Yesterday I reported on the Ark KM conference last week. One participant was Jack Vinson, a KM expert not from the legal market. Via his Knowledge Jolt blog, Jack provides two good reports on the conference. 

In his report on conference day one, Jack highlights some comments that caught his attention:

– “Lawyers don’t really collaborate. They happen to work on a file at the same time.”
– KM is about the stuff in the crevices, where technology doesn’t fit.
– There is no single solution that will solve all KM-related needs. Again, another familiar refrain, but it was interesting to hear in context.
– “Why can’t it work like Google?” in response to focus groups. This is a familiar refrain everywhere.
– What is the “return on investment” from the perspective of the lawyer? If they provide information, does the system give it back “with interest?” I see this as a very strong link to the personal perspective of What’s In It For Me?
– How do I take the knowledge and improve business?

Highlights of his day two report:

“Day 2 of KM in the Modern Law Firm is over, and it seemed to have more energy, even amidst the normal outflux of people catching flights or responding to calls… There was much debate around the idea that KM was becoming common-enough that it is just one of the things firms do to support the practice of law. On the other hand, not all firms treat the concept of practice support in the same way, and KM might be something other than supporting the practice. One of the balancing acts in the discussion was the tension that firms feel between delivering content and delivering a capability…
The last session was an entertaining brainstorming session… [with the goal of coming up] with ‘radical’ ideas for developing a client-facing KM solution…. [my vote goes] to the suggested creation of a Automatic Resolution Tool that would work from the existing litigation decision trees and build to a more sophisticated tool to help close the lawsuit.”