There has been an interesting article from the Harvard Law school which caught my attention last night - before watching the mighty Liverpool crush PSV Eindhoven.
Knowledge Management on the Decline?: The law of diminishing returns is affecting those firms that invested heavily in giant IT databases - because a lot of that information is becoming available on line and it’s quality is steadily improving. It does beg a question as to say in 5 years time will in house precedents (or at least the vast majority of them) be as quaint as a horse and cart going down the streets of Birmingham.
Therefore firms will need to look at the way that people share knowledge if they wish to maintain a competitive advantage over their rivals.
Competitive advantage comes from possessing some attribute that is valuable, rare and not easily substituted - the tacit or people knowledge in a firm is that advantage not as previously perceived what is held in a database.
Another article highlights the rise of Generation Y lawyers who want to have their own internal blogs as a way of advertising their expertise to other people in the firm, so that they can undertake work on interesting projects.
Firms have noted a significant rise in the number of requests for blogs especially and even Microsoft has noticed - putting a blogging facility into Sharepoint 2007.
Also they want to have a say in developing more flexible taxonomies than the ones that they feel are foisted on them by IT departments that aren’t lawyers and don’t always bear reality to what and how they work.
Always remember, the technology is there to help people with their day to day work and that without the people getting involved - you end up with an expensive white elephant