What Will Leadership Look Like in 2030?

One of my good friends, Thornton May, has an interesting article: What Will Leadership Look Like in 2030?

It is an interesting question so I thought I would share what I think leadership should look like in 2030.

I think leadership needs to change over the next 14 years, but not in a way that makes it more remote or technologically enabled. True, some leadership functions, like Board meetings and interactions between management and directors can be virtual, but I think the day-to-day leadership of teams and companies need more hands on personal interactions.

If you agree, as I do, with John C. Maxwell’s definition of leadership as influence, nothing more, nothing less, then interpersonal interaction between leaders and their followers is needed more for effective influence. One of the ways leaders can make a huge impact on their followers and have great influence is to intentionally add value to them. I have found the most effective way to add value to them is in person not virtually.

Right now there is a leadership vacuum in our companies and organizations globally. Thornton posed the question in the article about how long can it take to train and develop a leader. Most MBA programs are not training leadership. They are teaching management theory and other business related disciplines, but few really teach leadership.

I think with an intentional personal and leadership development program put in place this can happen very fast. A year or two is reasonably possible. I have a mentoring program designed to do just that.

Besides thinking, writing and advising others about information management and information governance, leadership is an area I am equally, if not more passionate about.

I help organizations innovate, transform, and maximize the effectiveness of individuals by helping them improve their ability to lead, work together, select and develop their people.  In other words, I help them become more profitable. It all starts with better leadership.

Big Data: Real-World Challenges, Insight, and Business Value

I had the honor of participating in a panel discussion about big data at the DOCUMENT Strategy Forum (DSF ’16). The panel was moderated by Lane Severson from Doculabs, and I was joined by Carl Jaekel from Medical Mutual of Ohio and Declan Moss and Brett Collins from Navistar. We had a lively and very interactive discussion with lots of great audience participation. The only problem was we did not get very far on this very big topic, so I thought it would be useful to share some of my thoughts based on our discussion.

Read my thoughts about the discussion and what we did not get to cover in the session.

Information Management – The Technology Doesn’t Matter, People Matter

Webinar: Thursday, June 16 | 11:00 am - 12:00 pm PDT

Join me on Thursday, June 16 | 11:00 am – 12:00 pm PDT when I share the microphone with my good friend Heather Newman from Content Panda.

Content Panda Webinar - 16 June 2016

Find out how to help your teams manage information as a business asset. I have become a fan of what Content Panda is doing to help organizations using Office 365 provide in context help along with the ability to display information governance and policy information along side the help. This can go along way to driving adoption.

Takeaways include:

  • Business use cases for success
  • Best practices for bringing people and technology together
  • A demo of how contextualized help and training eases the journey and supports information governance and creating a culture of information management
Register Here

Critical Thinking

thinkingCritical thinking is utilizing our higher faculties to understand and evaluate subject matter; or to put it simply “knowing how to think.”  When we were in elementary and secondary school, we were taught what to think. We were subjected to a lot of information and now, the trend is to teach to pass a test. We memorize what is needed, take the test, and then forget what we remembered.  If we pursued higher education, most of us college graduates continued down the same path of learning what to think again for that anticipated test at the end of each semester. It isn’t until we pursue advanced degrees that we are then required to know how to think.

Consider this conclusion from the National Commission on Excellence in Education in its landmark report, A Nation at Risk, 1983:

“Many 17-year olds do not possess the “higher-order” intellectual skills we should expect of them.  Nearly 40 percent cannot draw inferences from written material; only one-fifth can write a persuasive essay; and only one-third can solve a mathematics problem requiring several steps.”

This trend in education has taught us to mind dump everything we know when sharing information. When conducting masterminds or presenting our principles and ideas to prospects, take a moment and evaluate your approach. Are you unconsciously mind dumping everything you know in your allotted time or are you taking the time to help others develop conclusions and their own thought.

Critical thinking is a higher-order level of thinking. It is the ability to think for one’s self and responsibly make those decisions that affect one’s life.  In addition, critical thinking is also critical inquiry: investigating problems, asking questions, and posing new challenging answers.

Consider the benefits of helping develop others’ critical thinking skills.  They will be able to better understand your ideas and better accept your methodologies if they are able to understand, evaluate and conclude in a critical way. In addition, by developing your own critical thinking skills, you will be better equipped to share this your life changing information with your clients, co-workers, friends and family.

Critical thinking requires advanced listening skills. Lecturing to others is a passive activity that does not inhibit audience participation. To critically evaluate needs, it is necessary to present ideas and then allow the group to develop conclusions – openly discuss and debate these new ideas.  Allow the group to think deeply about your ideas and in turn, value what they think and feel. Share these ideas in an environment that allows them to think their ideas matter. Ask them to make connections and recognize patterns in the new ideas you are presenting. These techniques allow your group to begin to develop trust in themselves and their thoughts, which in turn develops their critical skills.

At the conclusion of your discussion, to further develop critical thought, ask your participants to write out the most significant thing they learned AND what single thing they would like to learn more about. This is immediate feedback about what they are learning and what they still need to understand. When presenting – encourage questions and praise the questioner with these examples: “Good question” or “I am sure others want to know that as well”. When your audience asks questions, this is a great indicator that they are thinking critically.

AIIM on Air Podcast Interview With Kevin Craine – Part 1

Picture1While in New Orleans speaking at the AIIM 2016 Kevin Craine interviewed me about my session, Information Management – The Technology Does’t Matter. You can listen to the interview here which starts at 23:33.

I will update the post with Part 2 of the interview as soon as it becomes the available.

Let me know what you think.

Information Management – The Technology Does’t Matter Presentation at AIIM 16

Pre-Presentation Call Tonight at 8 PM EDT

I will be presenting: “Information Management – The Technology Doesn’t Matter” on Wednesday, 27 April, 11:40 AM-12:25 PM at AIIM 2016 and I am hosting a Presentation Pre-Call on April 20th at 8 PM EDT to provide a very short discussion of some main topics I plan to cover and then open up the call for you to provide any feedback, questions, or topics you would like to me to include during my talk at the AIIM conference.

Here is the Presentation Description:

Any successful information management implementation requires people to be successful. Technology is important but it is only one piece of the puzzle. This presentation will focus on the governance, frameworks, programs, and training needed to successfully manage information in the enterprise and make the technology you choose succeed. Learn how to help your customers manage information as a business asset and deliver on the promise of discovering new insights and creating value from the information and data.

Presentation Pre-Call Details: 

Presentation Pre-Call on April 20th at 8 PM EDT

Call-in Number: (712) 770-4010

Passcode: 676-296


What Does Culture Have to Do with Information Management?

My latest article for Document Strategy magazine,  “What Does Culture Have to Do with Information Management?” has been published.

When we think of rolling out information management solutions, what is the single biggest risk factor for success of the project? The answer is the adoption of the new solution by the people. Why is this? In most cases, we are asking people to change their behavior. We are asking them to use a new application or change the way they create, save and find information because of this new solution. We are asking them to change their relationship with information. For some, this is a big change. Read More…

“Russ is one of the beacons of the post-Internet, pre-Singularity world!”
April 14, 2016