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


Something to Ponder This Weekend...

Albert EinsteinIf the facts don’t fit the theory, change the facts. ~ Albert Einstein

I love that quote! Change is that scary word that most people shy away from.  I don’t want to change. Why should I change? Why doesn’t everyone else change to accommodate me? If I change, then I will be out of my comfort zone. Why change something that isn’t broken?

Asking someone to change is like expecting the sun to not rise. Isn’t it a pointless request? Change comes from within. Change is something we do with ourselves. Only we can control us, no one else. So why ask, expect, anticipate, anything from someone else?

Let’s focus on how to change us. First why would anyone want to change themselves? Is it because they don’t like the outcome? Have you ever had a conversation with someone and you really want to change their mind about something? You try so hard to convince them that your point of view is right and theirs is wrong! Can’t they see that?  I mean do they realize just how foolish their ideas are? Ha!

Cause and Effect. Facts and Theory. Yin and Yang. If you don’t like the end result, then you need to change the actions. If the facts don’t fit the theory, in other words, the end result of the facts is not the theory then the facts must change.  Your actions (cause) create an end result (effect).  If you don’t like the effect, change the cause.  If you want a particular effect, but aren’t getting it, then change the cause.

It is really simple but we complicate it because we think it is everyone else that needs to change and not us.

Stop. Take a breath.

Read that again. It is really that simple. We want a different end result. We need to make a change.

If you want to convince someone you are right and they are looking at you like you have three eyes… stop. Look within. Why do you want to convince anyone of anything? If someone cannot see your point of view for whatever reason, if someone is doing something that you do not like, if someone or something is not what you expected… then look within.

Look at what you are doing, thinking, saying,… take the blame off others and look at your actions and make the necessary changes and adjustments to achieve the end result you so desire.