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“Does the business care?”

Breakfast at Roast yesterday was food for both body and mind as we
began by discussing the hot topics occupying our days so far in 2013.

While we started off  in troubled
waters; intense cost-cutting and a lack of strategic direction, there were also
a lot of positives; strategic partnership working, ambitions to double
membership, determining future direction.

By the time the toast arrived we crunched on the problem of the ‘fat
middle’ (the growing retention of long-term staff in mid-grade positions
allowing limited opportunity for new entrants), we covered the spread of
language expertise sat around the table (and constant requirement for Arabic,
Portuguese and Russian speakers), and we sliced through the question of CILIP’s
re-branding.

Now is perhaps not the place for a discussion on the role of the
professional body.  However this did lead
to a discussion on the need for Info Pros, individually, to re-brand in order
to progress and even to survive.  To
position themselves as business partners, as do HR and Marketing functions
within many organisations.  While
Marketing teams are viewed as essential, revenue-generating teams, Info Pros
must constantly strive to demonstrate value and even educate colleagues and
management to show what information is all about.

Many embrace, even excel at service marketing and relationship
development, but while we endeavour to show that Info Pros can be all things to
all people, the question will always arise, ‘what do you actually do?’.  To address this we must align information
roles with the broader corporate structure. 
Info Pros can be and are business analysts, compliance officers and
procurement specialists.  This adds
credibility and transparency and allows the business to see why information
matters.

Over breakfast we didn’t solve any of the world’s ills, nor did we
devise a strategy to re-brand our industry. 
If anything we came up with more questions, but maybe the solutions hide
somewhere in the answers.  Here are a few
more to go away with:

How do you overcome the conspiracy of HR?

How can you demonstrate invisible expertise?

What other jobs could you do within your company?

Who else could do your job?

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