Focusing on the Local by Joining the NCC-AIIM Executive Committee


Hanging out at AIIM Nats night w/ (left to right) Mark Mandel, AIIM Vice-Chair Mark Patrick, and dedicated AIIM staffer Theresa ResekI’ve talked a little bit here about the need to improve the local communities for information management. It is an area that ARMA does better than other groups in the industry but their focus and members can be intimidating for those who aren’t records managers. AIIM chapters are a decent alternative but there are a lot of challenges.

For the past couple of years, I’ve been chatting offline with some chapter leaders from both associations, brainstorming ideas, and trying to think of ways to improve the local community. Some of these discussions became more focused when Kevin Parker became the president of the local AIIM chapter, NCC-AIIM. During one of these discussions I agreed to join the chapter’s executive committee.

Why Community Matters

We are in a different world from when industry associations initially formed. The Internet makes the exchange of ideas easy. Anyone can publish an article and have it peer-reviewed in the comments and on Twitter.

What the Internet hasn’t mastered is the creation of mentoring relationships, deep conversations, and those long conversations where people give undivided attention. Conferences like InfoGovCon and AIIM provide that to some degree but their cost, infrequency, and need to miss work make them impractical for a steady stream of interaction.

That is where the local community comes into play. Depending on the industry, there is usually a monthly or even weekly cadence of meetings. While few people attend them all, over the course of a few months you run into a wide variety of people, exchange ideas, and build a true sense of community that is moving forward together.

What I Hope to Bring

I’ve been participating and volunteering in a few local communities for almost 10 years in the DC area. Most are around the web with a more recent focus on User Experience (UX) and Design Thinking. I currently run the social media for OpenIDEODC which let’s me learn more about the challenges of running a successful community and connecting with like-minded organizations.

I hope to bring this experience in a more official capacity to NCC-AIIM. I’ve now been in my current role as a Director at Dominion Consulting for a year and feel that I can start to consistently make time for a real role. I am not sure I can commit to being an officer, helping to lead and advise seems like the right commitment level for me at the moment.

My hope is that working with Kevin and the rest of the executive committee, we can try and evolve the chapter into a more dynamic, 21st century, organization that can appeal to a broader swath of participants. Governance and information are hot topics in DC and there is no reason we can’t create an attractive program, expand our reach, and team with other groups to create an energized chapter.

Time Will Tell

Of course, our efforts may fall short of those lofty goals. We may exceed them. We will never know until we try. There is a need for people to connect. We need to reach out and find a way to create a thriving organization whose biggest struggle is finding a large enough space to meet.

We aren’t there yet. It is summer and the time for planning. I’m excited to help and to put my time and money where my mouth had been for some time. I’ll share the lessons, good and bad, and seek advice. I know I don’t have all the answers. I do have ideas to try and a determination to try and make a difference.

Time to see if that’s enough.

Information Governance, Moving on from Content


Has Content build holding us prisoner, making us miss the bigger picture?When I dove into the debate on Content Services and ECM, my conclusion was fairly straightforward.

Look at your information flow. Follow it and find new ways to make it flow faster. If you can do that and know where your information is at anytime, you are done.

There is a lot of detail buried under that relatively straightforward statement. Content Services is part of a broader trend in the content management space and is here to stay. It has been here since CMIS (Content Management Interoperability Services) entered the picture almost a decade ago but now people are seeing it as more than a way to integrate systems.

The problem is that ECM (Enterprise Content Management) is still just part of the picture. Even if we use the latest tools without regard to the latest buzz words that define them. If we just focus on the content we are failing to solve what needs to be solved.

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What is an Information Professional?


Beaker from the MuppetsOne thing I heard from MANY people at the AIIM conference was that the concept of an information professional as we understand it was flawed. The claim was that usage patterns of AIIM resources showed that members would join and engage to tackle a single project. Once that project was completed, they would leave AIIM and presumably go do something else that wasn’t information related. John Mancini, the outgoing CEO of AIIM, shared his thoughts on the current information professional in a four post series covering the history, evolution, environment, and future of the information professional.

Experience tells me that the conclusion is incorrect. There are a large number of people who spend careers in the space and dip into AIIM resources only periodically. It is also a conclusion is hard to confirm or deny because once they disengage from AIIM, it is tough to measure what people do next.

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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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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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A Whole New World, Again


Chris Pine as Captain KirkWhile the industry was aflutter talking about the fall and rise of the CIP certification, I was planning my next big thing. My next big thing has happened and I am now a director at IBC, a DBS Company. [Note: IBC later rebranded as Dominion Consulting].

What does that mean? Well it means that I’ve joined a team of people that focus on solving problems, regardless of scale. One observation from a client regarding IBC was that they solve problems that need solving. That fits nicely with my goal to make things work.

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