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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 our final reminder for 2018:
- Put Jinfo Webinars and Community sessions on your calendar: scheduling a 60-minute block once or twice a month forces you to think beyond the immediate inbox and project list.
- Add a Jinfo Consulting Workshop to your 2019 plans: build skills and experience with executive-ready communications, holistic content portfolio management, workflow optimisation or strategic planning, in a structured, flexible format, with practical results you can put to work immediately.
- Attend a Jinfo Walkthrough: whether you're a current customer who wants to be more efficient finding what you need, or you are considering a Jinfo Subscription and want more insight into how you'd get value, consider joining one of our 30-minute walkthroughs and discover something you didn't know about Jinfo.
"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.
Director of Research and Head of Consulting