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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

One problem with RSS

When I was working with an internal communications team on the subject of RSS, we agreed that one of the ways forward was the use of blogs covering a variety of interests - say corporate bankruptcy or intellectual property or to cover a special interest group say Retail.

We recommended that we should use a to use a simple and I thought shortly to be ubiquitous Google Reader which we were going to encourage clients to download so that they could subscribe to our blog (s) and receive notification as to when we had updated the blog via RSS.

Of course this would put pressure on people to ensure that they blogged a little more regularly than once a quarter or at best once a month which can be difficult for time hassled professionals.

However the biggest stumbling block was the marketing departments insistence in
knowing who had subscribed to the site so that they could judge the value of the site. I also realised that these groups would be quite small and we were planning to deliver a very customisable service to these clients/interested observers and to provide a regular stream of information to them.


If you click on the link above you can read Seth Godin's article where he introduces a word that I bet next year we are all going to repeat. He calls it 'bobcasting' Godin highlights that it gives people back control - imagine where we decide what messages we want to receive by using RSS - imagine if you are a solicitor working on a project and when a milestone is reached that a client subscribing to your Project X feed gets an update via a RSS feed rather than the ubiquitous and often lost and very infuriating e-mail.

He goes on to explain that because the Reader separates the inputs by source, he can queue up my messages from other people/sources and read them in sequence. Compare that to the noisy disaster we call an inbox.

I think that this is going to be the next step forward for knowledge management in technology terms and maybe future iterations of Sharepoint 2007 and Lotus Notes may have a RSS reader implanted or perhaps Google Reader will be licensed by Microsoft (doubtful - but a delicious thought).

Monday, July 30, 2007

More on Cogenz

Bill Ives who is a prolific writer on knowledge management has done an interesting article a few days ago on Cogenz and highlights a useful case study carried out in the UK at BUPA over the last 6 months.

Bills article of 25th July 2007 can be found here

As usual there are about 10% who are contributors - say for a law firm the PSL's - the rest are active browsers.

I'm surprised that this form hasn't taken off earlier as most people are knowledgeable about bookmarking on their browser. It will be interesting to see how this pilot develops and how it harnesses the collective intelligence of the organisation that it covers.

Interestingly they also trust their staff to police it themselves without the need for any restrictive edicts as some firms do with for say a blogging policy.

I'd certainly like to pay a visit to see how it has operated and talk to staff about the benefits that it has bought to the business.

I've been reading an interesting article that will cover internal communications and RSS and will comment on that tomorrow.

Web 2.0 catches on

When I was working at a law firm, I proposed the idea of using wikis for particular projects such as for example support lawyers using it as a means of research when there is a major change in the law, but also as a means of getting people known throughout the organisation as knowledge disseminators. At the time my senior manager didn't really see this and the idea was put on the back burner. It is interesting to note that in today's The Lawyer there is an article highlighting that Linklaters are going to launch an internal wiki called Linkpedia if a pilot is successful which plans to capture internal knowledge and to organise and share it better.

As I have highlighted earlier in posts, trust in one's staff is one of the ways to encourage knowledge sharing and encourages people to contribute because they now have a forum where there work will be recognised.

Kudos to Linklaters for doing this where others hold back. It will be interesting to see how this develops.

Maybe one day, law firms may also look at firms like Cogenz to deliver social book marking on the same basis as de.licious to save interesting intranet/internet pages. They could then share those bookmarks internally and use it to find experts in their own community. I think that these two technologies working in tandem could be highly useful to knowledge intensive organisations.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Celebration day

A day of celebration today and had a really good day with Sandy, having a reflective day and also swopping gifts. Sandy bought me the new book by PJ O' Rourke on Adam Smith's ' The Wealth of Nations and a hat tip from Bruce McEwen on his blog named after Adam Smith following my observations on how to best utilise the contribution of retiring managers/partners. So watch out as I think that The Wealth of Nations contains a lot that we as knowledge managers can utilise and I will comment on this as and when I find them.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Retrospective time

I've been out and about at two interviews over the last few days, so just a quick post tonight as I'll be looking at social capital next.

It's a quote from James Kouzes in 'The Leadership Challenge" and reflects one of the issues, I've been talking about in relation to people and knowledge management.

" The new currency won't be intellectual capital - it will be social capital the collective value of whom we know and what we'll do for one another."

