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No tricks all treats!

Roast’s spooky menu set the scene for our Halloween breakfast network yesterday at Borough Market. We were greeted by an extremely creative assortment of carved pumpkins guarding the bar area, not including Sue and her friend!


Photo (3)

After
introductions, and delicious pumpkin pancakes with maple syrup and bacon, our
discussion was opened by thinking about what the biggest impact is on work
right now.  Connections were made on a
number of common themes.

Many
of our attendees yesterday face the challenge of change.  These included personal job and sector
changes, managing staff expectations during periods of re-structure, as well as
wider business transformation and expansion.   

 

The
theme of technology was widely debated.   
This led onto the issue of compliance and risk when managing information
and data, as well as managing the expectations of users in different sectors.  Whilst the academic sector faces the
challenge of a 24 hour open access culture, the banking sector is faced with being
able to minimise risk to its databases. 

The
old chestnut of the IT department was widely discussed, how they need to work
in partnership with knowledge, information and records departments and develop
more of an awareness of what the users actually need from their technology.

The
subject of staffing was of course of particular interest to Sue and I.  Being Halloween I was most delighted to
capture the words ’new BLOOD’ crop up in conversation! How can we attract,
train and retain it?  As many services
are outsourced/off shored how can we co-ordinate consistency in work and
minimise differences in culture, as well as bridge skills gaps.  For new professionals entering the industry
it is essential that they have an excellent commercial focus.  In fact some new recruits to the industry,
both in research and records and archive roles, have been taken from non
traditional information backgrounds.        
       

It
was interesting to hear some new phrases used to describe the current
challenges of the industry –

‘Not
invented here’ syndrome – the need for individuals to take responsibility for
their own work and data

‘Next
generation staffing’ – new skills needed following the trend for out
sourcing/off shoring

We
concluded:

·        
How global we are becoming as an industry
and the challenges that this will present in the future.

·        
The interesting diversity of backgrounds
but commonality of issues we face across sectors.

·        
Our adaptability as professionals to move
across sectors, despite an often common resistance from recruiters to be open
minded to candidate’s backgrounds.

·        
Amazement at how on the whole the insurance
industry is still based on paper.

Once
certainty however is that change is continuous.

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