Robin Neidorf Insight 2 from Research Focus - commercial awareness + consulting skills = impact
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By Robin Neidorf

Abstract

The best information teams need to be able to anticipate the future needs of the business. This means being commercially aware and having a deep understanding of the variables that affect how an organisation succeeds. Find out what you can do to raise your visibility and how Jinfo can help you communicate more effectively at an executive level.

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The Information Centre of Excellence - commercial, consultative, collaborativeInsight 2 from Research Focus

The best information teams are distinguished not by their technical skills - although of course they have those in spades.

Instead, they are the teams that anticipate what the business will need in two years' time. They quickly translate future needs into information strategy - what do we need, how do we need it, what should we invest in? And they are respected as valuable internal consultants by business leaders, who rely on them to help make smart decisions about information.

Taken together, these characteristics lead us to Insight 2 in our Research Focus on the Information Centre of Excellence model:

Commercially aware consultants are the future's most valuable information professionals.

The trend towards "adding value" instead of simply answering the question is a step in the right direction. But commercial awareness goes further, challenging us to understand deeply the variables that affect how an organisation succeeds - what happens in the marketplace, in the competitive arena, in regulation and the economy - and how the right information in the right place at the right time helps navigate these hazards.

And as for consulting? Not every information professional wants to be a consultant, but every information department that wants to remain relevant needs to adopt an advisory attitude.

Big challenges, but that's what this Research Focus, "The Information Centre of Excellence - commercial, consultative, collaborative" is all about.


What you can do:

Dig more deeply into what "commercial awareness" means, and find out how some of the best information teams work on it, in "Commercial awareness - the toughest characteristic".

If you're concerned that you and your team of introverts will struggle with the active engagement required for consulting and advisory work, take heart with our article, "Introverts as consultants".

Start (or revisit) your "known fors" - use the Jinfo model to articulate what you want your department to be known for. (Hint: if points relating to commercial awareness and consultancy are not amongst your "known fors", consider revising them).

Apply these principles to management of your content portfolio, using the ideas in "Benefits of adding supplier relationship management to your licensing approach".

Then actually act as a commercially aware consultant by sharing "Four things business leaders need to understand about information risk" with your stakeholders - this short, punchy article is designed specifically to communicate upwards and generate a different kind of conversation with your leadership.


Jinfo can help

Consulting and advisory skills rely heavily on your ability to communicate effectively at an executive level. Elevate the visibility and perceived value of your team with the Jinfo Consulting workshop, "Executive-ready communications for your whole team". This flexible, tailored programme re-orients your thinking and communication towards connecting with, influencing and guiding senior-level decision-makers. Learn more and enquire.

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