Monday, May 12, 2008

Knowledge Hoarding Not Just for Lawyers

In case anyone was wondering whether law firms were the only type of organization who's culture can promote information hoarding, it seems that school teachers are just as culpable.

Think about it. This means your children's teachers may be putting paycheques ahead of their clients - i.e. your kids. As a parent, that doesn't make me too happy, and I have to think there's an analogy here to how law firm clients feel... No one wants to be on the other side of the non-sharing equation, do they?

Not too many Librarians or KM practitioners will ever say that sharing knowledge is a completely natural behaviour. Heck, we need to teach our kids to share! And from recent experience with a two year old, I can say... they're not too crazy on the concept.

BUT, sharing is definitely a sign of a healthy & productive business. Firm clients want your best effort, and without paying to reinvent the wheel because the guy down the hall won't show you what's on his hard drive.

It may take strong firm leadership to instill a sharing culture, but it is a must be done. Client relations, internal productivity, a nice place to work... If internal productivity goals are important to a firm at all, then I'd say it's time to fight instincts, and kick some bad habits.

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