The Qualities of a True Information ManagerApril 9, 2016
I recently discovered that schools do not teach how to be a successful information manager. To be a successful and effective information manager today, one must grow and practice integrating many qualities and characteristics on the job. The most important of these are not related to training or skills gained but attitudes effective for organising information and serving people. All true information managers therefore possess the following common attitudes:
Vision – the capacity to see beyond one’s immediate data environment; it is a picture of the future of information useWisdom – the capacity to study history and apply knowledge effectivelyDecision making – the ability to study consequences and make decisions on the management of information without fear; a willingness to fail rather than avoid responsibilityA positive attitude – the ability to see information and people in a positive wayCourage – the ability not to be controlled or paralyzed by voluminous data; the effective management of uncertainty in informationHigh energy – strength and stamina to work hard and not be worn down by technology or data complexityPersonal warmth – a manner and attitude that draws and connects people to informationHumility – being in touch with oneself and knowing that one is part of the information system and not above itRighteous anger – a capacity to resist and stand against information misrepresentation and ignoranceIntegrity – consistency in one’s words and in the information handled; trustworthinessResponsibility – an ability to understand data and respond to the needs of people that use itA good self-image – feeling good about self, others, and the information generatedMental horsepower – the ability to keep learning as information and people changeAuthority – a highly positive influence over information and how people use itPeople skills – the ability to connect people to information and help them achieve their goalsInspirational power – the ability to simplify and communicate new information to peopleSense of humour – the ability to laugh at oneself and the state of information todayResilience – the ability to pore over complex data until patterns for problem solving are discoveredTrack record – experience in succeeding as well as in failing when it comes to organising informationPassion – a hunger and continous pursuit for information and knowledgeSelf-discipline – a willingness to count the cost of handling valuable informationCreativity – an ability to see new patterns in old data and information to fix current and future problemsFlexibility – not afraid of environments with lots of change in data; fluid;Sees “big picture” – able to look beyond the immediate space and see a global view of informationInitiative – the ability to understand how information needs to be organised and commence actionExecutive ability – the ability to organise information towards a tangible goal that benefits people
Whilst information management is a word that is used on a daily basis, it is one that is often greatly misunderstood. One can have all the wealth and money in the world, have power but still not be a true information manager. It is possible to inherit wealth but passing on the philosophy required to sustain our information centric world in a similar manner is not possible. Many of the great inventors and problem solvers in history were simply very diligent information managers. In the world today, if the qualities mentioned above are assessed, then there is a great need for true and effective information managers.
Written byJones Lukose Ongalo, MBA Information Management Officer – International Criminal Court