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Good InfoGov is Harder Than it Looks

Mama Said (There’d Be Days Like This)
– Single by The Shirelles, 1961

Clients often tell me that they go to countless meetings and conferences on the subject of information governance* and come home thinking: “that sounds straightforward enough.” But then they try some of what they learned and get nowhere fast.

“Man, this is HARD!” they think. “What’s wrong with us?”

The short answer to this question is: nothing at all! The success stories you hear at the events you attend were not written overnight: indeed, most took 12-18 months to reach their current state. All you see is the result, not the angst that went into it.

Truth is, good infogov is much harder to achieve than it looks. Done right, it requires that you make often-not-so-subtle changes to your corporate culture, business processes, collaborative capabilities, and underlying technologies.** Grappling with just one of these at a time would make anyone’s hair hurt – tussling with all four all at once is enough to court madness.

Not every day will be a bad one, of course – sometimes, in fact, people will come to you with their ideas and accomplishments, and you’ll feel on top of the world. But other times, you’ll catch wind of some back-channel politicking and wonder why you ever signed up to lead the charge.

Initiatives like those illuminated on presenters’ screens generally are the result of a lot of careful planning and relentless persuasion. Success invariably requires a deft mixture of business management, team-building, and technical knowledge, as well as considerable time and effort. But for all this, everyone who’s stepped behind that podium you’re looking at had both good and bad days.

Sometimes even at the same time.

* In Weissman’s World, information governance (infogov) encompasses content, records, data, process, compliance, knowledge, and other popular “managements” because they all distill down to largely the same business practices.

** Shameless plug: these four elements form the unique and exclusive foundation of pretty much everything we do.

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