Monday, May 18, 2009

Executive Leadership, Sine Qua Non (Key #2: Executive Level Program Responsibility)-Highlights of chapter 10 of the 2d edition of Information Nation

The second Key to Information Management Compliance is executive level program responsibility. The success of an IMC program, or any program, is dependent upon the commitment of the organization’s senior management team. They must step up and take responsibility for the program’s development, implementation, and ongoing improvement.

Executive leadership is an absolute prerequisite (sine qua non). High-level, visible executive involvement and responsibility makes clear that IMC is a priority for the organization and is central to its success. Unless senior management makes Information Management activities a core responsibility, employees have little practical incentive to take their responsibilities seriously.

If the program is not pushed from the top, and, for example, comes out of the records management department, the directives will not be given priority. This happened at one of Kahn Consulting’s large clients, and the program did not get on track until the CFO and general counsel got behind it.

Funding is also critical to the success of IMC. A failure to adequately fund an Information Management program will not only contribute to its demise, but will also send the message to employees, board members, and shareholders that the organization does not take Information Management seriously.

The second edition of Information Nation, available from John W. Wiley & Sons, also describes how the chief executive can be held liable for information management failures. For more information, see

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