The Seven habits of highly effective information managers

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Effective information management is a bit like multi tasking and getting it right

Anyone that really knows me in person should be aware that I like to be on top of things information wise. Like the seeker I take great pride in getting relevant info and go to great lengths to organize that info for effective use (I think I got this quality from my dad). And feeling particularly generous or scholarly today I want to bless you with my “Seven habits of highly effective information managers”; hereby referred to as HEIMs. On a Zain level I’m in a frenzy like one of my previous bank big boss, who was twice flown in from Lagos to lecture us in training school, and on both occasions ended up basing his talk (both talks independent of the other) on Stephen R Covey’s “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”. So let’s get started on capacity building information management wise.

1) HEIMs abhor illiteracy in all its forms because to really appreciate the importance of information management one has to be technologically aware, pragmatic and open minded. HEIMs would probably work in intelligence if they were in the army. For the young ones in secondary school my advice would be not to limit oneself to only reading the Bible, religious books and self help books but to explore the world of contemporary Nigerian fiction. Personally my favourite reads are informative/write ups/novels which come with a heavy dose of humour.

2) We would all the more be HEIMs in Nigeria if we probably had a good database management system in place. All my analysis leads me to the conclusion that if we fixed that we would be on the road to resolving a lot of our national problems. From census and population planning, to voter registration, to crime detection/prevention, to fiscal control and bank loan supervision, to academic records availability and so on and so forth. That’s why it behooves on us to take the issue of record keeping and maintenance seriously in our daily dealings. There are little things in life as sweet as being updated about the past in a jiffy and thus being privileged to make inform choices in the present that will affect your future positively.

3) HEIMs excel in phone bookkeeping and are forever grateful for the miracle that is telecommunication. They understand the beauty of talking the talk and getting thoughts across at the touch of a button. So characteristically they are always reachable by phone, text and call generously as the need arises, excel at colleting contacts of useful people and those they just must deal with on the daily, have a good contact backup culture, have more than one line considering the peculiar unstableness of our telecoms networks, and understanding the importance of networking strive for phone number retention. Some extra tips: for ease of backups you might want to jot down your numbers daily as you collect them and exploit the PC suite and sync function of your phone. Also aim for hand sets with unlimited contact storage. To get ahead 200 SIM memory plus 200 phone memory handsets are not the way to go. Additionally learn to save names in full or with descriptive suffixes for ease of recall.

4) HEIMs understanding the reality that is information overload, trash programming and junk content are constantly trying to stay geeky/nerdy yet work and leisure balanced. By analyzing and sieving what is available before brain consumption they stay on the natural high. Personally I try not to over indulge myself and stay away from things that don’t add anything substantive to my IQ. This means I’m constantly battling procrastination in favour of studying and computer programming. And when it comes to news feed, favouring blogs with original content as against gossip blogs and news recyclers.

5) HEIMs being aware of the power of the world wide web/computers practice the complete use of it as a means to an end. Here’s what you’ll find them doing. They streamline their email addresses as much as possible and harness the powers of Gmail and email clients. You’d be hard press to find them on the loosing end of domain drops because of unread/unreceived renewal reminders. They are on top of password management (at my former job FinnOne, a banking suite software failed partly because of the issue of password forgetfulness). And they embrace the idea of website and company portals as information nests. A case in point: it’s dumb…almost criminal for INEC not to publish the list of qualified candidates/test invitees on its website during it recent recruitment exercise. Also as seen in many companies the issue of sending out important memos/policy updates only via email without repository on the company’s portal for easy long term reference is akin to dishing out instructions and the receivers inundating it from one ear and letting it slip out through the other.

6) HEIMs are by nature effective. In line with this they wholly embrace the use of a diary in their day to day planning. Not being cyborgs people grapple with the issue of forgetfulness but HEIMs keep on top of their schedule and plan accordingly with diary entries and reminders. Be them electronically on phone/computers or in hand in books. A follow up trait of effectiveness is getting things done without having to be prodded and doing so as if the direct gain was for oneself. In other words HEIMs treat with dispatch issues which require their attention. And in doing so they keep it scientific, scientific in the sense that their workings are carried out in a way that on analysis a third party can easily understand what has transpired thus and take relevant follow up action.

7) Lastly but also very importantly HEIMs don’t have an attitude problem. With globalization should come the common sense that nobody’s indispensable and that we all need each other sooner or later and as such we should treat each other with courtesy and respect. On a Majek Fashek-2face Idibia tip, little little patience and cordialness in our conduct now can have big positive implications later. Tolerance, politeness, a thank you here, excuse me or sorry there can in some way get you that information when the need arises that’ll help you break fronts.

The world Cup South Africa 2010 being now 40 days away, the true Super Eagles fan should have these three World cup songs on his/her playlist:

1) Power of Naija. Guinness commissioned World Cup song performed by Omawumi, 2face Idibia and Cobhams
2) Waving flag (Nigerian Version). Coca-Cola commissioned K'naan’s World Cup song performed by Banky W & M.I.
3) Goalaaaso (Inside The Net). Paj featuring Tolumide. From Paj of “Ghana go hear wien (2006)” and “skatta dem (Ghana go hear wien part II 2008)” fame.

Comments (5)

Interesting. Perhaps d HIEIMPS shld be better developed into a bk or d like.Iam in worldcup mood, nt necessarily cos of naija (a team dt is yet to meet its new coach 40 days to d worldcup) but for dt great feel d mundial is sure to bring esp here on African soil. Thanx for d songs, wil check em up.

TRAE .... You the man, laptop's broken so I can't check those songs

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How well do you think Nigeria will do at this year's world cup?

nice piece !!