Nancy Manzo has written up her impressions from last month’s panel in San Francisco at the Legal Marketing Association annual conference. Except for my photo (lesson learned: when head shots are more than four years old, find them and burn them), I think she does a great job of recounting what was said. My only frustration with the discussion was that it wasn’t longer so that we could’ve engaged the audience more.
In addition to talking about CRM, I made a few comments about how new apps (i.e., blogs) are creating bottom-up environments where individuals can create value and derive benefits without the need for strong “top-down” direction. Jim McGee had some good thoughts on this a few weeks ago:
Weblogs accomplish something similar for knowledge workers. They lower the barriers to sharing ideas far enough that it becomes possible for nearly all of us to do so. Bring that inside organizations and you have a powerful tool for being effective as opposed to merely productive. Scary to the established order? Sure. But if value does truly depend on how well and how fast organizations can create and share new knowledge, then the winners will emerge from those who commit to making it work.
And for a little more on the subject, check out this article from Knowledge, Inc. from last summer (thanks to John Robb for the link):
Bottom-up knowledge generation will have significant impacts on the way work, and workers, are perceived by corporations. Management will have to develop new incentives for knowledge workers to contribute high-quality content. For more traditional firms now adopting KM practices, decentralization of knowledge generation will be difficult, as it is antithetical to some ingrained management principles and habits.
The bottom-up knowledge capture trend will have a direct impact on technology. The technologies developed to capture and publish knowledge all have had to compromise one way or another between simplicity and specificity. Relatively unsophisticated techniques like text search are easy and cheap to apply; gather up a collection of documents and point a search engine at them, and in a simplistic way you’ve created a knowledge base — but the results are often not very specific.