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The value of information and the link to development

Toby Elwin Blog Archive, Communication, Organization Behavior 0 Comments

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I – IV – V, can we evolve from here?

Information is not competitive advantage, knowledge is competitive advantage.  Until you socialize your information amongst others you never discover if the value of your information is actual knowledge.

An organization’s socialized knowledge is really their competitive advantage and information and knowledge are both human capital issues.

Enterprise knowledge management is a critical strategic need and how you collect and share information maximizes your organization resources.

However, the value of knowledge comes only when knowledge aligns to strategic and tactical need.  Socialization of information is the critical step to align and coordinate resources:  people, time, and financial.

Information for the Gentry Class

Too often organizations build strategy as an executive exercise of information and tightly-controlled knowledge.  This high-level review leaves out the opportunity to invite in fresh perspectives and leverage the organization’s cognitive diversity.

Strategy created in a vacuum invites change resistance.

You, and your organization, can only know what you know when you socialize your knowledge.  Only through socialization can you convey your knowledge and test your knowledge against alternative perspectives and views.

Socializing information and knowledge is an opportunity to realize the gap between what you thought you knew and what you know.

In that a chain is only as strong as the weakest link, the value chain concept is a framework I have had great success communicating strategic planning.  This sample of the strategic plan value chain is link of goals, objectives, and actions; others call it the goals > objectives > action value chain, regardless, the linkage importance:

  1. Goals are the desired result of the objectives and represent what we want to achieve, not what we want to avoid doing. The goals taken together, when achieved, should enable all the stakeholders and resources to achieve the mission or vision.
  2. Objectives reflect what will be done, but not how, to meet the goal. Objectives are milestones along the way, and indicative of progress toward goals.  Important:  you can have many objectives per goal.
  3. Actions reflect how the objective is to be met, actions are time-bound and measurable* given the availability of resources. If an action does not link to the objective clearly, it should not be specifically linked to the objective.  Important:  you can have many actions per objective.

Information Value Chain

The information value chain shows critical linkage from information through development.  Four links are critical to move information to development and each needs to mature before moving into the next phase:

  1. Information — knowledge gained through study, communication, research,instruction; 1-way show of ideas
  2. Knowledge — awareness of something that is or may be known [information socialized]
  3. Communication — a 2-way flow of shared knowledge constantly sent and received and always maintained for modification
  4. Development — a joint, on-going effort to upgrade knowledge, skills, behaviors, and abilities

The strategic value chain links every resource justification to mission, vision, and executive strategy.  You can not have development without communication, you can not have communication without knowledge, and you can not have knowledge without information:  the information value chain links the organization to development.

Only through socialization can information create development competencies.  So, socialize what you think you know as this is a crucial opportunity for development towards organization competitive advantage.  Crowdsourcing your organization strategy is a great start.

No doubt I got some things wrong, or left out some important ideas.  Please let me know what you think and suggestions you have for me to add value.

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