Some great stuff recently from Public Strategiest.
Firstly, on records management in the digital age:
Finding things again remains a challenge: Rosenberg’s argument about entropy and Lapping’s about the need to manage not just current formats but obsolete ones and those yet to be invented are both powerful ones. Even there though, the quality of search tools and the availability of the computing power needed to make them effective strongly supports the shift from the old approach to the new. It doesn’t matter how big the haystack is, if a search for ‘needle’ always returns the needle you are looking for.
History will, of course, look after itself. It always has. But the future history of our time will be different from our histories of past times, and that will not be because we have an eye to the future, but because we are always relentlessly focused on the present.
Second, on technology in big orgs:
The real question, of course, is not whether I should be allowed to create my working environment and link it with the department’s systems. I am pretty clear that I should – but equally sure that that puts me in a pretty small minority (but in five years? ten?). Big organisations tend not to be good at catering to small niche requirements, so that wait will continue. But that does not mean that the subversive impact of what ostensibly started as a routine and unavoidable technology update will not be powerful and ineluctable. The introduction of new tools always gives more power to those best able to use them – and they are rarely those who were the masters of the previous toolkit. That much is standard innovators’ dilemma territory.