I've commented on this area before and talked about the Godfather! approach to knowledge management.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Getting good people to work in a law firm Part 2

Continuing on from Sunday nights post.

Talent Management in accountancy firms is usually left to a mid tier person, whereas from my experience in law firms it is primarily the partner, though I have noticed it increasingly following the accountancy model and for it to be delegated to a lower ranked solicitor. 

From talking to junior solicitors, they do feel that their seniors treat them like 'privates in an army' and expendable if they don't come up to speed. The problem with this is that you are potentially throwing away future assets to your firm. Junior solicitors might just benefit from a quick 5 minute feedback on the way back to a desk after a client meeting.

My view is that like the Japanese we should consider a sensei model where someone gradually attains master status after undergoing a period of training on the job and a variety of roles achieving certain milestones. It is important however, that this training is recognised by any firm incentive system as highlighted last night.

The important thing to remember is that not everyone wants to be a partner. The great footballer Didier Deschamps was- derisively - described by Eric Cantona as "the water-carrier" by which Cantona meant that Deschamps only existed to pass the ball to more talented players. 

This description masked a very valuable player for a number of top teams. The stars in your organisations need these people to enable them to do their jobs more effectively and they should not be lost to any talent management process - just used more widely and in interesting work. 

Some law firms have recognised this by introducing intermediate grades between partner and associate as a means of retaining good workers and rewarding them. 

It is also important to ensure that long serving partners who are retained as consultants which helps partners who have been with the firm a long time to arrange what the Japanese call amakudari or 'descent from heaven' by helping them to adjust to life outside the firm, but also ensuring that they pass on their expertise to the organisation and it's staff.

The other challenge that knowledge based firms face is ensuring that employees have more flexible packages - a recent diversity survey has shown in English law firms that very few ethnic minorities make it to partner level - whilst firms like Lewis Silkin have over 40% of its partners who are women. 

Occasionally we need to look at what Hewlett calls off-ramping for people to undertake not only traditional maternity leave but also more and more likely to occur when dealing with elderly parents and possibly in-laws.

As the war for talent steadily increases and people look for more flexibility from their employer. I think that knowledge based firms of all persuasions need to keep an eye on what other similar firms are doing and see if their good ideas can be borrowed and used in your organisation.

As William Blake aptly put it in The Four Zoas and it seems apt for a knowledge based firm.

"What is the price of Experience? do men buy it for a song?
Or wisdom for a dance in the street? No, it is bought with the price
Of all that a man hath, his house, his wife, his children.
Wisdom is sold in the desolate market where none come to buy,
And in the wither'd field where the farmer plows for bread in vain."

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Getting Good people to work in a knowledge based firm. Part 1

There was a recent article in Legal week on the 19th July 73% highlighted two major findings in a recent Law Society publication on staff retention and quality of life said there were problems with employee retention and 58% identified problems with employee engagement. Interestingly enough, there has been an article in this weeks Economist looking at how Accountancy firms deal with this issue. For us knowledge management practitioners, who are interested in the people aspects of KM, this article should be required reading.

We all know that as a knowledge based organisation, people are our only asset not only for their knowledge but also the network links that they have both internally with other staff, but also externally with clients. Also as the market gets tighter, the problem comes from attracting and retaining the brightest people to work in their organisation.

Perhaps we need as a business to set time aside to set targets not only for retention, but also how our managers are encouraged and rewarded not so much for the time that they bill as much as they can but also how they manage and develop the people under their sway. As lawyers if we are setting time aside in terms of billing hours for our clients, can we also consider using that same system to encourage leaders in the firm to set aside time for that development but also to ensure that they are not disadvantaged in terms of future pay rises and possible promotion.

We also need to consider our staffing levels more closely - because job cuts say at this time might come to haunt us a few years later when we need the staff when the cycle turns upward. We must also remain aware that agents have a vested interest in encouraging people to move. As the article highlights "Recruitment consultants charge as much as 30% of an associate’s salary for their services, so they are keen to promote ‘churn’ in the firms they service.

The loss of expertise to a firm is serious, as are the potential lost clients and the knock-on effect on morale when good people leave. Day-to-day, there is the cost of cover and reassignment of files. When the new associate is hired it will take time for them to settle in and be inducted into the way of the firm, so it is not surprising to read that turnover costs can reach £150k for each £50k worth of salary."

