Image [cc] James UK

One of the questions that you may hear at a conference is “What would you do if you could start your department from scratch?” Well, this week’s Elephant Post question simply asks that same question. If you could re-brand your department or profession, what would you call it? Would it help remove the stereotypes that are associated with your existing profession? Would you even change the name at all??

Last week, this question came up at the ARK Group KM conference in New York. Although this time it focused on the issue of “Should we even call it KM??” However, many professions ask this same question of themselves. In fact, Librarians even went as far as actually adopting (or attempting to adopt) new names for themselves such as “Information Professional” or calling the Library the “Information Research Center.”

We have a few responses, but I think the question may have been a little tricky for many folks to wrap their heads around. That’s okay… maybe once you see the answers below (especially the AWESOME one that turns the Library and KM departments into a “KILLER Group” you’ll think of a few things to place in the comments section.

Next week we ask what “New” things are you looking to bring in next year. It’s budget season for many of us, so let us know what you’ve fought to bring in for the 2012 fiscal year (even if it’s on your “wish list” at this point.)

Steven B. Levy
Author, Speaker, Trainer, Consultant
Matter Management

Legal Project Management still has a limited connotation. Too many folks still confuse it with project administration, or think it’s a high-process endeavor, or don’t realize that it includes virtually all of the non-substantive work a lawyer and legal team do, including people management, communication, profitability, and, yes, project management.  It is the management of the entire matter.   Trouble is, of course, that ‘matter management’ is already taken! Somehow, MTWE, ‘managing the whole enchilada,’ doesn’t have the right ring to it either.

Greg Lambert
Library/Records Guy
Knowledge, Information, Law Library, and Enterprise Resources Group

I would call it KILLER Group for short! (just because I love that acronym!)  I’m actually still a little disappointed that many of the KM projects that started in Library Services got spun off and into their own departments. I thought that it would have been a lot smarter to keep those two important information resources (internal knowledge and external information) together.   The two groups (separately) think too narrowly on the overall mission they provide to their firms. This is definitely something that I believe where the sum of the two individual parts is greater that their individual pieces. Information wants to be shared… knowledge wants to be built upon… new pieces of data wants to be found and placed in its most effective place.  Would this be a KILLER Group?? hmmm???

Toby Brown
Strategy and Innovation

Although AFAs and pricing are cutting edge concepts, what I do is really focused on strategies for growing the business and as a corollary, the systems and processes need to get there.  Absent a defined strategy for a firm, most efforts are shots in the dark at moving targets.   The real challenge would be getting a firm to see the light of this idea.

Scott Preston
Information Technology
Knowledge Infrastructure Systems Support

The label Information Technology (IT), like Knowledge Management and Library Services, says nothing about what IT really does. IT is traditionally an infrastructure support department. IT has the responsibility to understand business needs and to provide infrastructure support (systems that facilitate meeting business needs).

I believe Knowledge Infrastructure Systems Support (KISS) better describes what IT does and does a better job of communicating what is to be expected from this group. Best of all, the KISS acronym should remind technologists of their first rule of operation – Keep It Simple Stupid.

Next Elephant Post:

What are the “New” Things In Your Budget This Year?? 

For most of us, it is Budget Season!! That means we’ve all pulled out our pens, pencils, spreadsheets, and calculators to determine what we’re keeping and what we’re ditching. It is also that sweet time of year when we get to put new things in our budget (usually after cutting something of equal or greater value.) After three years of cut, cut, cut, there is talk that some people are actually looking to add in new things for 2012. So, we thought we’d be nosey and see what kinds of new items are on the agenda for 2012. Are there any new and cool products you’re looking at (even if it is on your “wish list” at this point)??