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SLA Europe: The evolving value of information management

SLA Europe’s seminar on The evolving value of information management, discussing the FT/SLA report of the same name was a fascinating evening.

The panel of Janice Lachance, Sarah Fahy and Stephen Phillips, chaired by Kate Arnold, had lots of good things to say and could easily have filled the time again. Each panellist talked about three of the twelve tasks for modern information professionals (as listed in the report) and I found myself seeing the application of these outside the information world as well. For example, Janice’s number one task was number 12 on the list – Change your mindset. To Janice, this makes a lot of the other stuff possible. Consider yourself as the owner of a business. Consider your customers and what you do with your custom. To whom do you give that custom? Those that go the extra mile? Then that is how you should conduct yourself. Sarah Fahy backed this us, reminding us we should be constantly changing our mindset. She also suggested that you make sure your team is engaged and doing the twelve tasks as a team. Understanding the business is Sarah’s number one, while Stephen Phillips reminded us that we should remind people we have expertise, whether that is information or, for me, recruitment. If you can’t do or find something, tell the client why. Building credibility through honesty and communication leads to you becoming a trusted advisor.

The last thing I wrote down was “recognise and value your own skills and knowledge.” A great first step would be to read the report. The five essential attributes for modern information professionals lead you through to the twelve tasks. It is essentially a manual on how to be effective and how to continue your professional development. I also recommend reading Katharine Schopflin's excellent review of the evening. 

As always, a great venue (great wine, nibbles and oh what a view…) at Morgan Stanley, with thanks to our host Stephen Phillips and the SLA Europe events team

– Suzanne

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