> Interesting thread here.... I'll make a few late Friday afternoon
> remarks.....
> The question/issue of advocacy for the profession comes up regularly here,
> and sadly, it seems to repetitively fall on deaf ears when it comes to who
> the intended audience is... and you know who you are... so in this
> instance,
> you shall remain nameless.
As one who is involved on the Board, I am aware that we have no deaf ears
here.  What we do within ARMA is respond to what we see when we scan the
environment.  We make use of a tool that many have taken advantage of, but
unfortunately not all ARMA members use to state their point of view.  That's
the bi-annual member survey.  We have successfully aligned the Association's
Strategic plan with that that focuses on the highest priorities
of our members.

I see many worthy ideas that we could pursue.... However, I think that most
of us know that in our own lives we have many more "things" that we could
pursue than we have time, money or other resources than we can pursue.
Therefore, those of us who have met with some measure of success....tend to
prioritize based on what's most important, and what is most readily

> What it always seems to come down to is these people feel it's UP TO US to
> be our OWN BEST ADVOCATES, and while I fully agree that within our
> organizations and in our local communities it IS UP TO US to do this, when
> it comes to a broader audience, this role should be filled by a body of
> individuals selected to serve in that capacity by those who pay dues and
> expect representation.
I fully agree with this point of view.... and think that yes, we are both
our own best advocates, AND that we need to rely on Associations like ARMA
to represent us as a group.  Hopefully we do that in large part, within the
constraints that exist within our finances, staff and volunteer time.  While
there is much more that could always be done, that "much more" comes at a
cost.  That cost can be measured in dollars - How much more dues are we
willing to pay in order to pursue or accomplish more?  That's a reality that
we face in business and in our lives today....  Based on what I saw of the
ARMA member survey that went out to all ARMA members, we're narrowing the
gaps between desire and performance.  Certainly there is more that we "could
do", if we had additional financial resources, additional staff and
additional fully involved volunteers.

> Instead of preaching to the choir, the leadership (small "l" intentional)
> should be speaking to the audiences mentioned throughout this thread-  and
> advocating on our behalf.
Some of those who are working within this arena may be aware that ARMA is
active here, especially in the area of higher education.  Improvements there
will not likely be driven by improvements in secondary education (my
conclusion), and improvements within the area of higher education are
exceptionally challenging to achieve.  ARMA does have a significant effort
underway in the area of higher education now.  However, no members of that
group, no ARMA Board and no staff members can merely (to borrow a phrase
from Star Trek) "make it so" when we want more from those institutions.   I
do have belief and hope that what we're now doing with GARP will actually
drive demand....demand in business for those with skills, and that that in
turn will help drive demand for RIM training in higher education.  Thus our
current advocacy fully supports what we're doing in the higher education

> The comment about High School exposure to the subject is a good one, and
> there are ways to make this happen, like on career days.  They're ALWAYS
> looking for speakers on topics, and I routinely make them.  Trying to make
> it engaging is tough, I've spoken about medical records, college
> applications, family history (genealogy) research, vital statistics, sports
> records, politics, etc/

High School exposure is a topic that our discussions at the Strategic
Planning level have touched on.  Larry's point about how tough it can be to
make that engaging is spot-on.  Educating the educators at that
level....well, is in itself pretty darned tough for any Association to
tackle.  I believe that our approach is correctly targeted first at the
level of higher education....and perhaps one day we'll be able to reach back
to earlier levels of education.  However, that day is not today (again,
that's my judgment).

> So whose job is is?  Don't hold your breath waiting for others to do it...
> it took more than 12 years to see Competencies be developed and then until
> someone can find a way to make money off of them, nothing happens... the
> next revenue source is accepted practices... so maybe it's the advocacy de
> jour, but it's not getting mainstream fast enough and if it's not making
> money, well... who knows whats next.
The compentencies did take time..... and we have them now.  Let's each
leverage them and the associated self-assessment fully.  Those who have
heard me speak and others speak on the topic may know that we have yet to
reach a 20% mark among ARMA members who have assessed themselves.  So my
strong recommendation is that we each make use of that tool, and the
significant financial and volunteer effort made to our advantage.  Let's use
it as the educational planning tool and as the career tool that it can be.

My hope is that GARP will become mainstream.  More than any other focal area
in recent years, it has resonated with IT (CIO magazine), with regulators,
and with other interested parties. we do not have the
unlimited resources that might be required if we were to attempt to
"mainstream" the idea as quickly as we'd like.  However, the effort underway
is not at all a "de jour" marketing effort...and is being
received well, so we should be encouraged and each of us can help by
becoming more familiar with commenting on the maturity
model....and by being ready for the questions that may come to us from
senior managers and executives.

> Be your OWN advocate, advocate locally where it does YOU the best, because
> no one sings YOUR OWN PRAISES as well as you do.  If you keep sitting
> around
> waiting for someone else to do it, it's NOT going to happen.  If you join
> up
> and try to make changes from the inside, it doesn't seem to help much
> either... I know that from personal experience.  Countless hours of
> volunteering locally, regionally, nationally and internationally tell me
> the
> time would have been better spent on my own cause and on my own behalf.

Each of us must make the determination on how best to achieve recognition.
From my own perspective, what I've received in recognition, and in being
seen as having "expertise" within my own organization has been greatly
helped by playing a volunteer role.  Those among us who contribute in a
positive manner, who leverage those opportunities to maximize the impact
within our careers...and who take full advantage of education and
certification opportunities are those most likely to be rewarded by our
efforts.  Certainly, there are no guarantees here, but I know that it has
worked well for me, and for a number of others within the profession.

> Speak as a Professional on behalf of the work YOU DO in YOUR Profession,
> you
> don't need to do this through an organization....especially if no one knows
> who the organization is.
I think that each of us needs to become as articulate as we can be, and as
we can become....and that we should make use of those outlets within and
outside of our professional organizations.

Again, an interesting thread of discussion.  There are and will continue to
be opportunities for all ARMA members to speak directly to the issues of
importance to them.  The ARMA Board will continue to match the expressed
desires of our members and will continue to prioritize it's plans, programs
and spending to match the highest of our collective priorities.  We are a
member-owned organization, so when we discuss those things that we cannot
yet achieve, it will be important that we determine (1) how any of these
items ranks versus other priorities, and (2) how much effort, or how much
funding each of us is prepared to provide in order to ensure that we have
the resources needed to accomplish those goals.

Douglas P. Allen, CRM, CDIA+
President, ARMA International

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