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Great Expectations and A Tale of Two Tweeters

When: Thursday at 8am

Where: Roast restaurant, looking down on Borough Market

Who: A diverse mix of knowledge and information
professionals from different sectors

Two overarching themes stood out at today's Sue Hill Recruitment Breakfast; Expectations and
Social Media.

Both managing and meeting expectations can prove problematic
if there is no relationship with your end-user. How can expectations be met if
you don’t know what they are? Perhaps by asking the right questions at the
outset? But knowing what those questions are is another matter. Too often we
may ask, or be asked, questions to elicit a particular answer, while the right
question may be the one that  allows a
broader and better understanding of the issue. (Thank you Mr Douglas. Adams, of course the answer is 42, but … )

Today there was some agreement that this can sometimes be a
failing in new graduates who can, perhaps, lack the business acumen needed to
know what the right questions are. How can you teach business acumen and how
valuable is it to an organisation? In the absence of a ready-made workforce
fully prepared for the complexities of a global business agenda, information
professionals can help enable these end-users (because for me the profession is
about enabling and not gatekeeping). But where does being an information
professional stop and being a full-time trainer begin?

Social media was a hot topic this morning which is on many
agendas, but problems can arise. To paraphrase a breakfast companion, ‘Ask the
question, why do you want social media, what do you want it to do?‘ How do you
counter apathy in a top-down approach to implementing social media, when those
at the top don’t appreciate the value, or perhaps the credibility, of social
media? The millennials will expect social media tools when they join a company
today and will be ready to actively engage with it, but for some people there
will be reticence. One argument was for the need to disassociate social media
as being something that is (just) fun. Many of us are aware of the problem of
failing to capture knowledge when working in on projects or in a project-based
business model. Some of us are aware that social media can offer a solution to
this. However I hadn’t before considered the richness of social media
correspondence from an archival perspective.

This is a flavour of the morning’s discussions and here are
a few points for reflection:

  • ‘If it’s free, why is it
    free?’
  •  ‘What a diversity of roles, yet a
    similarity of experiences’
  •  ‘When you hear your own words spoken back
    at you, you know that you have succeeded’

– Jeremy

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