Author: Rafael Moscatel, CIPM, CRM, IGP

Farmers Insurance Case Study at #MER2018

Had a terrific time presenting my Case Study on Information Governance at Farmers Insurance in Chicago this year. If you missed me, please check out the deck below!

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3 Timeless Business Lessons from a Real Life Superwoman

My Mother is 86 and doesn’t have a LinkedIn profile. But if she ever did, her headline would read something like… “Former ingenue, entrepreneur, dreamer, and the rest is none of your damn business, honey.” But to those who’ve had the privilege to know her over the decades her mantra has always been, quite simply, to treat everybody with dignity!

Here are 3 timeless business lessons she’s taught me to go along with that mantra.

3. The worst “they” can say is “no.” – Opportunities were not exactly flowing in depression-era Los Angeles, but that didn’t stop one young lady from putting herself out there. She helped my father through chiropractic school by working long hours as a Hollywood extra throughout the 50’s and 60’s. Though never quite achieving stardom she knocked on enough doors to get a lot of work, save some seed money and establish relationships that would eventually transform her life. Mom leveraged her new, tough shell to find opportunities, sell her strengths and laugh off rejection.  “It’s no big deal,” she constantly told me as a kid. At the end of the day you should never be afraid to ask for what you want because the absolute worst “they” can say is no. And you still get to keep your dignity.

2. Get everything in writing. – Unurprisingly, Mom had to learn this lesson like most of us… the hard way. This was the mid-century after all and commonplace to make agreements on a handshake. But it only took a few rotten deals for her to realize that keeping good records was key to helping a business stay on track and prospering. Putting it in writing lets the other person know that you need to be, and you will be, treated with dignity.

1. Don’t burn your bridges. – The keyword in the old adage that you can’t make a lot of money without making a few enemies is few. Just as one door opens and another closes, Mom never wanted to find herself in a new room with an old enemy. By treating everybody with dignity she managed to avoid burning many bridges. And for every bridge she burned, she’s probably built a thousand more. When a job or a deal doesn’t go your way, take the high road and don’t make it personal. You never know what the future brings or who might be bringing it.

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Mom’s success, not just in business, but among the people she calls colleagues, friends and family is based on dignity. And while there were many times in her life where she was unfairly treated, put at a disadvantage and rejected, she never forgot that. I guess that’s why I never had much of a problem following the 5th Commandment. Anybody remember that one?

Digital Bondage and the Fallacy Of Work-Life Integration

Forget your elder’s sage advice on maintaining a good work-life balance. There’s a new patently absurd approach (promoted here by the time-strapped PhD’s at Berkeley Haas), and it’s spreading like wildfire throughout the business world. They call it… “Work-Life Integration!”

Digital Bondage

The term “Work-Life Integration” is so misleading because at this point we’re all enduring an increasing degree of overlap between our personal and professional lives. It may be sold to us as “convenience” but much of it is not exactly “optional.” This obsessive and all-in-one approach to time-management ends up usurping the little personal, spontaneous and family time we still have left.

It reminds me a little of Chris Rock’s famous bit on “Job v. Career.”

But not everybody is as fortunate as Chris and there’s a bigger impact to his lifestyle than he’s letting on in the above clip. And so “Work-Life Integration” also makes me think about Cecil DeMille’s classic The Ten Commandments and the famous scene where a worker is about to be trampled by a giant stone moved by “her colleagues.” Moses’ character, played by Charlton Heston, comes down from his managerial pedestal to save the poor soul, who later turns out is his own Mother! It’s a metaphor for how easily, often and unfairly, we as society, put work before family, friends and for believers, even God. And when it negatively impacts others it is arguably immoral.

I was most recently educated on this 24/7 mindset by an executive who boasted, “Say I’m on flight to Hawaii with my family for the weekend, and I’ve got to approve a purchase order for half-a-million. I can do it right here from my iPhone!” Well, that’s nice, but it highlights the disconnect between those who literally have the world at their fingertips and those who get interrupted with email from their boss on the weekends. The same technology fix that feeds the workaholic is now invading the space of almost everyone, not just the guy or gal with a “career.” It’s affecting their partner, their children, their social circle, people on the road. And in many cases it is invasive, counter-productive and unhealthy for the family and the self. Do we really want to live in digital bondage?

In many ways, this digital bondage is reminiscent of the days when men and women of all ages built the Pyramids until they dropped dead. Sure, the Pyramids still stand as a testament to architecture and ingenuity, but to many they will also always represent a chapter in history when there was seldom a break from work. Luckily today we have a choice.

We must stand firmly behind the importance of rest and personal space. Sure, working remotely through technology has given us flexibility. There’s no denying that. But half-baked ideas like “Work-Life Integration” have adversely impacted the very relationships and working-conditions they were meant to improve.

Some in the Jewish faith believe that one of the Ten Commandments, to observe a day of rest on the Sabbath, is a cornerstone of not just spiritual growth, but what ultimately may lead to success in other areas of one’s life. Most cultures share this important value but as it erodes across the globe and the lines between work and rest are blurred, we all suffer.

Stay off the devices this weekend as much as you can. Find true balance by freeing yourself from digital bondage.

Less is more, gaps are opportunities and relationships matter: A Case Study in Information Governance at #AIIM2018!

AIIM 2018 is just around the corner and I’m thrilled to be presenting my Case Study at this great conference which takes place April 10-13th, in San Antonio! Hope you can join me and so many like-minded in San Antonio this year or later in May when I’ll also be speaking about a program which was recently honored by ARMA International with its Excellence for an Organization Award!  Here are a few slides from my session which will be held on April 12th at 5PM.

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The Little Girl with the Big Voice – On PBS!

Honored to learn that PBS recently screened our film on the Golden Age of Radio. Thanks again Stanford University, George T. Marshall, the RIFF and Abby J. Moscatel for the opportunity to share this story leveraging the Doctrine of Fair Use!

Farmers Insurance Wins Trade’s Highest Award For Records And Information Governance

Earlier this month, Farmers Insurance Group, Inc. was honored with the highest award for Records Management and Information Governance, “Excellence for an Organization,” by ARMA International. The award recognized the achievements that our organization has made in the implementation and enhancement of our Records and Information Governance program as defined by the Generally Accepted Recordkeeping Principles® and the ARMA Maturity Model®. ARMA announced the award in InfoPro Magazine and at the ARMA Live Conference in Orlando.

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The Most Important Records In The World Are Our Fondest Memories

Ray Moscatel - 1952 Seattle Chieftains

My father turns 86 years old today. Like many of his generation, he has great pride in the achievements and potential of the human race, its awesome computing power and the marvelous scientific inventions it has recently given birth to. His memories are rich and full of detail, but the records that are most important to him are those that tell the story of his family, that remind him of the ones he loves. It’s wonderful that we now have so many new ways of creating and sharing those records, but for me it has always been the content that defines a good record, not the container it comes in.

Seattle U in NYC 1950s

Dad’s life has been subtle and yet epic. He was part of the first college basketball game where opposing teams scored over 100 points. In 1952, the same squad from Seattle University overcame Goose Tatum’s Harlem Globetrotters in a historical buzz beater. In his later years, he developed incredible friendships with great talents, helped elect a Governor and built a fine career as a doctor. While I may never experience all that my Father has, making sure I preserve his records helps the whole family appreciate not just Dad, but what Dad and Mom represent, the importance of hard work, self-reliance, treating everybody with dignity and the spirit of living life to its fullest.

It’s that poise and perspective that has always served Raymond Moscatel well in life and why I believe that at the end of the day, the only information and data that matters are the records that remind us of the people we love and how lucky we are to live another day together. Everything else on the periphery, is more or less a minor detail that will ultimately be lost to our collective history.

Keeping good family records, whether they be old movies, the family tree, scrap books or diaries is as critical to maintaining a family’s legacy as vital records are to corporations. By collecting and preserving these records we help pass on, not just the amazing stories and experiences of our ancestors, but their values, their compassion, and contextual reminders of what really matters in life.

Happy Birthday, Dad. To me you will always be the most interesting man in the world.

-Rafael Moscatel

June 2016 Member Spotlight: Rafael Moscatel, IGP, CRM

Very proud to be featured by ARMA’s Info Pro publication this month!

Jun 15, 2016

ARMA received the following nomination from April Dmytrenko, CRM, FAI, for the Member Spotlight:

Meet Rafael Moscatel, IGP, CRM

Rafael Moscatel is a Certified Records Manager (CRM) and Information Governance Professional (IGP) with more than 20 years of experience implementing world-class records retention, data governance, and compliance programs for large enterprises. He designed process transformations, led team-building efforts, and spearheaded change management initiatives in a variety of complex and highly regulated industries. His expertise includes developing document management strategies, decommissioning legacy systems, performing risk assessments, and performing audit remediation.

Rafael truly understands his field and specifically IG and technology. He was instrumental in rolling out the enterprise-wide program at Paramount Pictures. Now he is working for Farmers Group, where he has established an outstanding IG framework from which to continue to support an effective program. He is proactive, strategic, and not only a talented RIM professional but an excellent business professional. He develops outstanding collaborative relationships, understands the value of senior management support and involving the business units, and is a strategic risk taker.

Moscatel lives and works in Los Angeles. He serves as the director of information governance for Farmers Group, Inc. He has been an ARMA member for 12 years.

As you can tell, Rafael is a great fit for the Member Spotlight, an honor meant to recognize members’ involvement within the profession and the association. If you would like to network with him, you can contact him through LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/in/rafaelmoscatel or at rafaelmoscatelcrm.wordpress.com

Read More Here….

ARMA Spring Conference

Please join me and some of my esteemed colleagues at the Annual ARMA-GLA Spring conference taking place this April at the Microsoft Technology Center in Playa Vista on April 15th, 2016!

DETAILS:

REGISTRATION CUT OFF:   April 8, 2016
CANCELLATION POLICY:  Full Refund if Canceled before April 8.   $50 cancellation fee if cancelled after April 8.
TRANSFER POLICY:  Registrations are transferrable anytime PRIOR to the event.   Attendance can not be SPLIT.  One attendee per admission only.   Please contact Event Organizer for transfer requests.
LOCATION:
The Microsoft Technology Center

The Paperless Office

By Rafael Moscatel

The extent to which any organization can reduce its dependency on paper is largely determined by laws and the industry regulations it faces, the technology available to it and how well its leaders manage change, internally as well as for customers.

Here are some thoughts on how to begin solving the paper problem around your office:

Understand the affordances of paper  One of the most thorough examinations of the issue of paper and its role in our lives and workplaces came in 2002 when MIT press published The Myth of the Paperless Office.  The book’s findings make a case for the “affordances of paper” and stress that to reduce paper production and consumption we must understand the underlying habits and processes driving how our clients and colleagues work.

Attorneys for example often require a contextual or “case at a glance” perspective that a chronological or issue focused file offers… a “story telling” approach to presenting information which can’t always be matched even with the best software. Similarly, auditors or project managers will often work with and create aggregated records which serve a specific purpose for which imaging might be overkill or too costly. And contrary to popular belief, there still exist quite a few scenarios where it remains more affordable, practical and efficient to even store information in paper form. Conversion costs and risks required to maintain the digital lifecycle of infrequently referenced documents and avoid bitrot* can often exceed those associated with retaining the same materials in paper form.

Make the right policy changes with executive level support  Every Records or Information Governance policy initiative or project your business undertakes should have senior level executive support and reflect the best practices within your industry.

Here are some policy and procedural ideas to consider that can act as catalysts for change.

  • Get a Retention Policy / Schedule, implement it and regularly enforce it -A Retention Schedule (often in line with a data map) is the most effective tool for properly managing records and information and its necessity cannot be understated.  It not only protects an organization and keeps paper and electronic storage costs low, it gives executives a tool for understanding and navigating the massive network of silos and records their businesses create.
  • Institute an E-signature Policy for all contracts under a specified financial threshold
  • De-duplicate emails and all other electronic content repositories systematically
  • Identify where duplicates are created, determine why and what can be done to prevent them going forward
  • Take a “final draft and / or executed version” approach to your document lifecycle rules Continue reading “The Paperless Office”

A Record Of The Film

I was recently asked exactly how my background in archives and information technology assisted me with my documentary, The Little Girl with the Big Voice.  I hadn’t really thought about it until that point because it was a passion project and I was so wrapped up in telling the story it didn’t seem to matter. In retrospect, my years in Records & Information Management really were instrumental in helping me collect, organize and clear all of the materials for this film.

The Little Girl with the Big Voice examines the struggles of women and children in the early 1930’s and 40’s through the eyes of Mary Small, a child prodigy, restless wife and dedicated mother whose resilience in the face of constant challenges made her a defining symbol of her generation.

 

Documentary filmmaking involves a lot of document management, project management and asset management and always has.  Understanding how to organize large collections of materials, authenticate and reference them contextually proved very useful in creating the historical sequences seen in the film.

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When it came time to putting together a clip log, the metadata and information I collected and associated with each piece of media made it easy for me to clear each image which is essential to secure a good insurance policy. In doing so, a lot of the principles I’ve learned as an Information Governance Professional came into play in terms of ensuring authenticity. As a result of properly documenting my sources from the get-go I ended up with a treasure chest of digital resources that I can now use over and over.  My experiences with digital imaging also helped with rendering the scans and pictures I used and in resolving pixelation issues.  The organization of documents and images into (hopefully) logical historical sequences based on various data points, is very much a business discipline.

Stills Part 3

I also wanted this film to be an example of how filmmakers can use the Fair Use Doctrine to uncover and tell some of the richest, most compelling stories of this era, which were until the advent of the internet, almost trapped in library catalogs and press break scrapbooks.

So I teamed up with Stanford University’s Documentary Film Program and learned how to present these images in context so that they passed muster.  Doing so probably reduced the cost of the film’s licensing fees by as much as 90% or more and the research alone gave us a cache of items that we can hopefully use to tell another great story.

Click here to visit Kickstarter campaign.  Please check it out and consider supporting us!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/marysmall/the-little-girl-with-the-big-voice-documentary/widget/video.html

The Myth of the Paperless Office – 12 Years Later

It’s been 12 years since I first read Abigal J. Sellen and Richard H.R. Harper’s book, The Myth of the Paperless Office.  It remains one of my favorite no nonsense analysis into the subject.

This bold and insightful analysis by two Microsoft employees into the psychological and practical reasons why certain business processes continue to rely on paper remains relevant even a decade after its publication. The book is especially helpful for records and information governance consultants more intent on providing their clients with a true understanding of the nature of their processes than selling them software solutions driven by buzz phrases including “The Paperless Office.” Continue reading “The Myth of the Paperless Office – 12 Years Later”