Fishbowls and change cafes in Liverpool

It’s a wrap…

Some photos from the CILIP conference in Liverpool.

Hank Malik and I ran a fishbowl conversation on trust and psychological safety, a knowledge café on change management and co-hosted two “lightning round” sessions on the IFLA map and sustainability in IM.

Posted in Events, Training and learning | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

UK Knowledge Mobilisation Forum – it’s a wrap

Posted in Events | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Consultation – what do you think?

The BSI Knowledge Management Standards Committee has just completed a draft guide to BS ISO 30401 KM Standard. You are invited to review it and feedback your comments before 12th June.

Posted in KM, Strategy | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Reminiscences …

I love those reminders you get from Google or Facebook or whoever, that remind you what you were up to on this day 2/3/4 years ago.

I was recently reminded that back in March 2019 we were all at the magical Seven Stories venue listening to Ishbel Smith, John Gabbay and Andrée le May (and a whole host of other contributors) talk about their experiences of knowledge mobilising and sharing.

We hope this year’s Forum will be just as magical, if a little more airy and masked.

If you fancy coming along, we’ll be in Liverpool on 4th and 5th May at the Florrie.

You can find out more about what we have planned and book tickets here.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Posted in collaboration, Events, knowledge-sharing | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Learning from the past

Should all knowledge workers and leaders learn poker?

I recently listened to “Future You”, part of this series about thinking by Prof Steven Pinker, expecting something useful for my New Year’s resolutions.

In fact, it was primarily about future discounting in decision making, in particular, how poorly people assess risk based on numbers, in comparison to risk based on personal experience* (“the description experience gap”).

It’s something we often discuss in relation to storytelling for knowledge sharing or influencing as KMers, but I enjoyed hearing Dr Kournikova, psychologist and poker champion, discuss how useful poker has been for her to gain personal experience of what a 1% or 2% edge means, so that she can understand levels of risk in different situations where she doesn’t have personal experience.

Perhaps we should all learn a little poker? What do you think?

With lots of other interesting thoughts relevant to knowledge sharing in the podcast, it’s definitely worth 30 mins of your time. In fact, any Open University podcast that manages to include quotes from The Simpsons definitely gets my vote.

Picture of hands shuffling cards.

* It’s obviously not as simple as “experience = good” “numbers = bad” for decision-making and risk assessment, but listen to the podcast and let me know what you think!

Posted in influencing, Training and learning | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Knowledge Network 2022

Ready to make 2022 the year you focus on your KM knowledge and practice?

Join Knowledge Network for learning, knowledge sharing and networking.

What is the Knowledge Network?

Knowledge Network is a supportive and friendly group for those who work in Information, Knowledge and Learning in professional services firms, such as law firms.

It is run by me, Helene Russell of TheKnowledgeBusiness, and has been supporting KMers for more than a decade.

Currently all events, coaching and networking are delivered virtually.

What is included for 2022?

  • 6x hour-long virtual learning events/webinars
  • 2x 45 minute coaching calls
  • 2x virtual coffee connections
  • discount on many TKB virtual workshops

Who is it for?

If you are interested in learning, information and knowledge and work for any kind of professional services organisation (or indeed any other kind of business) you will find it interesting and useful.

We have had a wide variety of members, including Heads of Knowledge, Heads of Information and Library, Information professionals at all levels, Knowledge Systems Managers, Professional Support and Knowledge Lawyers, and consultant lawyers. We’ve also had a variety of senior leaders come along to individual events of particular interest to them.

The majority of members are from the UK, but we also have members from Europe, US, India and the Channel Islands. Learning events are held in English and during UK / GMT lunchtimes, so as long as you can attend then (whatever time it is in your time-zone), you are welcome.

What topics do we cover?

In the past we’ve had events on AI and machine learning, ISO 30401, design thinking for KM, after action reviews, social media for knowledge sharing, promoting KM, metrics and measurements, new technologies, KM strategies, culture, motivations for sharing, innovation, intranets that work, GDPR, leadership and influencing, writing in plain English, mobile KM, international management challenges, change management and all kinds of topics.

We’ve heard from practitioners (legal, health, engineering, marketing and other sectors), consultants and academics.

We’ve heard from speakers from US, Canada, Europe and UK.

Topics always depend on the needs of the members. At the time of writing this, for the 2022 programme, I have speakers booked to talk about internal communications and value, knowledge sharing vlogs, influencing and KM teams, and KM systems and technologies. If you’d like to add your favourite topic to the list, book your space early and ask!

How much does it cost?

£265 for one person/space for an annual subscription.

Two spaces within the same organisation are discounted to £475.

If you’d like to book 3 or more spaces, get in touch.

How do I book?

Email me for an invoice. It’s that simple.

Not quite right for you?

If this isn’t quite right for you, have you thought of organising your own in-house training day or training programme? I can offer virtual or in person events (depending on lockdown/tier rules of course) on a wide variety of topics. Get in touch to ask me more.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Carry it forward …

My colleagues and I at Law Consultancy Network have been analysing the gains made in the legal profession during the pandemic/various lockdowns and considering how firms could build on those gains and improve their practices.

My thoughts are at page 30, but there are articles about pricing, management, diversity, zombies and all sorts.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Lunch ‘n’ learns for virtual teams – a dozen ideas

A very common updating and learning tool in law firms, is the lunch n learn, but how can we make virtual lunch n learns more compelling?

I’ve been asking various PSLs, KMers and law firm leaders what they’re doing to help make their lunch n learns more compelling and have gathered a dozen ideas to help you.

