If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near.” – Jack Welch
Understanding how information flows through an organization is key to harnessing its power and using it to drive innovation and business success.
This information cycle starts with capture — the creation of information, whether that’s by generating ideas from internal stakeholders, or by capturing ideas and data from external sources. From there, information moves to the transform phase, where information moves throughout the organization, carrying business value. Finally, information must be delivered, at the right time, in the right place, in the right format, so that it can be most useful to the intended audience, allowing them to make better business decisions. This is the manage phase.
In my time working with organizations, I’ve found that the more of these information cycles exist during the total lifespan of the information in question, the more turbulent the flow of information throughout the organization. This leads to lost integrity, diffused value and increased risks, and is complicated further when organizations become more mobile, and information must be managed effectively enough to reach multiple sources, often at the same time.
These issues are only exacerbated by the external challenges facing many modern organizations: the speed of workstyle and technological change; an increasingly competitive landscape dotted with lean, agile competition; and increased scrutiny of regulatory requirements. To create a culture that encourages innovation, organizations must look to break down these barriers and open the flow of information throughout an entire organization. The benefits of this approach are clear. Innovation leaders enjoy: