After a discussion of the knowledge management efforts at Buckman Labs, Willie Pieterson, Reinventing Strategy: Using Strategic Learning to Create & Sustain Breakthrough Performance (John Wiley 2002) at 183, summarizes an important point: “Knowledge sharing is 90% sociology, and only 10% technology.” Computers can enable the exchange, but people share knowledge.
Likewise, despite all the tools that are available to control outside counsel costs, the preeminent resource is committed people. To the same point, no matter what the processes, forms, and training, what makes a talent management initiatives succeed are the people who carry it out. Law departments privilege software and processes (See my post of April 19, 2006 that compare their use to personal contact.), but the key to success in any initiative are motivated and trained people.