This probably also doesn't include the lost knowledge element, which I would consider might cost another significant sum the person gets up to speed etc etc as well as the loss of innovation, possible costly errors, less efficiency as well as in terms of significant loss the ability to deliver on the firms strategy.

Of course this loss may be offset if you pursue a good alumni strategy as I proposed to another firm both in terms of reducing costs to agents and possibly to act as recruiting agents. Organisations need to encourage that sense of emotional allegiance to a firm - because I believe that people will increasingly job hop but if they are quality people, then firms should keep in touch, so that people with increased skills might want to come back to you.

If you have a trainee lawyer for example, and they are say three years pqe. Then effectively you have a sunk cost of 5 years salries and training time invested in them. So the key is to get people to stay longer so that they don't get seduced in to leaving, which means that talent development needs to start earlier in peoples careers - even while they are trainees.

In my next post probably on Monday I'll be continuing this theme of talent management.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Trust - the key element.

Just a short entry tonight as I'm waiting for Sandy to come back from a shopping expedition with her relatives. I've banged on about trust in terms of knowledge sharing. However, I was wondering about a larger question today - trust in our leaders. When I lived in South Africa we listened for unbiased news to the BBC and over the years the BBC was seen as a paragon of virtue.

The trust that is built up in people or organisations can take a long time to develop but like the walls of Jericho can collapse ever so easily. I think that the reaction of people to the scandal about editing and the phony phone ins have made a massive dent in peoples perceptions of the BBC and the perception that it is different because it's not commercial.

Also I'm glad in a world where I can get information from a variety of sources and although it may be conflicting or wrong - I do find that through that variety more truth shines through. This search for variety isn't new.

The Greek writer Herodotus 2500 years ago believed in ther simple art of asking one source a question and then asking another and compare the answer. He also taught the value of self doubt and a rabid sense of curiosity that is not easily satisfied. Maybe we as knowledge managers should learn to walk about and talk to people to look and to listen.

I have been criticised for walking about and practising these but I beleive that not only do they develop the social networks but we can observe what is going on and not what superiors are telling us are going on.

The other is trust in our leaders - I think that the news today regarding the CPS not finding anyone to prosecute in the cash for honours scandal (at least it hasn't been cliched with a 'gate') will be met with a weary shrug of the shoulders and the stock of our elected leaders will take another lurch lower.

As another blogger points out in a blog today 20/07 Guido Fawkes points out about the link between the number of peers created and how many were donors to the Labour party.

Trust in an organisation is key to knowledge sharing and if there is no trust in the leaders of the organisation this I then believe percolates down the organisation. If there is trahison de clercs at the top of the social society does that effect us as people.

I hope not and I think not. Just a thought on a late Friday night. I'm reading an article on talent in organisations and I hope to post a comment over the weekend.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Proof if proof were needed

One of my regular reads is work by Andrew McAfee for his work on Enterprise 2.0. He has been looking to get a repository for all the good work that organisations are doing on Enterprise 2.0 and how it is being implemented. I know that a lot of organisations are doubtful about E 2.0 seeing it as yet another IT fad.

I don't but I see it as an important element of knowledge management in supporting people who have an interest to jot their thoughts down for people to access. It isn't a panacea but it is the closest that I've seen to helping networks develop and letting people put knowledge down in an easy to read format.

So if you know of an Enterprise 2.0 case study then go to the wiki that he has set up and add the details - but don't see it as an advertising site.

It's at Cases2,com
So spread the word with proof what Enterprise 2.0 can do for your business.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Playing like a child - using Lego

There was an article in the Economist on the 5th July which i'd saved as it highlighted something that I read in Scandinavia about 7 years ago about how firms in Denmark were using Lego to help their managers become more creative.

Now I understand that PWC use it with their graduates as do Google Games.

In each organisation, the company is trying to convey the idea that it offers a creative, fun working environment.

Lego have set up a division called Serious Play and has consultants who charge $7k for a two day course. . The article highlights that "they coach managers by getting them to build “metaphorical abstractions” of such things as corporate strategy."

Firms in flux, tend to be most receptive to the idea of Lego workshops. One Taiwanese consultant has an exercise is modelling, but not naming, “the people you hate most”. Apparently one chief executive was modelled as a figure so fat that he blocked a hallway, suggesting he was a major obstacle within the company.

