Defragmentation – the latest meeting

The third meeting of what began with the fragmentation /death on the CILIP LinkedIn Group last August was held on Tuesday 31 May.  The first two meetings, the second of which I wrote about on 24 February, were invitation only, but this one was open to all, and attracted over 70 people.  It was hosted by the British Computer Society and opened with a welcome from BCS’s President, Jim Norton.  Then Conrad Taylor, one of the organisers, set the tone by quoting from Sue Myburgh’s PhD thesis on the future of the information professional.  (Sue is happy for people to email her for copies – .) Mark Field, who started the whole thing off, sketched in the background and Nicola Franklin, the third of the organisers, explained her involvement which came from seeing the narrow view of what the profession was about that so many of the new professionals she interviewed as a recruiter, a siloed approach which often continued through their careers.

Conrad stressed that one of the key elements of the meeting was the opportunity to talk to people from other organisations, and asked representatives from some of the many represented to briefly describe them.  There were contributions from BCS, CILIP, IRM, BIALL, KIDMM, ISKO UK, SLA Europe – and NetIKX, of course.  In my two minutes I explained that NetIKX covers a very wide spread of information professionals – and others who wouldn’t describe themselves that way but are still interested in many of the topics we discuss.  We then spent time in our small groups to discuss the six questions that had been posed.  (You can find these and much else in the wiki that has been set up to support all this.) Throughout there was a constant stream of Tweets on the topic, both from those at the meeting and from others who were following the #infodefrag hash tag.  One striking one was from someone who pointed out that they belonged to no organisations but used social media to keep in touch – which was how they had found out about the meeting and come along!

I’m not sure than we really managed to answer any of the questions but it did produce some very interesting and lively discussions – and more questions.  There was also an intriguing argument that diversity is fragmentation turned upside down and we should celebrate diversity.  We then went on to consider how those present and the organisations they represent can do to move things on to ensure the information professions can survive as a community.  There is considerable support for the idea of an information charter and manifesto.  We need to articulate the value of what we do, and for this we need stories – and there was a great one about the IMF.  We also need to describe a core of competencies, and to link together the common and transferable standards that organisations like BCS and CILIP have already defined.  Mark Field suggested the production of an annual report, “The state of the information profession this year” to set out our achievements and raise our profile.

So what next?  The liaison group will continue, developing the wiki as a resource – so do check it out, and hope to involve other people to work on the action points that Nicola identified in a series of tweets

  • create a repository of stories that show value of information professionals
  • work on a core competency statement, and look at common professional  standards in the associations
  • get information groups to agree to work more together, eg joint meetings, joint training
  • produce annual report on ‘ the state of information profession this year’ with logos of all info groups in the back

NetITX is committed to working with this project, because we feel it is so much in keeping with what NetIKX is about, bringing everyone who works in information together whatever their job title or starting point whenever there are topics of general interest to learn about and skills and experience to share.  We would love to hear from you – your comments of the six questions, your thoughts about what we should be doing – email me at .

For more on this, see the wiki, James Mullan’s detailed report on his blog,  Nicola Franklin’s discussion of key points and Val Skelton’s summary

Knowledge management and organisational strategy – NetIKX March 2011 seminar

Another lively and thought-provoking NetIKX seminar took place on Thursday 24 March at the British Dental Association which is fast becoming our preferred location as healthy numbers of people continue to support our programme. Flooding at Trafalgar Square, power cuts on the underground and speakers stuck on trains gave us a few hairy moments but in the end nearly 40 participants enjoyed 2 different but very good speakers, Dr Nick Milton (not Wilton as per the feedback sheets!) from Knoco Ltd and Linda Wishart from the Department of Health, followed by syndicate work on Nick’s Boston boxes, Working across cultures, Exit interviews and What is KM all about?. The overriding message was that KM is necessary now more than ever.

Nick offered us a model of knowledge based on competence in 4 different areas – Potential competence (in business terms looking at emerging markets), Competitive competence, Core competence and Others’ competence. The “Others” box led to some interesting discussions during a brief Q & A session at the end of his presentation. Nick’s view was that this led to Outsourcing and Quality assurance but he admitted that his views were likely to change as a result of the debate! It is good to see NetIKX influencing the minds of today!

He then gave us 2 stories – the first on a successful deployment of KM principles leading from Strategy to Activity and Results. Although I never got to understand how Mars chocolate can stop melting in India, the successful outcome was that sales trebled and the profit % doubled. Nick then offered us a cautionary tale when these principles are not followed. It was a sobering scenario about the disaster at Longford refinery in Australia which was caused by a knowledge failure resulting in 2 deaths and 8 people injured as well as a loss of power in the area for 20 days!

