The Benefit of the Broad View

By DANIEL ANTION posted 06-21-2013 08:06


A few weeks ago, I attended AIIM’s Executive Leadership Council (ELC) meeting. The ELC is one of the best things to come out of AIIM lately. They somehow manage to bring together a diverse group of fascinating speakers from a variety of industry, government and academia, who are willing to share the good, bad and ugly about their experience with a topic. They put those speakers in a room full of vendors and end-users and to keep things interesting and moving at a lightening pace, they put us all under the command of Thornton May. Thorton is a master of engaging the audience, but not by just making an interesting presentation. Thornton’s definition of ‘engage’ is more like Captain Picard’s, more like when you ‘engage’ the clutch in a sports car – something is going to happen.

The two ELC meetings I’ve been involved in included speakers from the National Reconnaissance Office, Boeing, Target, The Minnesota Public Housing Finance Agency, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, MIT, the University of Pennsylvania, BP; and as much I like dropping names like this, I’ll stop. You get the picture.

The audience is made up of people who are normally trying to sell solutions to me and people like me who may or may not use those solutions. These people contribute ideas, make observations, offer opinions and lodge complaints. We cover what we like, what we wish was better, easier, what we need more of and what don’t we need at all. Those of us who don’t use these solutions explain why we don’t use them. They might be too hard to use, too expensive to purchase or they might not support our operating methods. We might feel that there is too much hype, not enough hype (if that is even possible), not enough good information, or it might simply be too early in the adoption curve.

In a very selfish way, I am going to try to capture the energy of this process and bring it home to my people. By that, I mean the team that I work with, and the members of and visitors to the New England Chapter of AIIM. Our Chapter events feature local experts, rock stars (of ECM) and information professionals. We have our own engaging master of ceremonies too and our events work very much like an ELC meeting. We feature expert speakers on current topics of interest. We give them enough time to talk, and we encourage the audience to participate. During the last two years’ worth of meetings, participation has been lively on average and rowdy on more than one occasion.

During the 2013-14 program year, we are going to kick things up a notch. We are going to work to capture the energy in the room, solicit even more feedback, and we are going to report back to our membership. AIIM is a Community of Information Professionals, and like any community, some of those professionals are struggling to find answers and experiencing problems implementing solutions. Others are figuring out new and clever ways to make things work. Still others are making their living by slaying the dragons – the truly difficult stuff. Sometimes we wear all three hats at the same time. If you’re a member of AIIM, you should be looking forward to the ELC report on Cloud Computing. If you’re living or working in New England, you should be looking forward to an exciting program year.

#Chapter #Collaboration #cloud #ELC #AIIMNE