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guiding principles

FireOak Strategies follows a set of guiding principles as we work to support organizations’ information management, knowledge management, and information security needs. These principles -- and our core values -- serve as a common framework for working effectively with clients. We aim to help organizations make the most of the knowledge they produce and their internal staff’s expertise, know-how, and experience while simultaneously ensuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of these mission-critical resources.

We approach information management holistically. We strongly believe that knowledge management, information management, and information security are closely intertwined; these aren’t separate or isolated functions. Knowledge management is about ensuring that data, information, and knowledge are all accessible, usable, findable, and discoverable -- by the people who need it, when they need it, and how they need to access it.

Information security supports knowledge management by ensuring that the data, information, and knowledge that an organization needs is always available to those who need it, can be trusted to be current and accurate, and is protected against damage or destruction. Mature information security programs balance the need to lock down data and systems with the need to support knowledge sharing. 

We believe an information & knowledge management strategy should be specifically designed for each organization. Knowledge is context dependent and specific to each organization, so the ways in which each organization manages its knowledge will be unique. We focus first on the human aspects of knowledge management and believe in using technology as an integral tool in this process. Technology plays an important role in this environment, but an organization won’t be successful if it is the only element addressed. Introducing new systems, tools, or processes requires people to change their ways of working. We help organizations embed knowledge sharing and information security into their culture.

We use technology to enable, automate, streamline, and simplify when it makes sense. We start by looking at the problem, the challenge, or the question -- what is it that we’re trying to accomplish and in what context -- and then match technology to the specific situation. We don’t believe in the use of technology for the sake of technology. Sometimes a traditional method is more appropriate than a high-tech option. 

We believe in long-term, sustainable solutions. Our clients’ success is our success, so we want to develop solutions that are practical, feasible, realistic, and work for the long term.
We use a data-driven approach. Throughout our work, we collect and analyze data and then adapt accordingly. By using data, we can spot trends and patterns in the landscape that might not otherwise be noticeable. To ensure success, it is essential to use all available data to inform the initial design and development of any new initiatives. As we move forward, we’ll collect and analyze new data, track and measure progress accordingly, and then adapt our approach based on what we learn from the data.
We believe knowledge sharing can be fun. Many organizations seek our help when something hard to describe isn’t working as well as it could be. Identifying, mitigating, and alleviating those pain points can help departments or entire organizations work together better -- which leads to happier staff, more fruitful collaborations, and retention of highly-skilled employees. Often, the changes are noticeable shortly after we begin work. Getting staff members from different groups or functional areas to work together to develop a new framework and tactics for sharing knowledge will have a positive impact right away. 
We value our role as consultants and thought partners. When collaborating with clients, we contribute our deep knowledge of best practices, emerging trends, and proven solutions. We’re experts and work hard to maintain our expertise in a continually-evolving field -- which leads to our clients’ success.