I wish they had gone into some of the cultural issues and challenges, because they are numerous and profound. How does one go about massaging the firm culture toward the kind of KM that we all know is becoming a requirement for efficient practice? Issuing a firm wide memo won't do it. And CIOs or savvy managing partners who charge forward without a full cultural buy-in and consciousness commitment by the entire firm - partners and associates - will find themselves out on a long branch.
We've all seen disastrous wastes of energy and money that come from KM (or for that matter CRM) half-measures, false starts and cul-de-sacs. All it takes is one technology burn for a managing partner to become permanently gun shy. And in my personal experience, I've met a significant number of skeptical young partners and senior associates. These are people from the generation that already understands and is comfortable with the technology and its benefits, but wonders - while looking for their place within an increasingly inhospitable, insecure profession and a cutthroat firm hierarchy - to what extent their personal time and resource commitment to KM and CRM projects is in their best interests (as opposed to merely the firm's best interests).
Having said all that, I still agree with Dennis Kennedy's closing assessment:
"Those questions, and some similar ones, are the $64 billion dollar questions for the legal profession. It comes down to this, “Is the legal profession different?” What makes us so sure that we are immune to the changes that technologies and the Internet have brought to every other type of business? For me, I don’t see how we can conclude that we are immune."
Posted by david at June 21, 2004 06:48 PM