[vc_row][vc_column width=”5/6″][vc_column_text]To all my friends, colleagues and compatriots in the Records and Information Governance space, the time has come to embrace simplicity. Leonardo Da Vinci once said of simplicity, “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Of course, that is easier said than done. Just ask Blockbuster. The video chain thrived in the transition from VHS to DVD, offering movie and game rentals, movie-theater sized snacks and even test marketed “entertainment complexes” complete with restaurants, laser tag areas and game simulators…and then it imploded. Unlike Blockbuster, companies like Netflix, Hulu and Redbox are now leading the way in entertainment because they focus on one thing: what they do best and that’s it. We are now past the on-demand model and the focus is on streaming content. Companies like, Apple are designing technology to integrate with the move toward streaming and while Apple offers a variety of devices, those designs are simple, easy-to-use, consistent in the look and feel and appeal to users of all levels of sophistication. The proof is in the pudding as Apple continues to report record earnings and is well on the way to becoming the first company to achieve a trillion dollar valuation. Here are few tips to guide the way toward simplicity:[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/6″][styledbox type=”general_shaded”][vc_column_inner width=”1/1″][vc_column_text] Note from the IGI: This is a guest blog post by Alexander Campbell, M.S., ERMp, Records Manager at Cohen & Gresser LLP.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/styledbox][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]

  • Listen and stay out of the way. (Always good to start a list with the hardest task first.) Like simplicity, critical listening is a very difficult skill to master. Even harder, is the art of not complicating situations by adding your own spin on the matter at-hand. In my case, I have had to work hard to fight the urge to complicate. The prescription: Listen to your stakeholders, set a course of action and only inject your voice if it serves to simplify the situation.
  • Tinker with your process. Let’s face it, many of the tasks related to Records and Information Governance can be a hassle to say the least. Generally speaking, business lines do not want to undertake the process of performing monotonous file reviews or adhere to puzzling file classification schemas. How to combat this? My advice is to look at a process, any processes, and remove one step. Just one step. Chances are if you have a two-step process, it can be achieved in one step. If you are working with a ten-step process, you may be able to eliminate three or four steps.
  • Embrace technology. For those that have read some of my articles, you know that I am always beating the technology drum. Technology can be a powerful driver of simplicity. Educating yourself on available technology and implementing it allows you to complete your work more efficiently and is more welcoming to the “lay person” who might have to submit requests electronically. As technology becomes more integrated and intuitive, we should incorporate it into all facets of life – it also makes understanding the next generation of technology that much easier to comprehend!

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]At the end of the day, the Records and Information Governance profession is facing major disruption (apologies for using the single most clichéd word around) and each practitioner will need to make a choice as to whether they are working to simplify the Records and Information Governance function, or making life more complicated for themselves and users. Choose wisely.[/vc_column_text][styledbox type=”information”][vc_column_inner width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]About The Author
Alexander Campbell is the Records Manager at the law firm of Cohen & Gresser, LLP in New York City. He holds a Masters of Science degree in Information and Knowledge Strategy from Columbia University and a Bachelors of Arts degree in Organizational Leadership from Fordham University. Mr. Campbell is an active ARMA member and holds an Electronic Records Management Practitioner certificate from AIIM. When he is not laser focused on Records Management process improvement, he enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter as well as golfing and skiing. He can be reached by email at and followed on Twitter @infogovguy.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/styledbox][/vc_column][/vc_row]


  1. Ed Rawson

    This is so true and thanks for bring this up. In my 30+ years in the ECM/RM/ILG space, I have always believed in the “KISS” principle. (Keep It Simple and the last word is “Simplistic”). Process Improvement comes from listening to what the they want the end result to be. I also believe that we need to go back to basics knowing that a good foundation for all your processes, with solid requirements, and leveraging proven technology is always “best practice”.

    Ed Rawson

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