Originally posted 19-May-22
V. Mary Abraham is an author, consultant, and facilitator. Active in the legal industry since 1991, she practiced corporate law at a top-tier international firm and helped lead its knowledge management efforts.
Mary was a member of the faculty of Columbia University’s Master of Science in Information and Knowledge Strategy program and served as Academic Director of the program.
Mary co-founded a digital start-up, Broadli Inc., which created the Broadli generosity app and provides training for smarter networking. She wrote the Law Technology Today column sponsored by the American Bar Association’s Law Practice Management Section and for Thomson Reuters Practice Innovations and Legal IT Today.
I met Mary at the Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Boston in 2010, but I had been a fan of her blog well before then. She is great at rapidly blogging thorough session summaries at KMWorld and live tweeting during SIKM Leaders Community calls.
SIKM Leaders Community
- October, 2011 Presentation: Social Media in the Enterprise: the future is here — how can we make it work? with Tom Short, Peter Hobby, and Kate Pugh
- November 2014 Presentation: The Other KM Adoption Challenge
Table of Contents
- Chapter 1: The challenge to optimize (includes Knowledge sharing and collaboration)
- Chapter 2: Specific optimization opportunities (includes Optimizing the library function)
- Chapter 3: Optimization requires strategy
- Chapter 4: Leadership and optimization
- Chapter 5: Optimize through collaboration (includes Silos, Collaboration, Case study: Collaborate to reposition the firm in the market, Collaborate through a supporting role, Case study: Collaborate to create an engine for innovation, Collaboration in the C-suite)
- Chapter 6: Optimize by changing the game (includes Change the game with better training, Case study: Client-facing learning and development, Change the game with smarter technology)
Book chapter in Smarter Innovation: Using Interactive Processes to Drive Better Business Results edited by Katrina Pugh
Chapter 7: Broadli: Drinking my own champagne
- How to ﬁnd help
- How to connect
- Social capital and reciprocity
- Create a network of generosity
The question KM professionals should ask themselves with respect to every project is this: are we setting up a process that relies on brute force (treadmill); periodic external energy (windmill); or near constant external energy, barring intervention upstream or climate change (watermill)? Or have we set up a system that will of its own accord create the energy necessary to make it self-perpetuating? If we can design projects that are self-perpetuating, then we will have found our KM equivalent of the infinite energy generator.
Consider what you might write if you told the truth about what’s happening on your watch. What would change if you successfully identified repeatable lessons that could be shared with your colleagues. What if those lessons were incorporated in your organization’s operating procedures? To be clear, this is not about paying lip service to transparency with an occasional after action review or, worse still, a database of lessons learned that no one ever consults. Rather, this is about encouraging attitudes and behaviors that enable us to share knowledge, learn and innovate. It’s about creating an organizational culture that is more honest and, perhaps, a tad more humble.
- Command and control still rules.
- Distance is a big deal.
- Social risk is ignored.
- Technology is not used to facilitate shared values and outcomes.
- Innovation is discussed but poorly executed.
- Collaboration is a coin toss, not a thoughtfully planned strategy.
- Change is implemented in a top-down, episodic manner.