The future is uncertain – it cannot be predicted. However this does not mean we should not be identifying and analysing current developments that point to potential paradigm shifts in how we create, manage and use information and knowledge. These developments fall across the political, economic, social, technological, legal and environmental spectrum.
Analysing these developments by identify the driving forces will help us consider the future trends we are likely to encounter and the future we would like to create. By having structured and thoughtful speculation about the future, we can begin to prepare for whatever future may arrive. It is one of the important keys to business preparedness.
Noeleen Schenk from Metataxis and Sheila Moorcroft from Realising your Future will be holding a series of invitation-only workshops over the next two months as structured and facilitated conversations to explore the developments and identify the likely trends shaping and changing the generation and application of knowledge and information in strategy and research.
The aim of the workshops will be to:
- Identify predetermined elements (i.e. will persist in any scenario)
- Identify the driving forces (i.e. forcing the pace of change such as increased global competition)
- Decide which are current trends (i.e. current events that are variable)
The outputs of the workshop will be a series of trends which we will then survey participants to assess the impact / likelihood – possibly also an indicative timeframe or other measures for each of the trends, in terms of their relevance and implications for IKM in the next 5-10 years.
The findings will be more widely circulated next year.
Managing your information, and implementing a system to do it, is a complex task with many knots that need to be unravelled and it takes time to get it right.
All too often the focus of a project implementing such a solution is on getting it done rather than doing it right. Too much effort is spent moving the projects through various gateways rather than spending time on actually thinking through what needs to be done.
Information management systems such as SharePoint too often founder and ultimately fail to deliver the desired benefits because of this. Typically a system is rolled out successfully (i.e. on time) but it quickly degrades and information chaos ensues leaving users frustrated, information difficult to find and impossible to manage. In all likelihood you’ll end up with another project to put it right in a couple of years.
This situation can been avoided.
Proper thought must be given to understanding where you are and what you information landscape looks like. How can you build a system to manage your information if you don’t know what you’re intending to manage?
You must develop an information strategy so you know what you want to achieve and how you are going to go about it.
You must take time to design an information architecture that meets the needs of your users. This is vital to enable you to organise, describe and link information and the key to the efficient and effective use and management of your information.
And don’t forget about putting in place governance – without support, oversight and nurturing your nice new system will quickly end up a chaotic mess.
Remember that rolling out a system that meets a deadline doesn’t mean that you have a successful solution.
Think, plan, design – don’t just ‘do’.