Linda’s presentation on the challenge of implementing KM in changing times when central government is heading towards significantly reduced workforce and resources, shared services and no money, Information Assurance and risk management, coupled with the government’s transparency agenda, was all too familiar to colleagues from other government departments. Linda did admit that DH was the first department to be taken to task by the Information Commissioner who had concluded that their FOI requests and record management was not up to scratch. After providing some insight into the myriad of different roles which the DH Knowledge worker will be facing in 2015, Linda shared her strategy of facing up to the KM challenge. This strategy was based around improved technology where possible, improved information access, knowledge capture and transfer, training and awareness, and engagement with workgroups. Linda was unfortunately unable to stay for the syndicate work but she was able to answer a couple of questions. Very similar to Nick’s premise that KM has never been more important, in response to the question “How does FOI impact on people’s willingness to record knowledge?”, the answer was that it is all about managing information properly. So there you are then – Knowledge Management – does it still have a role in organisational strategy? The answer was a resounding yes!

There were lively discussions at the 4 syndicate groups and the report back was interesting and well-received.

Melanie Harris

From fragmentation / death to cohesion / life

In August last year Mark Field started a discussion on the CILIP LinkedIn Group which he called The Fragmentation Death of the Information Professions.  It attracted some 200 comments, and runs to around 29,000 words.   (You can find the whole thing at http://tinyurl.com/35bglbs, but you have to be a member of the group to access it – it’s very easy to join.)

One of the reasons the discussion was so lively was that it was clear that it was not simply a talking shop.  Mark and others were planning to do something about it, to try to bring about “a comprehensive, hospitable and rigorous over-arching professional framework for information scientists, librarians, records managers, archivists, and their emerging new sibling professions in information architecture”. NetIKX encouraged its LinkedIn Group members to participate in the discussion – and quite a few did.  The first meeting was on 14 December and CILIP, BIALL, IRMS, SLA and BCS were among those represented.  It was agreed that the group should seek to involve other organisations and the NetIKX Management Committee made it clear we would be interested in taking part.  Our membership, though not large, covers a wide range of disciplines and organisational types so the discussions are very relevant to us.

The second meeting was held on Tuesday 22 February and I went along.  We had some very constructive discussions, clarifying just who we were seeking to bring together, and who we wanted to influence – a long list including government, senior management, businesses of every size, professional bodies, politicians, the media (and through them the public), employers, and all those who manage information as part of their role (to encourage best practice).

We agreed that we need to produce a manifesto and an information charter, and that in the mean time the group will need to establish a web presence and distribution channels. I will continue to take part, but if anyone else is particularly interested, please contact me. Watch this space.

Suzanne Burge
NetIKX Chair

November 2010 Seminar: Information Asset Registers – the why, what, how and who of it all …

Summary

There is no information available

Speakers

Noeleen Schenk, Director and IKM Consultant
Alec Mulinder, ITIL Specialist, technical lead on Digital Contiuity Project, The National Archives
Chris Beetham, QA Team Leader and Patchmaster, REOCO/ Aircom International
Bob McLean, Information Governance Manager, The Wellcome Trust

Time and Venue

November 2010, 2pm The British Dental Association, 64 Wimpole Street, London W1G 8YS

Slides

No slides available

Tweets

#netikx

Blog

No blog available

Study Suggestions

None

November 2009 Seminar: A journey: IRM to KM and beyond: building on the Willard Model

Summary

This meeting looked at the Willard Model, for demonstrating the value of Knowledge Management to CEOs.

Speakers

Graham Robertson, Principal Associate, Bracken Associates
Bob Bater, Document Management Specialist, European Investment Bank

Time and Venue

November 2009, 2pm The British Dental Association, 64 Wimpole Street, London W1G 8YS

Slides

No slides available

Blog

Blog no longer available

Study Suggestion

None

November 2007 Seminar: How do we make people share their knowledge? Learning, sharing and collaboration

Summary

This meeting was the first of many where NetIKX invited David Gurteen to demonstrate his technique called the Knowledge Café.

Speaker

David Gurteen, Gurteen Knowledge Community.  Specialist in Gurteen Knowledge Cafés

Time and Venue

November 2007, 2pm The British Dental Association, 64 Wimpole Street, London W1G 8YS

Slides

No slides available

Blog

Blog no longer available

Study Suggestions

Visit David Gurteen’s website and sign up to his newsletter.

September 2007 Seminar: Standardising the language of Information and Knowledge Management

Summary

This meeting has no information available

Speaker

Stella Dextre Clarke, Independent Consultant

Time and Venue

September 2007, 2pm The British Dental Association, 64 Wimpole Street, London W1G 8YS

Slides

No slides available

Blog

Blog no longer available

Study Suggestions

None

May 2007 Seminar: Information and Knowledge Management in everyday work

Summary

This meeting has no summary available.

Speakers

Kevin Miles, Head of Knowledge Management, Transport Research Laboratory

Time and Venue

May 2007, 2pm The British Dental Association, 64 Wimpole Street, London W1G 8YS

Slides

No slides available

Blog

Blog no longer available

Study Suggestions

None