Today I met a dear friend today while going to the drug store for replacement reading glasses. We were members of ARMA together. She was the Chapter President and I spent some time on the board of directors. It is amazing that we both still work for the same companies that we did all those years ago. Our chapter hosted the ARMA International Conference here in New Orleans; we hosted a mock trial and a disaster recovery seminar. I learned a great deal during those times and made some great friendships.
Business has changed so much and now we have lost sight of the value such organizations and memberships provide. While I am currently a member of AIIM.ORG there is no local chapter to meet with in New Orleans. Such organizations have become more of way to connect service providers to customers than any true knowledge and information sharing. I miss the personal connection. While I have never been required to testify in court the knowledge I gained at the mock trial made me a better records manager and a better employee. Things I learned about disaster recovery helped me develop my own personal disaster plan and I made my supervisor aware of what I learned during team meetings. The conferences and seminars back then were provided by the actual professional practitioners and not just the vendors.
In my own case I understand why people do not share information anymore. I don’t feel comfortable about talking to people outside of my company about how we do things. I may accidentally say something that could be recorded or taken out of context and posted on the worldwide web and attributed as the opinion of my company. I may give away some sensitive information without realizing.
In spite of my low profile vendors still contact me all the time. They are unaware that I don’t make those decisions. Someone else chooses the new software or the new supplier.
It was great to see my friend and reconnect with the past. Thank you for letting me vent.
thanks for sharing your honest feedback and thoughts. The world has indeed changed - but I still firmly believe there is a need and a place for people sharing information, either virtual or face to face. That is one of the key reasons why we started the Oil & Gas Special Interest Group - to have a community of peers that can share & learn.
I understand your reservations in sharing information outside your company - it may be worthwhile to think about a face to face meeting "behind closed doors" where you can meet peers and exchange information about ways of working, issues, good practices. The SIG has about 25 members combined in New Orleans and Houston. If it would be of interest, and there are 2-3 volunteers, we could try to organize a physical meeting of SIG members with the goal to meet, share and learn.
Let me know if you and others are interested,
Thanks much. Our entire IM team in New Orleans meets every two weeks. Mostly to talk about issues and concerns. I do try to share my knowledge with them and I encourage them to share their special skills as well.
I have encouraged all of them to join this Oil and Gas forum and I hope they have.
Thank you again for the feedback.