by Ethel M Salonen, Boston Chapter and SLA Past-President
What do I mean by GET INVOLVED? Involved in what? Get involved with your customer’s work program…get involved in their meetings…get involved by attending the meetings, programs, or conferences they attend…basically let them see your commitment to learning as much about their discipline as you can in order to provide the relevant products and services that will meet their needs.
How do I get involved?
- Work programs – Many information professionals are now embedded within their customer organizations. The MITRE Corporation has a group of 16 information professionals who are either physically located with their customers or are assigned to specific centers. They also have their work funded by these centers. Each of these individuals knows the issues and the problems that need solving and by using their research and analysis skills, are able to produce targeted products and services. They are considered as “business partners” or “subject matter experts.” What a terrific recognition of their efforts.
- Meetings – Attend customer meetings, programs or conferences, either in-person or via another communication medium. Customers will notice your attendance and as you contribute to the conversation, they will begin to see you as a business partner and as a valued member of the team.
How do I prove the ROI for this involvement?
Secure feedback from your customers and specifically request stories that demonstrate the value of your involvement. These stories and your reputation for getting involved with your customers work program will be enough to show that you are becoming Future Ready.
Ethel Salonen is the Department Head of Information Services at The MITRE Corporation.