To Understand is to Know

By Bob Larrivee posted 09-19-2011 11:04


As many of you know, my position as Director of AIIM Education takes me to many interesting places around the world. I am fortunate in that I get to meet people from many cultures and though we may not always speak the same language, I have learned that even though we may not speak the other’s language fluently, we can communicate and reach a level of understanding. Once this understanding is reached, to a degree, we now know what the other is trying to say and we can move on from there.

This is the challenge faced by many businesses today. The global economy has created an increased need to communicate in ways that the intended party can understand what is being said or at least the context of it in order to gain a level of understanding that is meaningful. One of the ways to accomplish this task is through the use of common vocabularies and consistent content structure. By establishing a consistent structure, one can move throughout the organization and know where information can be found. Likewise, the use of a controlled, common vocabulary establishing an official set of terms enables an organization to seek and find their valuable information consistently and in a way that is repeatable. Use of synonym rings and thesauri can help enhance the vocabulary in ways that accommodate localization.

In my view, we all refer to the same things in life and in business, though we may not use the same words, the context and underlying meaning is often the same. The key to breaking the communication barrier is to lay a foundation upon which you can build. That foundation is a common structure and set of terms through which you can communicate and understand. Once you understand, you can then know what is relevant, important and vital to the success of your organization without having to search in hopes you will find. 

If you are ready to move forward and are finding yourself stuck or unfocused and are not sure where to begin or what to do next, seek professional assistance and/or training to get you started.

What say you? Do you have a story to tell? What are your thoughts on this topic? Do you have a topic of interest you would like discussed in this forum? Let me know.


Bob Larrivee, Director and Industry Advisor – AIIM

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I will be teaching the AIIM BPM Master class in San Francisco beginning September 27and will be at the following events:

ARMA’11 in Washington, DC – October 17-19, 2011

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