Thursday, 20th December 2018
Are you one of the many information professionals who makes the complex job they do look easy? Avoid being sidelined - find out how to better communicate your value.
This time of year, I usually try to work up a thoughtful reflection on the last 12 months, or an inspiring message for the coming year.
This year, I'm going with a cautionary message: information professionals, beware of being too good at your job.
In the second half of 2018, I've seen more than one information team undermined, reduced, disbanded or fully replaced because they made it look easy. They handled the complexity of content purchasing, implementation and research service smoothly - so smoothly, in fact, that their value became invisible.
The crucial task of communicating up and throughout their organisations about the value and complexity of their work was relegated to the middle or the bottom of the task list: "When we have time for it".
But there was never enough time for it. We're helping some of these teams regroup; we're helping some network for new jobs. Ultimately, though, the organisations themselves are the ones that will suffer from sidelining or eliminating this expertise.
Communicating your value is not a "when you have time" exercise. It's central to your success and to helping your organisation manage the risks and opportunities of information. I know I sound like a broken record (remember those?) when I reiterate the importance of building this into your regular workflow.
Here's the final reminder for 2018:
"Too good at your job" means excelling at the fundamentals while under-investing in communicating upwards and outwards. It takes time to learn these essential skills, and more time to make them part of how you operate. With a fresh, new year stretching before us, plan now for investing that time.
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