  1. Get the basics right – you can’t get everyone superfast fibre broadband, but you can ensure everyone has access to decent laptops, headphones and microphones.
  2. Keep some elements the same as in-person learning (i.e. stick to the same times/days so everyone knows what to expect).
  3. Some elements will need extra thought and emphasis compared to in-person training
    • make sure everyone takes time to switch off from their work and switch on to learning and take a moment to focus on the purpose of the event/their personal learning aims;
    • if lecturing, you might also need to speak more slowly during online training and take more pauses to check understanding as you won’t be able to access body language in the same way;
    • review any slides previously used for in-person training – check images/text will this work for small screens or poor connectivity;
    • consider whether closed captioning be useful.
  4. Know your audience – adapt your delivery strategy depending on the audience and if there are different needs (most commonly partners versus trainees) consider running different sessions.
  5. Set expectations around attendance (easier to do with more frequent, shorter events).
  6. Encourage everyone to speak early on – this can be a “check-in” at the beginning of the session (an “appreciation, apology or aha” session or a discussion of intentions/personal challenges related to the topic).
  7. Improve interactivity – and include interactive elements such as quizzes, polls, encourage use of chat tools or group messaging. Quizzes and polls are useful to support anonymous answers and feedback, which might be important for your audience.
  8. Switch up elements of teaching – try a watch party followed by discussions; vary event lengths/times; think carefully about what needs to be synchronous (all on the same call) and be respectful of people’s out-of-hours time. Asynchronous elements (such as videos or articles) can be consumed at the individuals’ preferred time and perhaps commented on before the synchronous discussion.
  9. Improving the quality of discussions
    • 4-5 people is the ideal number for an interactive discussion.
    • If you need discussions in larger groups, the “2-4-more” strategy can help (running short discussions in groups of 2, then groups of 4, before moving to your larger groups, can help people to settle into discussions).
    • Sometimes the discussion itself is sufficient for learning and trying to capture comments (whether using lengthy plenaries or a padlet to write down responses) can inhibit the discussion.
    • If the discussion has to be captured, consider having some facilitators whose main role is note taking, to produce a mind map of discussions.
    • Consider whether recording a session will inhibit discussions and the relative importance of both.
    • You probably won’t need rules of engagement to ensure that discussions remain polite and inclusive, but keep an eye on this, and remind people that they can private message the organiser if they see something inappropriate.
    • Time spent on improving the quality of networks and trusting relationships between colleagues is never wasted and will help to improve respectful engagement and general knowledge sharing.
  10. Keep attendees engaged and fresh – if people are attending during their lunch hour, consider having more breaks or fun, interactive elements.
  11. Link and embed the learning in practice – ensure that attendees are signposted to relevant precedents and practice notes and encouraged to use new skills and learning as soon as possible.
  12. Keep improving – use feedback forms or encourage informal feedback to keep improving your online practice.

What do you do to make your lunch n learns more compelling? I’d love to hear in the comments below.

If you have enjoyed this post, consider following the blog (button at the top right) or sign up for the roughly monthly newsletter (click on the “Who is K4L” tab).

Posted in Professional Support Lawyers, Training and learning | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Your KMS journey

How can we use existing systems to boost knowledge sharing? And how can effective KM technology minimise the impact of information overload?

I’m hosting a virtual event next week (Thursday 25th November) with Tiger Eye, all about KM technologies and the journey most law firms move through from their first DMS to a more organised, user-friendly and efficient KMS, to improve their knowledge sharing.

Dave Wilson and Alessandro Kaye from Tiger Eye will be answering your questions, to help smooth your way along your firm’s DMS to KMS journey.

You can get your tickets here and feel free to put your questions for Dave and Alessandro below.

#KM #KMS #KnowledgeSystems #VirtualEvent #KnowledgeNetwork

Posted in Events, KM, technology | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment


I’m often asked for book recommendations …

So here are two good ones – reasonably priced, theoretically sound, practical and easy to read.

If you are new-ish to KM or have never had any formal training, you might enjoy “Knowledge Management: A Practical Guide for Librarians” by Jennifer Bartlett and if you are more experienced, or a senior leader, try “Critical Knowledge Transfer” by Dorothy Leonard.

Bartlett’s “A Practical Guide …” is a great straightforward introduction to KM. It’s written for librarians, but I imagine lots of people will find it useful.

The book is divided into 2 parts: with KM background, theory and frameworks in Part 1 and more detailed, practical implementation ideas around the knowledge cycle in Part 2.

Each chapter is clearly set out, with plenty of bullet points and diagrams and has a nice “key points” summary and reference list at the end.

Critical Knowledge Transfer is another practical book full of tools and examples but aimed at senior leaders.

Written by Dorothy Leonard, who has been William J. Abernathy Professor of Business Administration Emerita at Harvard Business School for nearly 20 years, it is based on original research, numerous interviews with top managers, and has a wide range of corporate examples.

Critical Knowledge Transfer provides a variety of practical options for identifying your organisation’s deep smarts and transferring that intelligence from experts to successors. In particular, it can help managers to understand, in practical terms, how to:

  • Identify the deep smarts essential to their business.
  • Develop a programme using proven techniques to transfer knowledge when its loss is imminent
  • Identify and implement long-term knowledge transfer apprenticeships
  • Set up individual learning plans for successors
  • Assess the success of their knowledge transfer initiatives

Have you read either of these? What did you think?

Which books would you recommend to new and experienced KMers?

Posted in KM, Training and learning | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment