Susan Gleckner Discover the power... of a well-chosen hat
Jinfo Blog

Tuesday, 2nd November 2021

By Susan Gleckner


Seldom over-resourced, information team members often have to wear multiple hats. How do you stay on top of identifying the responsibilities and roles that will allow you to maintain clarity on the progress, quality and impact of your work? Jinfo’s Centre of Excellence methodology emphasises how to keep on top of it all.


A recent workshop with a tiny information team supporting a massive global R&D function put me in mind of the decades I spent doing very similar work in another R&D-driven business.

As we coached them to the finish line of completing the five steps in the Focus on Centre of Excellence, one sentence came up over and over:

“What hat are you wearing?”

Tiny teams, by necessity, comprise staff members who can do a lot of different things, juggling multiple tasks and goals all day, every day. When it comes to operating as a Centre of Excellence, though, Jinfo’s methodology emphasises the importance of consciously being aware of which “hat” you are wearing at the time:

  • Strategist: Connecting the organisation’s goals with the information department’s goals
  • Manager: Operationalising department goals into projects and processes
  • Tactical worker: Getting tasks done.

All three of these hats may need to be worn by the same person. But identifying the responsibilities of each role and then donning a particular hat enables even the busiest tiny department to maintain clarity on:

  • Progress: Is the work getting done?
  • Quality: Is the work product aligned with the department’s standards and goals?
  • Impact: Is the work actually delivering value to the organisation?

Sounds simple, but it takes practice, especially when the inbox fills up every time you turn your back. As a Jinfo client, you can connect with peers who are also organising their collection of hats, or work directly with us to ensure your hats are appropriate and accessible to you at all times.

Start the conversation, or contact me at to learn more.

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