Chapter two of “The Start-up Of You” is on developing a competitive advantage. As records managers our comptetive advatntage used to be that we know records. The reality is that “recordness” is less of what matters, but instead our perspective today needs to be one of having a holistic view of information governance. Taking this wholistic view is not an activity that happens once, but must continually be reevaluated based on what disruptive factors are on the forefront and what our organizations needs are.

The best way to know the factors to be aware of and the needs of your organization is to know your users and what technologies they are interested in. The authors use the example of David Neelman, founder of JetBlue Airways and CEO of the company for their first seven years. Once a week Neelman worked the cabin, flew the planes and blogged about his experience. “Each week I fly Jetblue and talk to customers so I can find out how we can improve our airline.” Do you talk to your users and know how your information governance program can meet their needs? I would recommend blogging about trends in the industry and wrestle with topics that may eventually come your way even if you are not facing them now.

On p.34 the authors state:

Aspirations and values are both important pieces of your career competitive advantage, quite simply because when you’re doing work you care about, you are able to work harder and better. The person passionate about what he or she is doing will outwork and outlast the guy motivated solely by making money.

Why are you doing information governance, records and information management or whatever your role is. Don’t just do it for a paycheck. Invest in it. This is a dynamic and exciting field, don’t just sit on the sidelines, but fully engage. Challenge yourself and push yourself, whether that means becoming a Certified Records Manager, Certified Information Professional or getting ARMA International’s Information Governance Professional Certification. Lastly, aside from doing it for yourself, think about others in your organization. You have the role of protecting the organization in an instance of litigation and that could save someone’s job (aside from your own).