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February 1, 2007

Technology and knowledge management

How is technology driving change in knowledge-based industries?

In a perceptive analysis Cisco's General Counsel Mark Chandler argues that the increased access to information  (through the networking of computers) is transforming the nature
of knowledge accumulation and distribution.

He then reflects on the the future of the legal profession: "the greatest vulnerability of the legal industry today is a failure to
make information more accessible to clients, to drive models based on
value and efficiency. The present system is leading to unhappy lawyers
and unhappy clients."

He concludes by looking at what it will take to succeed in the new environment.

Essential reading for every knowledge worker (via Dennis Kennedy).

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Posted 1st February 2007 by David Jacobson in Knowledge Management

March 13, 2006

Susskind speaks: Technology, legal services, knowledge management and risk management

In a wide-ranging lecture to the UK Society for Computer and Law (audio here) , Professor Richard Susskind has laid out a compelling possible future for the way professional services (including legal services) will be provided.(via Human Law)

I was particularly interested in his comments on the application of new technologies to companies managing regulations and risk management. (about the 44 min mark, click on quotes, "worries about compliance regulation can't be solved by conventional legal services").

He argues that a real-time contract management system could be developed by building flags for "conditions" into the documents when created and then monitoring these in a database which also contained related legal information about issues which could be accessed as they arise during the contract lifecycle: a "just in time" compliance and legal knowledge system as opposed to a "just in case" system containing information that may never be used and which is catalogued using legal terms.

In other words, legal knowledge is embedded into the business process.

He also argues that legal risk management is non-competitive between businesses and that it should be collaborative, and even "open source".

Susskind articulately brings together many themes to portray his vision of a near future.

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Posted 13th March 2006 by David Jacobson in Knowledge Management, Legal, Web/Tech

November 9, 2005

Can you buy innovation?

I recently discussed encouraging creativity.

If you can't do it internally, can you buy innovation?

In The Innovation-through-Acquisition Strategy: Why the Pay-off Isn't Always There from Wharton the author discusses the work of  Saikat Chaudhuri who argues that buying companies with early-stage products and entering uncertain markets had substantially adverse effects.

So the question becomes: Is the entire innovation-through-acquisition strategy flawed? Should companies abandon it entirely?

No, says Chaudhuri. The strategy itself can be a valuable one, if applied correctly. For managers, that means first, targeting and buying only the right companies, and second, using smart strategy to integrate them into their company’s structure. As he writes: “Fundamentally, the challenges in conducting acquisitions surrounded by high levels of product and environmental uncertainty lie in selecting the right
technologies and markets, and adjusting to new information as external conditions evolve. The managerial implications are that technical and organizational complexity can be planned for and thereby handled effectively, while it may perhaps be safer to delay acquisitions” to a
time when the uncertainty of technologies and markets has lessened.

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Posted 9th November 2005 by David Jacobson in Knowledge Management

May 18, 2005

IP licensing adds value to businesses

This article in The McKinsey Quarterly argues that too many companies treat the licensing of
IP as a one-way street by relying solely on their own research and
hoping to profit by licensing it to others.

"But companies that derive a
significant share of their revenues from licensing intellectual
property understand that in-licensing—the purchase of IP from outside
sources—can boost their performance no less than internal research.
Instead of viewing new ideas and technology from other companies as
competition, they use external IP to spur innovation and to improve
their own products. The most successful companies go further still by
taking externally developed knowledge, incorporating it into their own
new products, and then licensing those products to others, thereby
gaining even more revenues from licensing...

Counterintuitive though it may seem, in-licensing can drive innovation,
for successful in-licensors better understand the gaps— ideas or
technologies they need to improve processes, create new products, or
complement current ones—in their own IP portfolios. These companies
also know how to find partners to close the gaps. In addition,
in-licensors are more likely than other companies to meet their
financial and strategic expectations for IP and to rate IP management
as a source of competitive advantage.

McKinsey research shows that companies could earn 5
to 10 percent of their operating income from the sale or licensing of
intellectual property.

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Posted 18th May 2005 by David Jacobson in Knowledge Management, Legal

January 25, 2005

Competitive Intelligence

There is much information on the world wide web that is in databases not accessible by search engines.

This article from LLRX is designed to give you the resources you need to better understand the history of "deep web research", as well as various classified resources that allow you to search through the currently available web to find those key sources of information nuggets only found by understanding how to search the "deep web".

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Posted 25th January 2005 by David Jacobson in Knowledge Management, Web/Tech

November 30, 2004

Knowledge Management Resources

This list of resources (via Prism Legal) was assembled by a group of KM
professionals at large law firms in November 2004.  It is neither
comprehensive nor exhaustive.  Some items are free, others
require payment.

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Posted 30th November 2004 by David Jacobson in Knowledge Management