Communication is key to successful information sharing, whether it is a bilateral share of a single dataset, or a major programme of change which requires information sharing at all stages of the process.  There are plenty of opportunities for innovation in communication methods, in order to support the necessary cultural change.  Here are a few examples:

Christmas record keeping

Anne Hopwood, Corporate Records Manager at Rochdale Borough Council, authored a series of Christmas-themed blogposts, looking at the information and records management issues that Santa and his elves might face.  The serious messages about the importance of looking after the information your organisation holds were enlivened by bad puns, tortured acronyms and questionable jokes – so they are a perfect example of using humour to communicate about a serious subject.  They’re available for you to reuse (though a credit and / or an email to Anne would be appreciated).

Leicestershire Multi Agency Information Sharing Hub

Briefing sessions for frontline practitioners were planned and led by colleagues from within  Leicestershire County Council.  Lasting half a day, the briefings were opened to all practitioners within the pilot area and pilot professions.  The session was developed to introduce the concept; provide a broad outline of the operating procedures; and give an opportunity for questions or queries to be raised.

Senior management from the partner organisations participating in the pilot phase were also in attendance.  This gave a clear message on the importance of engaging with the pilot, and demonstrated strong organisational support.  Senior management were also to provide assurances to practitioners that issues or queries raised during the sessions would be addressed, and that they would be supported to participate in the pilot phase.

Melton co-location workshops

In preparation for co-location into a new building, partners participated in a series of workshops to explore attitudes to information sharing, and to develop guidance suitable for all organisations within the new location.  Workshops were attended by frontline practitioners, and by senior managers; this reiterated the importance of engagement and attendance to all staff, as well as providing assurance that any agreements made during the workshops would be endorsed at senior level within their organisations.