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Governance, from the individual to the collectivity

By Claire Dupont

I wrote, almost three years ago, about information governance:

« Defining a governance is an approach that allows to frame individual freedoms to build a collective responsibility. »

« Framing individual freedoms, isn’t an oxymoron?», replied one of my colleagues. A few words of explanation are indeed required.

Most companies are well aware that information, whether documented or not, is an essential asset that deserves attention. Managers know it, employees live it. In terms of document management and information processing, I see a lot of good ideas, sensible choices and practices that seem to work well. But - and dysfunctions focus on this “but” - all of this remains too individual. Everyone acts more or less freely depending on what he/she considers to be effective and appropriate. Good ideas emerge and sometimes result in tacit or formal rules. Yet, most of the time, this is not enough. People become discouraged and exasperated, and need to find a culprit. The ideal culprit (but not the only one): the ECM system or the lack of it!

« This system is definitely not working. »

« You never find anything in there. »

« If we at least had a decent ECM. »

Between annoyance and perplexity, let’s take a moment. Let’s stop accusing the enemy which cannot defend itself. Let’s gather what works and what doesn’t, and sort it out. The exercise is based on an essential approach which consists in identifying, in each personal practice, what is useful to the community. What can we do together inspired by what we do individually? Governance is not exclusively a management concern, it is everyone’s business for the good of all. It implies negotiating and committing its responsibility to the service of the collectivity or, in the framework of corporate document management, to the service of transversality.

And you, what do you think could be the role you could play?

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