26 January 2007


The January issue of Information World Review has three great articles. Here are some excerpts from them. I hope they intrigue you and make you read the entire article.

Why You Should Always Deliver the Punchline First

by David Tebbutt [media coach and trainer, Eastcote, Middlesex, UK], Information World Review, 12 January 2007, http://www.iwr.co.uk/information-world-review/features/2172448/why-should-always-deliver

How many times have you heard the phrase “sell the sizzle, not the sausage”? And how often do you resolve to do so to capture interest and commitment for your latest initiative? And do you succeed?
If you’re after money or commitment from a manager, your life will be a whole lot easier if you talk their language and go for something they hold dear.
Unless you find out what drives your audience, you can’t hope to interest them in your latest proposal. Once they’re hooked, you can build commitment through supporting evidence and conversation.
For example, someone figured out that internet telephony would save their company a bundle and improve productivity. That was the place to start. What they actually started with was: “I think we should introduce IP telephony.” Better to have asked: “Would you like to increase staff productivity?” Who could say “no”?

Breathing New Life into KM
by David Tebbutt [media coach and trainer, Eastcote, Middlesex, UK], Information World Review, 12 January 2007, http://www.iwr.co.uk/information-world-review/features/2172573/breathing-life-km

KM promises so much more than information management that it’s little wonder it has become so popular with suppliers and others.

The advent of social software has brought a new culture of sharing and, this time around, people are willing to give up some of their knowledge – providing it can be expressed reasonably easily. So can social software deliver the dream of knowledge management? Well, it could ensure that the term survives.

Look at the main elements: blogs, wikis, RSS and tagging. And, behind the scenes, some network analysis. When people are socialising, even in a work context, they are much happier to share their thoughts and their experiences. For the first time, the motivations of both organisations and their staff are moving into alignment.

So is knowledge management dead? Only if we want it to be. It might be better to widen the definition to embrace social computing and bring it closer to the object of its ambitions. Knowledge will never be managed but the environment in which it flourishes certainly can be.

Are Career Prospects All Doom and Gloom or a Land of Hope and Glory?

by Bobby Pickering, Information World Review, 15 January 2007,


Pickering interviewed UK recruitment and training professionals. Here are some of their comments.

The problem(s)?

Richard Pinder [TFPL]: “The continued blurring of roles in the information world means that there are more stakeholders in the information world and increasing competition for roles with others from non-information backgrounds.”

Sue Hill: “The influx of other professions and skills into information-handling roles; the continuing change of view of ‘information’ by those at board-level; the inability of many information professionals to forge strategic alliances with the business drivers; and the increased outsourcing and offshoring of information functions”.

Richard Beveridge [Tribal]: The profession is in danger of being considered irrelevant.

City Information Group: “Outsourcing/offshoring of information services and teams; the shortage of experienced and qualified graduates and staff; and the lack of management understanding of how information services can deliver return on investment, and add value.”

Kathy Ennis [CILIP] “Information services are often perceived as an overhead rather than an intrinsic part of the organisation, and therefore easier to cut” and “There is little sense of the add-on skills that a trained information professional can provide – not only skilled research, but information analysis, collation, retention and organisation.”

Hill says the legal market may have peaked. “Much restructuring is going on, but at the same time smaller firms are hiring.”

What can we do?

Beveridge: “Learn to sell to new markets within your organisation and manage existing relationships,” “Project the value or contribution of information services within the organisation and add a cash value of services where possible.”

Hill: “Out of sight and out of mind is certainly not the way to be valued.”

Pinder:“Diversify! Employers are looking for a good mix of information, IT and business skills and experience.”

Ennis:“Information professionals must market themselves and their abilities.If information professionals don’t evangelise about the service they provide, they will foster the stereotype, not get credit where it’s due, and not become involved in projects and plans to which they could easily contribute.”

CIG: Do value-added research, become a “skills chameleon,” embed yourself within the business, embrace and drive change.

The future?

Pinder: “The continued convergence of disciplines; off-shoring and outsourcing; and the opportunities available to information professionals”.

Ennis: A lot of change within formal library information services education, which will affect the number and type of graduates

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