Innovation” would be really, really big. Enormous, in fact.
  • Despite our penchant for calling everything innovative, we are over the hype. After past years’ frothy excitement over artificial intelligence, we now want contributors to prove it with specific use cases, screen shots and practical tips.  Don’t tell me how it should work; tell me how it has actually worked.
  • Many KMers are revisiting the classics, but applying lessons learned and improved technology. Bedrock topics, like enterprise search, experience management and KM strategies, made a strong showing.
  • We continue to have wide-ranging interests. I start this list by looking for content by KMers, for KMers and then follow those themes to a broader set of contributors and consumers.  There are a lot of diverse topics below.  That could mean that we are struggling to focus, or that we are fascinating people to have at a cocktail party.

All entries are hyperlinked, so you can dive into interesting content without delay.  Do keep in mind, though, that you may need to log into the ILTA website first to access some of the links.

Happy happy, merry merry!

Artificial Intelligence

Bots

Client-Facing KM

Collaboration

Competitive Intelligence

Data Analytics

Document Assembly/Document Automation

Document Management

Enterprise Search

Experience Management

ILTACON

Innovation

Intranets and Portals

KM Strategy

Misc.

Professional Development

Research and Practice Support

Training, Onboarding and Promotion

If you’ve read through this list and said, “hey, my name’s not up there!”, never fear.  2019 will offer lots of opportunities to contribute as a writer or speaker.  Contact the KM and Marketing Technology Content Coordinating Team to offer up your services.  You can also update your ILTA Profile to include your areas of knowledge and expertise.  In fact, why don’t you put that on your new year’s resolution list right now?  Happy listening, reading and learning!

ILTACON 2018 Recap

28 Sep

iltacon2018Sharon Lee, Knowledge Management Specialist at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

The KM quarterly virtual roundtable held on September 12 provided ILTACON 2018 attendees a forum to share their personal recap of the conference.  The engaging discussion was led by Gwyn McAlpine, Director of Knowledge Management Services, and Amy Monaghan, Practice Innovations Manager, of Perkins Coie. If you missed the roundtable, listen to the recorded discussion.

Highlighted Sessions

ILTACON attendees shared their favorite sessions and key takeaways. We thought it would be helpful to provide the links to the sessions from the KM learning pathway and those discussed during the virtual roundtable.

Monday Sessions

Tuesday Sessions

Wednesday Sessions

Thursday Sessions

Additional ILTACON 2018 recordings and materials are now available on the Downloads page.

Other Discussion Topics

ILTACON attendees also provided feedback on new conference features: learning pathways and collaboration sessions. The learning pathway designated for KM professionals received positive reviews. Attendees agreed that this option eased the process of selecting sessions.  The collaboration sessions also received positive feedback. Attendees shared that it was nice to network with peers and share takeaways from earlier sessions.

Did you attend ILTACON 2018? We encourage you to share your favorite sessions and key takeaways in the comment section below.