Strategy in the Pacific – The Digital Islands Story

Do you find it difficult for people to appreciate the value of records management, and moreso, the value of your role in it? Records management is not shifting documents and boxes. The people who have collected objects and documents throughout history have enriched our lives and educated us. Its important record managers value your role and appreciate your own innate skills. Those thoughts were in my head as I developed a unique course on Developing a Digitisation Strategy for the PARBICA conference for Pacific Island Records Managers. The thoughts lead me to writing a very Pacific story to introduce strategy … The Digital Island Story Many hundreds of years ago there was an island on the edge of the great Pacific Ocean, known by its people as Paper Island. The Elders of Paper Island told stories of their ancestors, many, many generations before having come […]

Access Denied – Navigating the digital security maze

Myths and Stories Out there, in the corridors of power, the compactuses of restriction and assorted business systems, there’s a war going on. It’s the “War of Access”. The fight is over who can, who should and who will see “my” records. The two armies slogging it out in this cold war are the people of the business defending their right to individually and inconsistently determine who will see their records and the stewards of information, records management. Prevarication rules as organisations avoid the proactive conversations necessary to make the hard decisions to develop a mature organisation-wide approach to accessing records; hard decisions that not everyone will like. The factions continue to reactively squabble with each other over the rules of operation and how to apply them and very little progress is made towards a better world. When managing only paper records, business easily wins […]

5 Tips to Manage through Uncertainty

Today many organisations are in a constant state of change. It’s difficult to avoid, and may come from the external environment as well as major internal structural upheaval. The problem faced by many managers, is how to lead their teams effectively when the future is uncertain. Overcoming the “don’t know so let’s worry” syndrome requires leadership. You see the symptoms. Staff members showing increasing signs of anxiety; the office talk is constantly about what people don’t know peppered with negative stories of what might happen. Left unchecked, this syndrome quickly spreads until it is endemic in proportion and you have a completely unproductive team on your hands or half your team has exited to more secure positions. Leaders address this syndrome in order to keep teams productive and people positive so that the business unit’s challenges now and in the future can be met, and […]

The Art of Strategic Decision Making for Records Management

Senior executive’s responsibilities invariably involve making strategic decisions to manage positive and negative risks. If records managers want to be able to get enough interest from our senior executives to receive a mandate and budget to implement a digital recordkeeping environment, they must become masters of the art of strategic planning and decision making. Strategic decisions are decisions concerning initiatives or policy that have a long term impact on a business. They are the “big picture” decisions that set the framework for future action in place. Strategic decisions involve making calls on the direction of an organisation and the future resource capabilities required to drive the organisation in the agreed direction. Strategic decisions are therefore, by their nature, high risk decisions. Make the wrong strategic decision today, and you and the organisation could live with the consequences for a long time. When that picture and […]

Providing Cultural Safety in Training

I recently had the privilege to design and deliver a personal leadership program for Vital, the petroleum company of the Federated States of Micronesia. Vital has approximately 80 staff, all of whom participated in the program over 4 weeks. Apart from the obvious attraction of 4 weeks of training delivery on a tropical island in the Pacific Ocean, the challenge was exciting; building skills that would have a positive impact on the welfare of the individuals, their families and communities. The learning outcomes required each participant to learn, or build on, the skills and behavioural change required to proactively plan their own personal development. To effectively do this also required them to have a comprehensive understanding of the company’s vision, mission and strategy. This program was unique because of the multiple cultural differences within each training group which would have major impacts on the training […]

To Be or Not To Be… Qualified that is [The Certificate IV in Recordkeeping journey]

It’s been a long, arduous journey. We’ve broken new ground. We’ve taken on challenges set by the industry, and imposed our own stringent quality standards. We’ve debated amongst ourselves and industry professionals on content, context, format and style. It’s taken 6 months of solid work, and now we have a Certificate IV in Recordkeeping program ready to unveil to the records management industry. And what could make it so difficult I hear you also ask. And if it is, then why bother at all? Let me take you on a journey. What a qualification in Certificate IV in Recordkeeping should deliver Not surprisingly, I believe in the worth of qualifications. Not because of the value of the qualification itself though. Yes, that piece of paper listed on your resume will enable you to meet the criteria listed in job descriptions, and open opportunities to get the […]

Can eLearning Really Work For EDRMS Rollouts?

“You should really try out our EDRMS eLearning” enthused the training manager. “It has everything you need to know about how to use the new recordkeeping system in the one place.” “So how do I access it?” I enquired. “I’ll send you the link” she replied, “It’s been buried in the Intranet. You’ll never find it yourself.” “Ok thanks, I look forward to using it. As I said, I am a little bit confused with how to use this recordkeeping system and what I should be saving in it.” Let’s leap forward a week; when I run into the training manager again. “What did you think of the eLearning? Did it help you get over your confusion about the recordkeeping system?” she enquired. “Well, no, not really” I replied. “The topics were so slow to load when I first went online that I thought I […]

Removing a barrier to learning

I was recently approached by a client with a training problem. The records manager was involved in delivering training on creation of case files. These files were regularly presented in court as evidence. The manager felt the training content and general delivery was well received, but the program was obstructed by the participants at the same point each time. A heated debate would occur and the resulting tensions then hung over the remainder of the session. Even more frustrating to the manager was that the debated point was not a topic of focus in the training. This is a typical trainer’s challenge – how to run a session smoothly and not become distracted by peripheral issues. For a skilled trainer it may be easy to manage during the training, but the issue is likely to continue to cause confusion and disagreement in daily work. This […]

Ten Steps To Stress-Free Performance Management Meetings

Twenty years ago I went to my manager for guidance on how to approach a poor performing staff member. I left the meeting with 10 dot points of wisdom scrawled on the back of an old manila envelope. That same scruffy old envelope has been my reference over the ensuing years whenever I’ve had a poor performance issue to manage. Those 10 points have become the backbone of my preparation for poor performance management meetings with staff. With the meeting carefully set up and well thought out you’ll be in the best frame of mind to manage the poor performer effectively and not let your lack of confidence allow the meeting to be side tracked or go off the rails. You’ll reduce stress on yourself, be better placed to support the staff member and achieve a positive resolution. The 10 steps to stress free performance […]

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