When the dominant terminologies to describe a problem change, there is often a corresponding confusion in the roles that individuals play. In the broader content space, we experienced some of this disorientation as the core language used shifted from “ECM” to “Content Services,” and then with the incorporation of “Content Services” into the broader framework of “Intelligent Information Management.” This same terminology disorientation has been true in the governance arena as well, with varying uses and interpretations of “Records Management” and “Information Governance.” The confusion has left some organizations asking, “Do we need Records Managers, or do we need Information Governance professionals?”
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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Before we start, let’s take a minute to address the big elephant in the room. You’re probably thinking, “Where are you going with this sales angle, Sean? I work with records and information, and my job is all about managing, protecting, and storing it. I don’t sell a thing!” Well, what we’re going to cover today will show you that you ARE, in fact, in the business of selling when it comes to Information Governance – it’s just a slightly different model than we’re all used to. In this selling model, we’re not exchanging goods and services for money; we’re exchanging ideas for acceptance.
Words are important. Beyond that, the words you choose can mean the difference between someone understanding what you’re saying and someone giving you that glazed expression with one eyebrow lifted saying, “Huh?” It’s just as important to think of WHO you are communicating to, as it is to think of WHAT you’re trying to say. Allow me to share a quick example to illustrate my point. One of my favorite hobbies is fly fishing. To me, there’s nothing like being out in the middle of nowhere, wading into the middle of a crystal clear river, and trying to fool some trout.
Digitally Transforming IS the Future Most organizations and departments have a mandate to continuously improve operations. A conventional change agenda involves better tools and technology, better behaviors, and better processes, all focused on generating better efficiencies and improved productivity - a transition called Digital Transformation.
You’ve been told that your information management project needs governance. Maybe you’ve even formed a governance committee. However, what is governance, anyway? If you’ve been in organizations for a while, you’re likely indoctrinated into the theory of control; however, that’s not what governance is about. Still, you must have governance, or you’ll end up with chaos. How do you tame the mythical siren of governance to guide your users to safety and your organization to value?