Records Managers: Break Down the Barriers

By Mimi Dionne posted 06-09-2010 12:48


(Just Like) Starting Over.

I cannot determine if it’s my eternal optimism rearing its ugly head, the state of the economy bouncing back, or my new, fresh work on the horizon, but I’m thinking all things are possible these days.  I cannot help myself. The world feels like a laboratory again.  I have a renewed sense of vigor to solve puzzles and riddles accompanied by a sense of a wonderful tomorrow. Not a bad moment to be optimistic, either.

I left a company struggling with being acquired, despite the fact that the buyer is pumping an obscene amount of cash into its newly combined coffers.  Unfortunately, a previous acquisition ten years ago still haunts a number of colleagues and when the news broke it devastated many. Some colleagues went immediately into job protection mode. I can’t blame them, but it doesn’t help to complete the Records work. With learning lessons behind me (my company has been acquired before) and an uncertain future ahead of me, I chose a new path.

Leaving a position is always difficult, but she who travels fastest travels alone. It helps professionally to be able to move so easily.  I regret departing each time my project work closes—chiefly because the colleagues I’ve worked with have been wonderfully competent in Records and kind to me.  I don’t think these quick transitions are something we Records and Information Managers do well (if the amount of teasing I receive is any measure) but it’s probably due more to the required financial and logistical challenges and less to artistic temperament.  It seems to be the nature (or pattern) of our business to accomplish as much as we can in a particular culture and then to move on--especially ours, which I have typically in the past ascribed as plagued with educational speed bumps and failures.

My mind is changing on this.

I wrote earlier that I think Records and Information Managers would make fine interpreters amongst departments.  I worked for a gentleman recently who does so, admirably, but he’s not a classically trained Records person (a fact which he’d tell you himself). No—he’s more interesting. He’s new blood. He has a business process improvement mindset and he’s one of the most successful Records Directors I’ve seen in action. 

I would like to see more of us become similar.  No one networks or shares more easily than Records people, but we have to make a commitment to be leaders, to accept constructive criticism graciously, and constantly improve ourselves as well.  This takes time, character, and priority--and readily available education on new research.  I’ve noticed that one follows the other on the job and it’s not a Catch 22. I see a lack of mentorship that is most disturbing. Sharing must return to Records and Information Management for the betterment of all of us. It’s time to be your own thought leader. Approach a new colleague (or better yet, change your impression of an existing acquaintance). Attend an AIIM meeting and really talk about what’s going on at your shop and find out what’s happening at someone else’s. Break down the barriers that exist in your local professional organizations…and you’ll find the barriers at work easier to overcome.

I hope you find yourself as happy as I am.

#RIM #Career #mentoring #ElectronicRecordsManagement