Lego workshops are effective because child-like play is a form of instinctive behaviour not regulated by conscious thought,
Lego believes that this produces “Eureka” moments such as the article highlights " a perfectionist who realises the absurdity of frustration over an imperfect Lego construction; the owner of a firm with dismal customer relations who models headquarters as a fort under siege; or an overbearing boss who depicts his staff as soldiers headed into battle."

Could we perhaps utilise Lego bricks to show where our knowledge management initiatives in terms of technology or people relations might be improved. A thought for the future of KM and also as a means of illustrating the stories where we get people to share knowledge.

How can Knowledge Management drive innovation in your firm (or any other professional services firm)

This is a long post

I have recently had an article published in KM legal in June following a talk that I gave at a conference on KM in the Legal profession. This is the original wording before it was sub edited.

I hope that you enjoy it and want to place some comments on site.

Innovation is usually defined as the creation of something new – for organisations it is usually a change in products, process, or in law firms a change in a service.

Law firms now deal in a more competitive market place not only in terms of globalisation but also with the oncoming liberalisation of the legal market. Also, the life cycle of services is diminishing as competitors quickly copy and reverse engineer what was innovative.

In this hyper competitive world – we should consider Schumpeter’s observation that Innovation is hard to produce and harder to sustain and that businesses stand on ground that is “crumbling beneath their feet”.

I have worked in organisations that didn’t innovate and no longer exist in their once dominant state. Too often they were complacent and fell into a comfort zone thinking that because they were dominant in their market that their competitors would not succeed.

Organisations that do not innovate destroy the value of their company and the business lurches towards commoditization and away from premium pricing. Innovative companies also are more likely to retain people. If a firm has energy and encourages innovation then, people, given the choice, would want to work in an organisation that was thriving, interesting and full of challenges, rather than an organisation that considers the status quo the way forward.

Lawyers are innovative and as the law changes then new markets evolve. A few years ago who had heard of phrases like sukuk, murabaha and haram – the lingua franca of the new market based in London of Islamic Finance.

However as knowledge management practitioners in the legal market we acknowledge that there are barriers to knowledge management and it is interesting to note that some of these barriers are also some of the barriers that affect innovation.

1. Culture. We know that if a firm has an open culture and is approachable to embracing new experiences, then this can be difficult to replicate and therefore is a source of sustainable competitive advantage to the organisation.

2. Many organisations have also bought into the concept of continuous improvement or kaizen or as I call it ‘small I’ However they neglect to remember that all products/services have a finite life

We can continuously improve by all manner of techniques a 33 rpm Long Playing record by making it thinner or cramming extras on it – it does not disguise the fact that there is no major market for it.

We must therefore remember the second half of the equation where the big innovation takes place or the Japanese call it kaikaku and not only rely on kaizen to deliver innovation to our product in the long run.

3. The third barrier relates to collaboration and what I call the team player paradox. If economic times are hard – people tend to hoard knowledge feeling that they are securing their future in the firm. However, showing that you are a team player and disseminating knowledge to work colleagues is more likely to show success as you highlight that you are a key knowledge resource. Unfortunately, as my niece reminded me recently, our schools don’t always encourage collaboration between people and call it cheating; so what children are told to avoid in school, we, as knowledge based organizations, want them to do in the work place. From research we know that from collaboration comes the dissemination of shared experiences, and through this, can come innovation.

4. The fourth barrier comes from fear of failure and to the professional mind the fear of saying ‘I don’t know’ and the resultant fear of failure. It does come from the tone of the senior managers in your organisation – they need to encourage failure to encourage risk and see what happens. If your organisation celebrates failure then people will feel emboldened to take risks and develop innovation. James Dyson’s vacuum cleaner took 5127 attempts before it was completed. How many law firms would accept that level of delay? Organisations need to understand that success doesn’t come in one mighty bound but occasionally is graduated. Rome wasn’t built in a day but it was built.

I was reading an article by Seth Godin where he highlighted that organisations might recruit bright people to work for them but they are in danger of becoming sheep walkers due to organisations that do not encourage innovation. My view is that an innovative enterprise galvanizes people. The good thing from an organisations viewpoint is that naturally most human beings want to improve – it is hardwired in us but regrettably organisations do get in the way.

Effectively what law firms need to recognise is that to encourage innovation as well as knowledge sharing, is to recognise the importance of giving people time to think, allow them to relax and most importantly of all, provide recognition for their efforts.

