I have written about a data base snafu that may have contributed to the death of 29 miners in a Massey mine last year. As you may recall, the mine safety folks tracked safety infractions by mine, not by the owner of the mine. As it turns out certain companies may not be as good as others on safety. So, tracking and penalizing them by mine owner is likely more effective than by mine. Recently the Mine Safety Agency was trying to change a law by prohibiting a mine with many infractions to change their name to avoid penalties. Well, go back to the intent of the law — it's to protect miners. Track needed information about safety infractions by owner and penalize them when they fail. Information should travel with the owner of a mine not with the current named entity. Use some common sense here fellas. R U kidding me.
In 1998, Muslim terrorists exploded two trucks outside US embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, killing 224 and maiming thousands more. One of the terrorists was recently tried for these heinous crimes in a “regular” court instead of a military court. This really bad guy was at Guantanamo Bay (with other "ALLEGED" terrorists)and at some point was subjected to “naughty” interrogation methods. As a result, the prosecution in our “regular” court didn’t use important evidence against our bad guy so he was only convicted of “conspiracy” and not 280 other more serious counts. But at least he was brought to justice 12 years after the slaughter and after spending millions of our tax dollars to give the bad guy a fair trial in a regular court. Did I tell you he was not a citizen?
I KNOW I AM NOT SUPPOSED TO GRACE MY BLOGS WITH POLITICS BUT THE STORY IS ABOUT EVIDENCE SO ITS OK. Besides, I was true to form by being sarcastic. Why does this not sit well with me?
Information Kills. Seems sort of dramatic, I know. Over the weekend I was reading a New York Times article entitled, “Information Law Empowers Indians, but Some Pay Terrible Price.” It is about a new law in India that allows citizens to get government information. Sort of like our Freedom Of Information Act. Seems like a good thing for governance and oversight. However, as you read the story, what is clear is that when folks ask for information and get close to the old way business is done, which may not be totally clean, the old power brokers start to care. So as folks garner information that exposes some of the questionable business dealings, the requesters are getting killed. You hear similar stories in Russia where journalists are being offed when they expose business power brokers. Another example, was the story of the imprisonment of the Chinese person who had a website to share information about melamine-tainted milk in China. That person is doing hard time for making information available.
That got me thinking Massey mines and dead miners and how information management failures played a role. I wrote about that many times in the past. Then I started thinking about Wiki leaks exposing information about the identity of Afghan intelligence “friends” of the US. And, that got me thinking about how important information is today. We don’t think about it as “life or death” stuff. But if information is the life blood of today’s business than perhaps you need to take it more seriously.
Dialoginars are a great new way to learn about a variety of enterprise content management topics. The first of ten Dialoginars that I will conduct with IBM is now available on IBM’s website at www.ibm.com/software/ilg/dialoginars. In this Dialoginar you will learn how you can use information as an asset in your organization. Check back with us on a regular basis to see future Dialoginars that will feature a new topic each month.
I was driving the other day and got to a stop light and noticed the guy next to me in an older car. His car was filled to the brim with old newspapers except where he was sitting. I was driving with my kids and they were dumbstruck as they had never seen a hoarder before. I said the guy had “packratitis” and perhaps some other maladies. I have thought of that guy and his papers many times since then. Putting aside any issues he may have, even though the papers are in a confined area does he expect to find something in the pile? Could he find an article quickly if he needed to? What is the behavior around hoarders that makes them more comforted with all this stuff around them?
That got me thinking about where we are in the business lifecycle now. Lawyers and maybe some technology folks are compounding the corporate hoarder mentality that already confounds us. So much stuff, and no desire to get rid of it even if it makes us less efficient, creates a liability or overwhelms the systems. My resolution for you this year. Get over it.
Hoarders-you are hereby put on notice. Enough. Stop the madness. End the chaos. Clean house Now.