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Who Cares?

Spent an amazing two hours yesterday as a panelist on The Knowledge Group’s webcast The Continuously Evolving Landscape of Information Governance: Balancing Risks and Opportunities, and one question kept running through my mind:

“Who Cares?”

Not in terms of “Bah, this is a waste of time,” but rather “Who in an organization cares about infogov, who SHOULD care, and how can we best reach and recruit them?”

And then a corollary question reared its ugly head:

“Shouldn’t EVERYONE care?”

And I concluded: maybe not. At least, not in a uniform way.

My co-presenters Sunil Ohri and Seth Maislin each made the case for taking a longer-term view of infogov, and empowering people by imparting the vision we all share for the practice – a case, by the way, that I’ve made many times myself and do largely believe in.

This time, though, I came away thinking that maybe this isn’t a universal. Maybe, just maybe, some of the people in our cross-hairs aren’t interested in that vision. Maybe the people sitting in front of the screens, doing the actual work, clock in in the morning to do a job and then go home without giving next week, next year, next decade another thought.

For these folks, the motherhood-and-apple-pie spiel just doesn’t resonate – at least, not the way you’d hope it would among senior and middle managers, who more likely show up to work to further a career than to merely do a job.

No, for them, the magic words must have more to do with making their daily tasks easier to perform than with achieving any sort of greater good. It’s not that they oppose furthering the organization’s success, but they’re much more interested in what’s in it for them.

In other words, they don’t care about infogov in the way we do, and I’m saying let’s not force them to.

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