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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:
"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
Strategic planning. Executive-ready communications. Workflow optimisation.
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"Intelligence systems - beyond awareness to action"Our Research Focus for October to December
For over a decade we've researched developments in news and current awareness. This year our focus is on the shift from current awareness to intelligence systems - those which encompass features such as collaborative elements, taxonomy, dashboards and visualisations.
This Research Focus provides tools, research and the original data you need to evaluate your current awareness provision and plot where you are in the movement towards intelligence systems.
Learn more and request a free copy of the Insights and Actions report »
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Latest: No.542 14th May
"Remote Information Teams"
If you're newly remote, you may feel like you've been thrown into a mysterious culture where you sort of speak the language but sort of not. Use Jinfo's "Focus on Remote Information Teams" to become fluent: