How many times have you left a joint meeting of members of your organization's Information Management (IM) and IT teams thinking that everyone was on the same page, only to find out a few days later that the decisions your colleagues in the "other" unit took away were totally different from what your unit did? It happens more often than we think. And when it does happen, we should consider ourselves lucky if it takes only a few days for the inconsistent understanding to surface. The tough cases are those when the misunderstanding doesn't come to light for weeks or even months.
As you already know, people are more likely to follow your rules after they buy in to the reasons behind them. But you can take it one step further, and provide your “rules” as solutions instead of orders. Amazon’s Kindle publishing team understands this concept well. I was preparing the Kindle edition of my recent book, following the production of the softcover edition. The printed book is in full color and uses a rich burgundy to highlight text. As you may know, some Kindle models are restricted to shades of grey and sepia. If a book is going to be compatible with as many devices as possible, it needs to specify an alternative color for highlighting on monochromatic devices. Kindle could have handled it badly. They could have shown me a policy that looked like the following:
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In this series, we've been exploring the intersection of IIM policy and the law in order to help IIM practitioners and legal specialists work together more effectively by gaining a better understanding of the relationship between the two. So far, we've covered: Part 1 - IIM Policies and The Principle of Hearsay Part 2 - IIM Policies and "Ordinary Course of Business" Now, let's compare IIM policies to contracts.
In this series, we've been exploring the intersection of IIM policy and the law. The idea here is to help IIM practitioners and legal specialists work together more effectively by gaining a better understanding of the relationship between the two. In my first post, where we explored the principle of hearsay, we left off asking about the relationship between IIM policies and the "ordinary course of business." So, let's take a look.
Every so often, IIM practitioners and lawyers cross paths. One such intersection is around policy writing. As practitioners modify and improve their IIM policies, it's important to keep in mind how those policies specifically relate to the law. Understanding that relationship better will help IIM and legal specialists work together more effectively.
Too often, I hear IIM professionals complain about this issue. "People aren't reading our IIM policy," they say. "I wish our organization forced everybody to read the policy. That way they would know what the IIM requirements are." My response is always the same: Given the choice, 99% of the people in your organization will never read your IIM policy. Get used to it. That is not going to change. It's not a bad thing.