When I was talking to a friend recently, he felt that lawyers were traditionally poor innovators. This is surprising, as law firms tend to recruit some of the brightest minds and also have access to a pool of external talent. He is an entrepreneur and highlighted that an entrepreneur tends to deal with the imperfect idea whereas lawyers by the very nature of their jobs have to work to achieve perfection.

Also by the nature of the partnership organisational structure there is a tendency to herd and to look for the consensual way forward.

Innovation tends to come from organisations encouraging positive deviants – the people who turn left when everybody goes right, or use an Apple Mac when everybody uses Dell. These deviants have a positive role in the organisation and can warn the firm of the dangers of clinging to the status quo and can envision the rewards of embracing a radical but different future.

However, in most organisations rather than being praised and becoming corporate heroes, they are considered Cassandra’s and are all too often forced out of the organization, taking their innovative ideas elsewhere while the company they leave behind wallows in it’s own complacency.

Also by utilising the billable hour model, this encourages people within law firms to become slaves to that rhythm. Law firms desire creativity and innovation but it can be difficult in a firm where the emphasis is to be quick but also resulting in the dead tired. Hence people are more likely to be suffering from cognitive dysfunction and higher rates of error than producing innovation.

So are there knowledge management techniques that can be utilised to encourage innovation? There are a number, such as using de briefing after the end of every major project to learn lessons and to identify innovation.

However, for the purposes of this article, I wish to introduce the concept of the Watson Group (named after Bell’s assistant, Thomas Watson who worked with him in inventing the telephone) and the use of the Innovation time account.

On many occasions in a meeting, I have observed, that junior members of the group tend to be silent – not willing to stick their head above the parapet and propose new ideas usually for one of the reasons cited earlier in this article.

However I have found following research and observation that junior people are more likely to broach ideas in an atmosphere that they find less threatening.

This Watson Group would be a group made up of their peers and based around the concept that there is no bad idea, only not articulating an idea. Ideas are discussed and approved through lively but respectful conversation where people suggest and discuss their thoughts, be it a change of process or an idea for a new service.

Once this has been approved by the collective – the idea can be submitted to senior management – knowing that it has been tested and also by having the support of the collective group. As on MBA courses, it can provide people with the opportunity to ‘play’ and explore options that may not have been considered before, and with being looked at by new pairs of eyes.

Management can be invited to attend the meeting, but one area that is often overlooked, are people from other departments, for example, business development and finance that can often provide valuable input and can also bring a more business edged perspective to the group. They can also act as ideas mentors helping people to develop ideas that will assist in obtaining senior management approval. A very radical step would be allowing client input in order that people look outside the boundaries of the firm and also see the idea by standing in the shoes of your client. A client might well be interested in this as ultimately they have a vested interest in your law firm’s innovations.

The final element is that of recognition, people will provide innovative ideas so long as they are recognised for it. A lot of junior staff are concerned, that senior management will take the credit for their idea. By articulating the idea in a Watson Group, then you are recognised by your peers, but also it acts as security that the idea will be credited to you.

In respect of the innovation account – innovative companies like 3M provide people with time to work on renewal and reflection. It cannot be right that the maximum time that lawyers have to spend on professional development is less than 20 hours in a year. What would be the effect of people having 2 hours a week to read and reflect, or get involved in a Watson Group in your organisation? I believe from experience, that using this variation on a knowledge management technique would benefit the company in the long run. It would highlight the importance that the firm placed on innovation and not just lip service. Law firms need to appreciate that innovation, comes from having the courage to trust their staff and to give them time to think, the ability to relax and to recognise them when they produce an idea.

We are moving rapidly from the information age to the knowledge age and it is our role as knowledge management practitioners to help people to become more innovative through our toolbox of techniques and also so that our organisations see us as providers of a value added service, rather than a ‘nice to have.’

We need to encourage and support people to share firstly knowledge and then potentially innovation by connecting with other people across the silos. Then to provide them with time and techniques to share existing, or to create new knowledge either individually or collaboratively. As a result of these, we can then in the future collect the profits from these innovations or from the law firm having faster knowledge recovery than its competitors.

But my final question is this, are we and the organisations that we work for ready for that jump or will we still see knowledge management as a nice to have?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Releasing the inner child, storyboarding and knowledge management

I went to the excellent Anecdote blog and saw a comment from one of their commentators Daryl. He had recently had a chat with the CEO at regarding using their product Comic Life.

