by Anne Rogers, Minnesota Chapter, Food, Agriculture & Nutrition, Knowledge Management Divisions
The dictionary definition of a value proposition is “a clear statement of the tangible results a customer gets from using your products or services.” We as information professionals can use value propositions to:
- Develop a better understanding of our unique skills, expertise and capabilities;
- Define and articulate how those skills, expertise and capabilities can deliver direct value to the organizations for which we work (have a clear value proposition).
I believe that, as a profession, we have a tendency to focus on the traditional and too frequently overlook or undervalue our most unique and transferable abilities. During a project to evaluate scientific reference service, I had a key client, a chemical engineer, tell me that one of the most valuable services we provided was to help him refine and express clearly the research/business problem he was trying to solve. We’d been thinking about reference interview skills as a means to an end, not a value added capability in itself. And guess what? The ability to work with individuals or teams to facilitate creation of a clear, actionable problem statement is a critical skill applicable in many areas. I’ve used my reference interview skills over when working with teams to create business project charters and in defining challenges for innovation idea campaigns (a ‘wisdom of the crowd’/collective intelligence activity). In a recent Future Ready 365 Blog post by Amy Maule,Extreme-Embedded-Librarian, she points out that employers are looking for adaptable people and she is “appreciated most for my adaptability, constantly inventing and re-inventing my job. The skills that make you a good librarian could help you to stand out elsewhere in your organization–you just need to reinvent your job in a way that lets you shine.”
Thinking about your skills, expertise and capabilities from a ‘value proposition’ approach can help you understand and communicate where you add value in your organization, as well as potentially help identify new opportunities where you can leverage your abilities.
Anne Rogers is Director, Research & Knowledge Services at Cargill, leading a team of business and technical information specialists providing information research and analysis services. She is also responsible for a global idea management service, as well as knowledge capture and sharing initiatives to support Cargill’s Research and Development organization. Prior to joining Cargill, Anne spent twenty years at The Dow Chemical Company, where she held various positions in knowledge and information management.
Anne was born and raised in Nashville, Indiana, obtaining a B.S. in Chemistry from nearby Indiana University, Bloomington, followed by a Masters in Library Science with a specialization in Chemical Information, also from Indiana.