Information is energy, not power
How does your organisation treat information? I mean proper information, the stuff that makes a difference.
The organisational response to feedback about their information flow is normally one of two things, to instigate more formal information sharing platforms, to berate management for not cascading the content of the already existing platforms.
Meanwhile, the real information flow in the organisation doesn’t change. Because it isn’t a process, it’s culture.
We all know the phrase, “knowledge is power” but the reality is that in far too many of our organisations information is being used as such by a large proportion of our people.
It strikes me the leader’s job is to use information as energy and not as power. We are there to disseminate the appropriate information at the right time to aid performance but also to retain information, to shield people if that information would hinder performance.
And that’s a fine balance.
I don’t buy the idea that total absolute information flow is the organisational gold standard. The demands to know everything is a simple means of recognising that information is seen as power within your business.
We all know that organisations produce ridiculous amounts of data and also, particularly in these fluid times, the agenda can change repeatedly. Sometimes it just isn’t helpful to know.
Culturally advanced organisations know when to share and when not to share. Likewise, people in culturally advanced organisations recognise what they need to know and what they don’t.
And that’s where we need to aim.