I started to use Comic life as a means of storyboarding initially to help a friend out with something for his kids. However, I did initially start to play with it as a means of playing to develop some KM concepts and possible product developments on a personal basis. I did this fairly secretly for fear of ridicule at my place of work who would not seen it as 'work'. Also as a Apple Mac user - I thought that it would be difficult to transfer over to a Windows centric (though on closer investigation I was wrong.

All is not lost though for windows users - plasq are developing a version for Windows which is currently in beta. Another beta that people may want to have a look at Skitch which looks useful in sharing images and can do it via Flickr.

I wasn't totally convinced with using comic life but towards the end of last year a company called Zengobi did a give away I picked up a copy of Curio basic which takes up storyboarding a bit more though it appears to be Mac only. This version enhanced my abilities to do more complex story boarding which I found of more use and more flexible

Can I recommend that you have a look at Zengobi and have a look at Curio especially the Pro Version as this may extend the concept for you. This is particularly relevant as they have recently upgraded to V4 which I am testing out on a 60 day trial version before deciding to upgrade.

But what if I don't have a computer - I hear you say

Another option that I have used is the storyboarding option from the Moleskine diaries as a handy carry around for me to use covering mind maps etc and the use of a trusty pencil and then inking it in or transferring the concept over to Curio.

I've always found that if you can encourage people to play and use computers as a means of liberating that, then people can use it for how they overcam a particular problem or use it to show some best practice on the production line.

Maybe I will go back to comic life and use it in a full blown presentation one day......

PS - it is amazing what happens with synchronicity and whilst I was thinking about cognitive biases and went to wikipedia to find out about it - so had Anecdote the day before - so to avoid any problems, I'll give them a hat tip on this one as well. If you are in knowledge management and haven't looked at their blog you are missing out on some great nuggets relating to KM.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Cognitive Biases and a few surprises

Following on from my post on Sunday night, I was looking up on cognitive biases which is a distortion in the way that we as human beings view reality and also from my studies in knowledge management and organisational behaviour how we also make decisions.

I was aware that there where a few but I was surprised to see how many there where on Wikipedia!

How many of these do you recognise?

IPhones and Law Firms

I'm interested to note that a company have started to place legal management software available on the iPhone. It is interesting to note that for the company that really wants to differentiate itself from the competition - why not use an iPhone rather than a Blackberry. The iPhone is definitely a talking point. If you click on the title it will take you to the article on

It offers everything from document and records management to time and billing tracking, case and client management, marketing, fax voice mail and e-mail integration and more.

If like I do you can use it to carry your presentations as a back up it makes a stylish statement to a potential client. It will be interesting to see if UK providers when the iPhone launches here want to make things available to the legal and other professional service firms.

I'd certainly like to see a program like Notebook available as an add on to iPhone.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Too much information

It was interesting to note in this weeks Economist a detail regarding the torrent of information that we can receive on a day by day basis. The article highlights that traders receiving the all news feed saw 21 headlines flash up on their screens. Which gives them 3 seconds to read and assimilate each item. That is depending that they had read the 16 stories that had popped up a minute earlier.

Occasionally i've heard professionals complain that what they don't lack is information coming in at them - think about the daily law journals. What they are suffering from is information overload. An economist highlighted (Fischer Black) described this information as noise and that people make decisions on the back of this.

The obvious issue is that it can be difficult to differentiate between what is noise and what might be useful information. The more information that we receive may make us more confident about the decisions that we make, however research has shone that sometimes the more information we have the worse our decision making processes become. It is as if we receive too much information paralyses us as it opens up too many vistas for us to consider. I know that it is easy to suffer from this information paralysis. I subscribe to a number of blogs - but I know that if I don't read them for a couple of days then it gets too much for me to consciously read so I take the nuclear option and mark all of them as read and start again. I don't have an answer, but in this world of knowledge being delivered to us and even with RSS perhaps knowledge management's biggest challenge is to help people to be able to navigate the world of knowledge without becoming becalmed by it.

I watched a blast from the past the other day when I found on You Tube a video by Apple covering the Knowledge Navigator. This was something that they worked on in 1987 I'd recommend that you watch it and ask yourself - whether this is what we need more than ever. I know we have some of this now - but not all combined - maybe when we have the semantic web or Web 3.0 - something like this can be delivered to help people.