Dear Quantum2 Member...
Spotlight on Quantum2 InfoStar —
InfoStar Rikke Andreasen finds it hard to remain neutral when it comes to delivering information to end users at Ferring Pharmaceuticals. She's passionate about delivering information to others in her company and believes information professionals have to engage other departments and become involved in projects, participate in product management meetings and other activities. By learning the priorities and plans of end users, Rikke is able to take a more proactive approach in supporting the information needs of those departments.
To learn more about Rikke's strategy of engagement, read her profile at http://quantum.dialog.com/infostars/.
Quantum2 Topic of the Month
The skills of the information professional are more necessary than ever, as organizations deal with the information overload occasioned by the rise in self-service access. Information professionals have the perfect combination of training and competencies to be an integral part of a high functioning, highly profitable organization. They know how to determine the information needs of their organization, where and how to find and access the right information, and how to store it so that it can be retrieved later. Yet, it is not common to find information professionals sitting at the head of the table, leading the organization-wide information initiatives and providing the necessary guidance on strategic information management.
A useful metaphor for change is to think of the information professional role as the organization's "personal shopper" for information. The personal shoppers and store buyers in the retail industry have the reputation for saving their clients and customers valuable time, and are consequently very well paid for "making their lives easier". Personal shoppers achieve this cachet by always starting with a thorough "needs" interview, which includes assessing the client's goals, preferences and budget. Armed with this information, and their high expertise, the personal shopper then brings back to the customer a small selection of decidedly relevant products for review and final selection. These personal shoppers are worth their weight in gold to customers who do not have the confidence, expertise or the time to achieve their goals by themselves. They want the high-quality results without the minutiae or aggravation!
Repositioning the information professional as a strategic information consultant can bring similar status. How? Start by seeking out opportunities for the organization by tracking competitors and market opportunities. Assist with enterprise risk management by becoming familiar with the organization's "big picture" strategy. Contribute to the company's growth through innovation management, i.e., acting as a catalyst for the management of new ideas for growth opportunities.
This summary is taken from a 2006 SLA conference presentation and paper by Eddie Watkins, MLS, director of product development, Dialog. You can access the full paper at the Contributed Papers section of the SLA Annual Conference web pages www.sla.org/content/Events/conference/ac2006/conference/papers.cfm. The paper will also be available as a Quantum2 white paper in the coming weeks.
As always, your suggestions for workshop topics are welcomed. Also, if you know a friend or colleague who would benefit from Quantum2, please encourage them to sign up today.