Pointing AIIM in the Right Direction

Jack's compass from Pirates in the CaribbeanThere are a lot of posts flying around about what information professionals need from an association. My discussion on too many associations seems to have struck a nerve and gotten people thinking. Before I dive into details regarding AIIM, I want to share these posts.

I’m not going to reference the posts moving forward but know that they have, to varying degrees, influenced this post. That said, I had a lot of thoughts on this topic already rattling around in my head. Many of the thoughts below have been shared with other previously as well to test them out.

There are two ways I can share my thoughts. I could rant and rave about everything AIIM is specifically doing wrong. It would get a lot of hits, generate a lot of discussion, and upset the very people who need to read this.

Or…

I can simply dive into what AIIM needs to do going forward. The past is written. The present is malleable. The future is fluid. It is the future that I wish to influence by helping form the present.

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Too Many Associations

A Pie from "Too Many Cooks" spoofWe are currently dealing with a glut of associations in the information industry. In the past couple of years with the addition of:

When you take into account the long history of AIIM and ARMA in this industry, it is clear that the community at-large feels it has needs not currently being met by the existing associations. CM Pros failed after failing to determine what value they could offer, at what cost, and how they could be distinct from AIIM and ARMA.

What does the entry of these new players mean?

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Moving AIIM’s Certified Information Professional Forward

New York CityIn December, the industry was faced with the prospect of a long needed certification being removed from the market. After the community protested that we need the CIP, AIIM backed off from closing the CIP and committed to updating it to reflect the changes in the industry since the CIP’s inception.

So far so good.

Now we the industry need to help AIIM make the CIP better. Chris Walker had some thoughts on ways to make the CIP more successful. Jesse Wilkins who runs the CIP program for AIIM made some requests from the industry on how we can support the CIP.

Now after having existing CIPs review an updated exam outline, AIIM is asking the industry to review the outline by this Friday, February 12.

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AIIM Awoke the Sleeping Community and Listened

Paul Atreides from the movie Dune proclaiming, "The Sleeper has awakened!"Last week I shared my opinions on AIIM cancelling the CIP certification program. Similar opinions were shared in many blogs (Mark Owen compiled a nice list), tweets, LinkedIn, and many other channels. I don’t want to dwell on the specifics of those posts because an important thing happened shortly afterwards. Just seven days after AIIM announced the end of the CIP, AIIM reversed course and recommitted to the CIP with the promise of an update at the 2016 AIIM conference.

That’s right. The CIP IS BACK and it is because of the community.

That doesn’t mean that all is right in the universe. If anything, this chaos reveals to us that there are real problems out there. Luckily we also learned that there are passionate people in the community who can be roused to action when they feel they can make a difference.

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The CIP, A Lost Opportunity

[EDIT: 1 week after killing it, AIIM restored the CIP after the community’s feelings about the CIP became known. Read my initial thoughts.]

Sadness from Inside Out CryingFor those that may not have heard, AIIM is killing off the Certified Information Professional (CIP) certification.

We’d like to share an exciting development with you.

To categorize the news as disappointing is a massive understatement. AIIM dumping the news on a Friday afternoon shows that AIIM knew that this would not be well received. In many ways I feel that AIIM has turned its back on the industry with this action. I am just a bit angry at that development.

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Information Governance Repeating the Same Mistakes

One thing I’ve been doing a lot of recently is observing the rise of Information Governance. It is eating all the bandwidth that Enterprise Content Management (ECM), Information Management, and Records Management have historically consumed. All the same players are involved; each trying to make a name for themselves.

As I participated in today’s #InfoChat, I quickly realized that the exact same chat could have taken place 10 years ago. Just substitute #ECM for #InfoGov and it would fit. There were no “new” ideas presented, just slight twists on the same concepts that have been pushed for the last 20 years.

We get it. Success requires “People, Process, and Technology.” How about telling us how those factors should behave and work together? What new technology might help smooth processes to make people’s live easier?

TELL ME SOMETHING NEW!

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Professional Associations Need to Go Local

Triceratop SkeletonThere are a lot of different professional associations out there seeking to provide value to their members. Some do so by helping to lobby for regulations and laws that will benefit their membership. Others provide certifications or have peer-reviewed academic journals that serve as gateways to the industry.

Then there are professional associations like AIIM, ARMA, and ASAE whose primary purpose is helping industry professionals be effective through education. This education takes place in the form of training, publications, seminars, and webinars. There may be a certification but it is rarely required for advancement in the industry.

The problem is that there is fresh competition from for-profit communities and ad-hoc local groups who use Meetup to find members and organize. Information on how to succeed in any industry is readily available on the Internet. Traditional associations are no longer the sole-source for networking and information.

How can associations compete when people no longer need a middle-man? They have to go local and make things personal.

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2001: An Enterprise Odyssey

The Discovery from 2001When I was at the AIIM Conference this year, Thornton May, gave a frenetic keynote address. While I am never quite sure what the key point Thornton is trying to make during his talks, he always makes everyone in the audience think, which is a very good thing.

During his keynote this year, Thornton used the following exercise to get the audience thinking about the future.

Choose movie, show, or work of literature which comes closest to capturing the essence of the external environment facing your enterprise today.

There were a lot of answers, some good, some mired in the past, but it was a very thought provoking discussion. My choice, if you haven’t figured it out by now, was 2001: A Space Odyssey.

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An AIIM Keynote at a Kodak Alaris Conference

Today I ended up at the Kodak Alaris Global Directions 2013 Conference here in Washington, DC. It is good to see that Kodak’s implosion didn’t kill their imaging business. In addition to talking to people how Alfresco can add value to their Kodak deployment, I got to listen to John Mancini give the day two keynote, Intelligent Information Management – Transforming the Customer Experience.

I must say, it was a new experience watching John talk after having been his Chief Information Officer (CIO). Thankfully he has evolved his talk. When I first started at AIIM, his theme was that CIO’s didn’t “get it”. Now it focuses on the pressure that CIOs are under.

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