You’re familiar with the Ides of March. How about the Ideas of March? OK, that may be a bad pun, but I have curated this month’s readings with ideas to help you:
- Share knowledge.
- Demonstrate value.
- Think big about improving knowledge management.
- Make AI your friend rather than another foe.
- Understand the big idea of blockchain.
If any or all of these ideas appeal to you, please continue!
Librarians as teachers and knowledge managers
We have long been advocating the role of librarian and trainer and educator. Dean Duane Strojny talks about his own experiences in taking on an old class with new ideas. It’s an example we all can appreciate.
Get schooled in: The Teaching Librarians’ Role
On the KM side, Nick Milton offers up an excellent exploration of feedback loops in the knowledge cycle, key to understanding what is going right and what requires work. Nick writes,
“It is through the feedback associated with the steps that you can tell whether KM is actually working.”
Stay in the loop: Feedback loops in the knowledge cycle
Demonstrating value and determining worth
Value can be objective, based on fact and evidence. Value can also be subjective, in that it can be determined by personal feelings and perceived need. It is no secret that recent years have found us all fighting the battle to balance objective and subjective worth when it comes to what we do as professionals and the services we provide.
Our colleagues at Slaw deliver an insightful piece on the worth of information itself. In her latest, Sarah Sutherland gives us a framework for telling truth to power, stating:
“The problem with trying to value legal information is that we mostly just talk about its price instead of its value.”
Do not miss it! Valuing legal information
Meanwhile, for a taste of the value a librarian brings to a law firm, read about Diana Koppang’s holistic view. She writes,
“The key to becoming a ‘linchpin’ at your firm is understanding the needs of not just the attorneys, but also paralegals, support staff, and perhaps most importantly, the other administrative departments.”
I am a huge advocate of this ‘no stone unturned’ approach as well.
Diana spells out her perspective in: The Library – An Indispensable Resource for the Entire Law Firm
Finally, do labels and titles have anything to do with value? Or is there something more important to the way we are seen by those who are making value-based decisions? 3 Geeks’ Greg Lambert takes an inspiring stand by saying we are about our skills. Mr. Lambert, we hear you loud and clear!
Check out: A Librarian by Any Other Name
How would you invest $10M on KM?
Casetext surveyed knowledge leaders by asking one little question with big possibilities: What would you do with $10M for knowledge management? Read this summary of the key findings and if you have access to a few million dollars, maybe consider some of the ideas!
The $10 Million Question: Casetext Special Report on the Future of Knowledge Management
Making AI work for your career (and your firm)
It takes effort to make artificial intelligence work for your firm. It’s not just a tool . . . it’s a practice in and of itself. Thomson Reuters’ Director of Research Tonya Custis writes,
“Artificial intelligence is going to make the legal work faster and more efficient, but it needs help from lawyers and legal professionals to do so.”
We are among those professionals, my friends!
What you can do with AI: Practicing artificial intelligence in legal
As we have seen above, we have a real role to play in assisting our firms to cope with artificial intelligence. Ari Kaplan interviews the president of a legal recruiting firm about what this means for individuals looking to get ahead in today’s professional market.
Catch the AI career discussion: Embracing Legal Innovation and Disruption
Finally, while many are concerned about robots or artificial intelligence taking over their jobs, attorney Philip Segal offers some guidance and great advice to lawyers, researchers and others in the legal industry, encapsulated in this statement:
“You need to be able to take the binary answers and use your imagination, empathy, and other human traits to turn data into useable information for the law firm.”
Get on the right side of AI: Be the one asking questions, not collecting answers
Going from A to B, as in AI to Blockchain
While you’re wrestling with artificial intelligence, don’t neglect blockchain. It’s early, and just as most of the wealth generated during the Gold Rush era was by the makers of mining equipment and supplies, it seems that businesses profiting from Bitcoin are makers of high-speed computer servers, heavy-duty cooling systems and application-specific integrated circuits or ASICs.
None-the-less, blockchain is technology that information professionals need to monitor, and the following two links will give you the basics.
Start with the blockchain basics: A Law Librarian Bitcoin/Blockchain Primer
If you still have questions after reading the above primer, Sabrina Pacifici will take you back to the beginning of blockchain technology, with a link to the white paper authored by Satoshi Nakamoto, who is regarded as the “father” of Bitcoin.
“The significance of Bitcoin is that its software design solved what is known as the ‘double spend’ problem of digital currency, without involving intermediaries such as banks.”
Nakamoto’s true identity remains unknown, just as the real impact of blockchain technology remains unknown at this early stage.
Go to the source: What really is blockchain and why does it matter to lawyers?
Good ideas are worth sharing—so if you found any of the above valuable, help spread the word. And let me know your ideas about research and information management!