Right now information governance is at a crossroads which has breakout opportunities at almost every intersection. Those breakout opportunities include avenues such as big data, BYOD, cloud computing, content management, knowledge management and so much more. For this reason I believe application of chapter 5 in “The Start-Up Of You” perfectly correlates with our industry as it deals with pursuing breakout opportunities. The reality of the current information governance landscape is that we do not need to pursue breakout opportunities because soon enough, if it is not happening already, they will be pursuing us.

One of my favorite quotes from this book is in this chapter on p. 147 and is a perfect example of how the principles of Silicon Valley apply to information governance:

Entrepreneurs brim with curiosity: they see opportunity where others see problems, because while others simply complain, entrepreneurs ask why

Think about the new and vast forms of information that are coming into your organization and how you can ask to why to improve ROI on information

  • Business user Bob wants to retain information permanently that is unscheduled because he believes the bigger the data the bigger the value. If you have pursued breakout opportunities in big data you can tell him dark data has no value.
  • There is disagreement about what social media to capture and if it should be captured. Due to limited resources and other more pressing factors preserving social media content is tabled. If you pursued breakout opportunities in social media you could testify about the increasing risk of indictment that social media carries.
  • Your company has gone paperless for the most part, but still prints out forms for wet signatures. If you pursue breakout opportunities in digital signatures you can defend the return on investment and authenticity that digital signatures bring.

To pursue breakout opportunities means we can’t settle for the status quo, but must have hustle. To have hustle is to start the day at 5:30 if job description says 8:00. Those who with an ethos of hustle are resourceful and resilient so they do not get down easily. It is important to know how to take risks and seize opportunities. Managing risk is all about taking them so you can know to react properly when the time arises. There is no risk in not evolving, only inevitability. In an information landscape that is becoming more and more electronic it is inevitable what will happen to those stuck in paper processes.

Developing hustle and pursuing breakout opportunities requires a certain level of randomness that. The authors recommend the following:

  • Deliberately unschedule yourself for a day to read a book you wouldn’t otherwise read, take a coworker in a different department out for lunch or attend a speech or seminar in a different but related field.
  • Identify the people in your network who always seem to have their hands in interesting pots. Try to understand what makes then hubs of opportunity and resolve to meet more people with those characteristics.
  • Subscribe to magazines like Wired or MIT Technology Review and others like them – they to show a glimpse at what’s next. Identify friends who are early technology adopters. The goal? Understand how technological, economic, or social trends might create waves of new opportunities.

When you have no resources, you create them. When you have no choice but to fight, you fight hard. When you have no choice to create, you create – p. 167